June 15, 2009

An analogy that I've thought of

I'm sometimes struggling with the view that I'm not accepted by some people in this world. I'm okay with it some days but others, not so much. This analogy comes to mind. I'm having a hard time of getting rid of this feeling of failure where my illness is concerned. That I shouldn't feel that I've failed. I get angry at telling myself I'm a failure as a friend. I'M NOT A FAILURE!

The analogy I'm referring to goes something like this. If I had a damaging defect in my heart, you'd not expect it to beat the same way as a completely normal heart. IE. one that hadn't been diagnosed as "damaged in some way" by a cardiologist. You, an observer, would be able to easily sympathize with hearing that I had shortness of breath, or numbness and tingling of my extremities due to bad blood flow. It's an easily understand disease. If my medication wasn't right, you'd sympathize and not say "oh arrhythmia of your heart is YOUR fault, you foolish person!". I'd not be seen as somehow causing my own trouble and making a big deal of nothing. Now apply all of that to the brain. Where a psychiatrist has said that yes she believes my brain is damaged. Why in hells name when I'm not on the right medications am I blamed for poor behaviour? It's not like I WANT to act hyper, manic, insane, swearing and otherwise bizarre behaviour. It "JUST" happens like arrhythmia does to a diseased heart.

That to me, is the greatest stumbling block. Holding in that anger that I basically feel, that I've been unfairly blamed when I was ill, and not in proper control of my feelings, thoughts and actions. See, a "normal" person, IE. one not diagnosed by a professional as being mentally ill, can control well their actions and thoughts. So, we, the mentally ill, are expected to do the same, regardless of our illness. That, in a nutshell is what is so hard about mental illness and suffering with it. People just don't get that we aren't well. We may not have a visible deformity, but there is one there, inside our brain.

Compare this sentence from Nov 2008 in an email
yeah, that'll give you an idea of my mood. White America.. mmm lots of anger, check. Lots of fucks, check. A feeling of deep frustration, check. Wanting to vent it outwards, check.

To this sentence
The reverting of the mind to that which has already occupied it is my aim. And one of the definitions of the word.

If I didn't tell you who'd written those two sentences, you'd never in your life think it was the same person would you? Does that show the level of impairment a lack of medicine can cause? I dunno, does it? I'm curious as to what you, the reader, think.

I read this paragraph from Wikipedia and just shake my head.

There are widespread problems with social stigma, stereotypes and prejudice against individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.[2] People with bipolar disorder exhibiting psychotic symptoms can sometimes be misdiagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, another serious mental illness.[3]

It is not a choice of mine to act hyper, manic and be offensive in my language. It is a disease.

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