I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.
Thirdly, I present a bit of my history. I have long known that there was something ‘wrong’ with me, but had had it very strongly reinforced by all aspects of my life that it didn’t matter, and that nobody cared. I gave up trying to ask for help as a kid, and got on with things. I did it a bit too well — I’ve often been a victim of my own competence. And yet, that was balanced against heavy substance abuse in that old song and dance known as self medication.
I joined the Air Force in a desperate bid to add stability and discipline to my life. I made it through those six years somehow, and immigrated to the United Kingdom to marry my British spouse in 2007. I managed to clean up my drug and drink issues, and was the happiest I’d ever been in my life. I was still doing poorly though, and it all came to a head after my daughter was born in 2009. It took almost a full year before I managed to find the strength to make the call, but I did. And very quickly, there was the diagnosis I’d been hearing from friends for years — bipolar. I was okay with this; I was relieved to have an answer.
Unfortunately, that slipped through my fingers. The hospital lost all my paperwork, accused me of never attending appointments, and it finally ended up with me doing a sit-in in their waiting room. That earned me being told there was nothing wrong with me, stop taking any meds, go away. So it took another year to find the strength to push through again. Which put me back in the hands of the doctor who told me to go away. After handing him well over a hundred blog entries and a freaking line graph of my moods for the previous seventeen years, he grudgingly told me I had Borderline Personality Disorder based on some incredibly tangential and spurious reasons (not to diss on anyone who actually has BPD — it was just incredibly evident to anyone with a brain that I don’t have it). Thankfully, his boss wasn’t a numpty, and agreed with the original assessment of Bipolar, but further refined to Bipolar II Affective Disorder, Rapid Cycling. I’m not quite stabilized yet, but we’re working hard to get me there.
Once I had my diagnosis, I committed myself to sharing my struggles and joys of living with my leetle backstabbing friend. How could I not? I’ve stood up for things I’ve believed in all my life, so why would I not stand up for myself, and for others suffering from stigma, stereotyping, and out and out hatred? I am proud to do my part, and I am even prouder to openly affirm my continuing commitment in this manner.
I am hesitant to pledge anyone. I don’t want to pressure anyone into anything, though I believe many of you will jump at a chance to openly affirm your continued commitment to blogging for mental health. if you do and you want to credit me as your pledging person, feel free. 🙂