I spend a lot of time thinking about being open about my mental illness–what that would mean for me and what the aftermath would look like. Bipolar is a misunderstood illness, and I want to educate people about it. My inner teacher and public speaker is yelling “Do it!” The rest of me is saying “hell no”.
So here are some slightly disorganized thoughts, mostly because I have to leave for work soon and don’t have a whole lot of time.
- I want people to know you can have bipolar disorder and be functional.
- I fear people finding out and saying “Oh that explains it.” I mean, bipolar is bipolar because it affects your life and and that is kinda the point, but my inner perfectionist doesn’t want to admit that sometimes there is something else in control of me sometimes. My single biggest fear is people making a connection between bipolar and the times I struggled at work.
- I fear what people will say behind my back. People gossip. I don’t want to be the subject of it. Maybe I’m flattering myself that they would even bother, but ignorance can take on a life of its own.
- I don’t really mind ignorance in conversation, I can explain and educate. Ignorance in rumors is irritating as hell. And in my case, ignorance can cause people to question my ability to function. I’m afraid people will forget all I have accomplished.
The more I work at getting better, however, the more my fears start to disappear. One day I will have the opportunity to tell my story. And I will take it.