Monday, November 3, 2008

This is who I am

For those who don't know yes I am Bi-Polar. When we moved into this ward I told Nate I didn't want anyone to know. I was diagnosed 4 & 1/2 years ago. I had a suicide attempt & spent 2 weeks in the psyc unti at LDS Hospital. When I came home I decided that I couldn't change this trial in my life but I could change m outlook on it. With that attitude I made my mind up to be very open & try to help others. That back fired a great deal. I lost almost every friend I had. I think that they were scared of what it all ment. To me it was hurtful. Here we had been friends for all this time & I had this illness during our friendship I just didn't have the label. For 3 years I continued being open about it because I strongly believed that there was good I could do. Just over 3 years had passed & I got a phone call one morning from a paniced mom whose daughter had just been diagnosed. As I listened to her talk I cried & could feel all over her pain but I was so worried for her daughter. This mom need council on what she could do. I simply told her I didn't know but Nate would so he spent the next 2 hours on the phone with her. I think about that phone call a lot. For all the ridicule & pain I went through loosing friendships, it was all worth it to help one suffering mother.
Bi-Polar is a very scary word & it is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Bi-Polar is also manageable. I still have days that are very rough. For the most part my medications & therapy work very well.
You are probablly wondering why I would just write about this. This topic has come up quite a bit lately. I have a sister that believes it is all made up. I promise you that it isn't made up. Mental illness is as real as you & I. There is such a stigma on what people with mental illness are like & yes some are that way but it is because they choose they not to follow their Dr's care plan. At the same time, don't baby someone with mental illness because the will take full advantage of you. Just treat all of us like any other normal person.
I guess my biggest motive for blogging about this today is to let you know about my illness & that if you know someone I am always happy to talk. If you know someone & they won't get help there is an amazing organsation called NAMI. Contact them & get there free professional help. Please know that you can talk to me about anything. Please don't judge me because I cannot control what trials the Lord has given me all I can choose is making the best out of the situation.
My name is Leah, I am Bi-Polar


Angie said...

Leah, how brave you are to put all of your pain, struggles, and complicated emotions out there. I know it must have been very difficult to live with this disorder, especially when you didn't have a label for it. Most people don't understand bipolar disorder, and are very fearful when they hear the term "mental illness". What they don't realize is that people living with a mental illness are your neighbors, your teachers, your friends, but they just don't know it. They are your every day, average people who are just trying to do their best, just like everybody else. They aren't crazy, deranged, psychopaths. Leah, I am happy for you, and that you now have this insight to a better understanding of your body and how to help it do what you need it to. There is no shame in that. You go sista!

Laura said...

Leah, I totally appreciate who you are. The passion in which you talk about things and how honest you are. You are a very good example to me and I think you are pretty awesome!

Melissa said...

We need more people like you Leah, so that those people who judged you can learn and do a better job with the next person.
I know mental illness is real!
I wish you well with all your goals and more importantly your day to day life.

Sarah said...

I'm glad that you feel comfortable enough in this new ward/area that you can share. I'm glad that you have the doctors orders to follow and find comfort in them...and I'm glad that you are reaching out to others and helping them in their trials thru your own.

LL said...

you are a strong woman! good for you for being open and ALWAYS willing to help others!!!
Hooray for the help available, can you imagine struggling through life with this...and no help available?
Good for you for your honesty, I hope you feel supported!