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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You know who you are.....

You know who you are.

You thought the Charlie Sheen debacle last year was funny not sad. You ridicule and judge the homeless person downtown who mumbles to himself or shouts at strangers. And you think that I am crazy, unstable, needy, and merely trying to get attention because I have bipolar.

You don't realize that Charlie Sheen has a mental illness. Either one that has been around most of his life that he is trying to self-medicate, or one brought on by heavy drug use that is now out of control. Regardless it is an illness. No more his fault than someone who gets cancer, either because of genetics or because they smoked a pack a day for 20 years. You see his breakdown as a comedy not a tragedy, Nd you are wrong.

You don't realize that the homeless man downtown didn't choose to be homeless. He is schizophrenic or severely bipolar and was forced onto the streets when the government closed the city's only residential mental health hospital and gave him nowhere else to go. You blame him for his situation and wash your hands of him just like the government, and you are wrong.

You don't realize that I am a brilliant, creative, wounded soul who would not choose this life for anything. I was abused as a six year old, bullied as a teenager, and hospitalized for the first time at 17. I have spent the last 17 years on a hellish rollercoaster. Fighting just to survive, trying to build something of a life for myself, being beat up by an illness that many people blame me for and think is funny. You decide that I am a lazy, out of control attention whore who doesn't deserve your respect, and you are wrong.

Mental health bullying is wrong. Judging us for having an illness that is out of our control is the same as bullying someone for the colour of their skin, the amount of money their parents make, or their sexual orientation. The tragic suicides of gay youth in the latter part of 2011 brought bullying into the limelight. Good. People need to talk about it, they need to know that it is wrong, and gay youth need to be supported and given hope. It's time we call out the bullies and those ignorant of what we really go through, and tell them it is wrong, and give mentally ill youth hope. I know at 17 I could have used it. I survived, barely. I knew young people that didn't.

You know who you are.

And you are wrong.

And you need to stop.


1 comment:

  1. I haven't been diagnosed recently with any mental illnesses (probably only because I don't have the money to go see a doctor) but I understand how you feel. And it doesn't matter if someone has been diagnosed or not, if you can't be nice to a person, that doesn't mean you have an automatic right to be a bully to them.