Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I little over a month ago I was sitting where I am right now on my bed, but what is different now then a month ago is I no longer wish to jump out my window. The depressive side of my Bipolar disorder was on a field trip of which I did not sign the permission slip. Mental Illness for so many is a subject that you do not speak openly about never mind in such a public forum as the internets or twitters. It is usually a secret kept by families and close friends or whispered about at Thanksgiving dinner.
I have pretty much been open and out about my trials battling this, but not always. I have been out to friends and family, co-workers for years, but I never would have imagined where I would go with it publicly like I have. In the past month I have blogged from the Psych Unit at Burnaby General Hospital, spoken at Vancouver mental Health Camp, Discussed E.C.T. to anyone who would listen and a lot who would not. I am not fully healed yet but I am on the road, partially because I have been so open.
At times I have been called flippant, in my humor and been accused of not taking Mental Health Seriously. Again for years the world has for the most part put people living with mental health issues into narrow boxes, portrayed as, dangerous, or worse less than. I have tried to use humor sometimes in bad taste to document my journey from the edge to somewhere near baseline. I hoped that doing so would make my story easier to swallow for some, more human and less clinical to others. A lot of us IMHO have at some point had or will have contact personally with someone who is living with Mental Illness and humor can break down walls and stigma, it is who I am and I will not stop. I may not be who or what some folks see as a healthy voice for stigma and Mental Health, but it is who I am and most likely will not change. I will still speak out, still us off colour humor and will still be me, love me or hate me that is that.
Now I need to take a moment to thank some of the people who in this past month saved me spiritually, mentally and physically. I may not have remembered all of you but I will thank you in person. The selfless manner in which people I know well and those I barely know have come to my side has been remarkable, from simple emails, texts, comments, tweets to literally coming and physically stopping me from making big mistakes in judgement. I am forever changed by this outpouring of true Love and Compassion. Here are just a few of the wondrous selfless souls whom I cannot ever repay;
First of all "The Millers" Derek & Airdrie who showed me what being unselfish is all about. And not just them
Their lovely daughters who also welcomed me into their home and made me smile.
Also in the same family Derek your parents are the best always making me feel like more than just
Stacey Robinsmith whom I barely know yet came to my aide when i needed most.
John Mcteague , You are my dear friend and confidant and proof that "Concerts" folks always
look out for each other.
Corinna & Adam Carlson, While fighting your own battles you always had time for me.
Kimli Welch , Your humor and deep kindness made me smile when I could not on my own.
Monica Hamburg & Chris Lemay. again two more genuine people I can barely say.
Cathrine Winters, Thank you for looking out for me, and sending help my way when I needed it.
Stephanie Cameron You my dear also may have saved me from myself on a very dark day, I will
never forget you for it.
Anthony Whitrock you sir are a gentleman's gentleman and anyone would be lucky to call you a friend .
Raul & Isabella both of you trusted me to speak at mental health camp and provided solace when | I needed it. You were caring and professional seeing past some controversy surrounding me and understood that my voice was important to me and maybe i hope others.
To Val & Val, two great ladies who live in my building and I am honored to call friends.
I could go on forever here because there are so many of you. I will take the time in the next few days to thank you all personally, just know you all made a difference in this badgers life.