Never Stop Fighting

07Jan13

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” – Shakespeare, Henry V Act 3, scene 1

Once, and many more times. For people with mood disorders: What battle do we wage? What foe do we face? What are we armed with? Will we win?

Canadian troops climbing out of their trenches and “going over the top” during World War I

Canadian troops climbing out of their trenches and “going over the top” during World War I

What Battle do we wage? What foe do we face?

The poet in me says that we fight against our inner winters and tsunamis, husk and fruitful, shell and seed. The mood/emotions/thoughts/desires that push and pull us are often hard to predict. I’ve been struggling with this sway a lot lately.

The battle we fight is with ourselves, with our moods, thoughts, etc. Are we our own worst bullies, since we are going to be our greatest negative critic? Can we say that sometimes (a lot of times) we are our worst friend who never forgets our wrongs, and beats us over and over for not meeting ridiculous standards? Your enemy is you – what a paradox.

Relativity-escher

The battle we fight is with stigma. How will/do people treat us differently? Do we carry a scarlet letter under our shirts that if we let people see it they would always treat us different? Shouldn’t they treat us differently? We take measures to save children from peanut allergies, and a lot of parents I know see these poor kids as allergic time bombs, and so should not similar consideration be given without a second thought for people with mood disorders? These are easy questions to answer – I’m sure you can see where I’m driving. Shame kills us.

the_scarlet_letter__promise_by_dreamforecast-d5ic0ii

The battle we fight is against the media. Can we start a list here of all the movies that paint us like monsters? Can we also start a list of the media that paints us honestly/appropriately? If I get a bunch, I’ll post them. (Either post answers, or you can e-mail me at bipolar2dad@gmail.com)

How do you find peace?

My best answer is that, in the battle with yourself, you can have a cold war of anxiety and tension, whereby you hold yourself hostage, and your only option is weariness and sleep. Or you can put down the guns and just stop arguing. No words, just you letting yourself to be you, with all your warts and wounds. The trick is learning how to keep your enemy, yourself, from picking up the gun again.

stand-up-to-stigma1

The battle against stigma is a difficult one. There are plenty examples in the media that still portray people with mental health issues as being uncontrolled monsters, or ticking time bomb zombies. So do we stand up in the world and allow ourselves to face the harshest scrutiny? My advice is to start small? But what am I saying? Only two people other than my doctor know that I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar. I’m working on this.

“Stigma is a Greek word signifying the marks that were pricked onto slaves to demonstrate ownership and to reflect their inferior social status”(Stuart H., 2005, Fighting Stigma and Discrimination is Fighting for Mental Health)

The first step is to step out of slavery. We are not owned by our illness, and so we should not be shackled by it. No shame.

shame-jfg-stock-xchng

What are we armed with?

Words weft with a cleverness and flare unseen elsewhere else – bipolar people are some of the most creative people (a blessing amidst the curse)

Courage to stand up, and to stand out. (I know I know. I’m still working on this. Take this blog as step one . . . step two will come)

Amazing health care professionals – they exist and I’m happy to know them

Medications and therapy – without a doubt, many people need medication for all sorts of disorders, not just psychiatric. I believe that medication saves lives. It saved mine. I know that some people are against some medications, and I applaud their choice – I’d never tell someone to take pharmaceuticals if they didn’t want/need them. Therapy is fantastic since when we work with others, we recruit help against that daunting enemy (ourselves), and we gain an upper hand on our demons. *The absolute key to this is making sure that everyone that needs these treatments has access to them.

Media assistance – stop making movies that make people with psychiatric disorders monsters – there are plenty of ‘sane’ monsters out there to pick on.

Call me crazy (lol) but we need people who make tampon commercials to make medication commercials. The story always ends with happy people playing volleyball or something else youthful and happy. The commercials for the meds we take always end with some guy nearly hyperventilating to get all the horrible side effects stated – now if I tell someone that I take, let’s say Paxil, now people think I have all those side effects, exaggerating stigma. I’d rather my friends think that I might, out of nowhere, pop up with a goofy smile volleyball. Yes . . . I think that would do.

Writers of Tampax commercials need to write the commercials for mental health :)

Writers of Tampax commercials need to write the commercials for mental health 🙂

“In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.” – Edgar Allan Poe

the winner is

Will we win?

Do we have a choice? You tell me.

“But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, to dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and begin again.” – Robert Browning

cover photo thanks

I could say so much more here. I’m writing this post mostly as a way to get myself out of a low mood state. Maybe I can fake it till I make?

I set up the e-mail since I’d love to hear more from people, and posting comments isn’t very private. Let me hear you.

I’m pretty thankful for the people who got through to me after my last post with words of encouragement. I couldn’t reply at the time, but it made me feel so much better just knowing that someone else was hearing me, and that other people understood. Thank you so much. Lots of love out here.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E. E. Cummings

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7 Responses to “Never Stop Fighting”

  1. I live by the adage “Never say die”. I will never stop fighting to make mental illness accepted as any other illness. For there to be accommodations made, but, no stigma regarding it. I have seen it with my friends, who started out weirded out by my mental illness, who I can now discuss things with such as sleep dep, and it’s negative effects on my mental well being without a hiccup. They now come to me about the mental stuff they were too afraid to admit to others or even themselves. Stay strong.

  2. There is a very good message in this post. If nothing else, then never giver up. I really like your attitude and I am able to draw inspiration from it.

  3. Your friendship is beyond rewarding! Thank you for being my friend! 🙂

  4. 5 moodchaser

    “Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!”
    One of my favorite quotes. I have always felt like a warrior princess. I love movies about fighting … fighting for freedom in particular. The man standing in front of the tanks in Tienanmen Square brings me to tears. I fight my own revolution. But a real revolution is inevitable in the U.S. I am pumped. I know this sounds like I’m a radical extremist, but I just have a fire in me to fight. Maybe it’s because I face a battle against myself every day. I’m winning.

    • I love your spirit!!!
      I get charged by watching valour in action as well. I love that quote as well.
      I’m pretty sure a real change is going to happen in our lifetime and I’m looking forward to being part of a better world for our kids.

  5. 7 moodchaser

    🙂


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