I started attending a mental health support group a few weeks ago. What a breath of fresh air. I was apprehensive about participating, given past experiences. However, this has been an actual support network, and I appreciate the community.
Those in the battle with mental illness fear sharing this information, which is understandable given the reaction we often receive.
“Oh. Well, I hope it helps you.”
Eyes open slightly wider, then look down, and the conversation quickly changes.
It is ok to ask me what is going on. I appreciate questions regarding bipolar disorder. I am an expert in my mental health. I’ve lived in it my entire life. Why don’t I take medication? When do I see a therapist or counselor? How do I maintain during episodes of depression or mania? What happens when mania hits? I would welcome the dialogue and appreciate educating others.
However, no one asks. It is a feared subject. People say we need to end the stigma and open the doors of communication, but they run from the conversation. They search Google instead of inquiring from those who know.
I am not afraid of society judging me. Ignorance flows thick. Some people choose to bury their head in the sand and wait for it to pass. Too many folks wait for someone else to do something.
I know the last month was spent walking a fine line. I fought to stay afloat and carry on. No one asked how I was mentally. That outside appearance gives them false hope that all is well. My blood pressure skyrocketed, that’s how it was going. I had insomnia, chest pains, and a negative thinking pattern. That’s how it went.
But no one asked. So alone, I fought, and alone with Christ, I found my balance again. This balance stuff isn’t some new-age anecdote; it is peace within that controls my spiritual self. When I reach a certain point, the physical junk calms down. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be real surrender.
I will continue attending the support group, and I hope to support others. We all have our illness to deal with, but we have them together.