~The loss. Somewhere inside, you lose yourself. You can recall some images of what you thought you were. But parts of you, or at least to me it was, like losing me… Shattered all over the place… Gathering the pieces of me. And not being very effective at gathering the pieces, some lost forever.
Which brings the next point “doubt”.
Doubting that you are ill, not accepting an illness that does not have a cure yet. Not wanting the label, the stigma.
Stigma, exist even today if you open about mental illness to others, people begin to judge you, question your ability to fit neatly into a category that they’ve never experienced first hand. Humans like labels, and they like consistency. Mental illness is hardly ever consistent, and mostly unpredictable.
Further more some can see easily in others what they quickly dismiss in themselves. Sometimes it is them, and they’re living in the denial, and unless treated, and accepted, those very people who continue to deny they have a mental illness usually wind up dead. Why? Because anyone that has terminal illness will experience repercussions if not treated properly and in a timely fashion.
If you have cancer and you don’t go to chemo, and don’t do what you’ve been told, you will eventually die sooner than you would had you’d followed a treatment plan.
Diabetes, I tell my son almost weekly that like him being dependent upon insulin, that mommy too is dependent upon certain lifestyles changes and medication to keep my illness managed, just as he needs to check his blood sugar and take insulin to manage his illness. So it is with Mom. There it is again, that word” Loss “of freedom to live without medicine. To have to be dependant upon medicine in order to live effectively and to the best of our ability is binding to say the least.
Then there is the isolation that comes with the illness, at least for me it did. All of the crazy things I have done while manic have broken ties with people I once considered friends, are now gone forever. But had proper truths been applied in society and the medical profession at large would have educated society, then perhaps the ignorance of my supposed friends on the subject today, may still have been around. All though I feel it very unlikely, that the outcome would be much different. We were already growing apart. The illness only escalated it. Yet again “Loss”
Lack of information and education is rarely used in the right way to inform. Truth is society’s no closer to unveiling how the medicine we (society) do take for mental illness works, society still continually sees it as weakness instead of the terminal illness it is.
Then there is a two edged sword due to the label or category for those who are deemed bipolar. Bipolar individuals (at least in my experience) tend to have a marine forecast in place. Some times we’re sunny and the ocean is calm fishing conditions optimal, sometimes rip currents, sometime high tides, then low tides, choppy conditions, rainy and worse even is hurricanes. That’s the easiest way to explain the way bipolar people feel, how quickly we can escalate if we are not treating our illness with the care and respect it demands of us. Then there are moments that anxiety clenches my chest and I get over whelmed with self doubt a gripping fear that my “mind” might let me down. Trust me, it’s a feeling I hope you never have to have. The ability to not trust oneself is an extreme loss.
All because of loss, the challenge I face now is turning my loss into the advantage and always press on. Because if there is nothing more to consider or believe. I believe in restoring…….. that which was lost can be restored.