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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First we take Manhattan........

I have realized something. I am just as insecure about the things I write on my anonymous blog as I am about the things I say in real life. Too many times I walk away from conversations thinking, "oh my gosh why did I say that? They must think I'm so stupid. I am so stupid. They must be laughing at me, or think I'm nuts. Why do I even speak?".  It is the same with this. I enjoy writing. I want to write everyday, heck two or three times per day even. However, I have no confidence in my words or ideas. "People will think I'm stupid, no one will want to read that." Which is completely illogical because I started this blog simply as a diary to get my thoughts out. A place for me, and no one else. But then a few people did read it, and that's when the pressure started. Self-imposed of course, but pressure nonetheless. Pressure to be informative, to be interesting, to be provocative, to be right.......

Ah that darn pressure to be right.

To pick the right topic, say the right thing, say it the right way, and always seem witty and intelligent while doing it.

Seems rather ridiculous even to me as I sit here typing it.

I'm not exactly sure if it is the fear and embarrassment of being wrong or the stubborn irrational drive to always be right, but whichever it is, it is hardwired into me. I've been this way as long as I remember. It's as if, somehow, being wrong or letting others see that I am sometimes wrong will spoil the facade. My act will be given away and everyone on earth will see everything I've been trying to hide and mask for so long. Everyone will find out that I'm nuts, and I'm not as smart as I pretend to be.

The funny thing is I am smart. Very smart. Ridiculously smart actually (in terms of IQ points and test scores). I know this. It's a fact. Always has been. Unfortunately, I am also ridiculously nuts so even though I know I'm smart I don't actually feel smart and I doubt myself constantly.

This leads to a horrible situation where either I am right and will fight tooth and nail to prove it to you, or I am wrong but will still fight tooth and nail to prove that I'm still right anyway or somehow it's not my fault I'm wrong.

Even more ridiculous is the fact that deep down I know there is actually nothing wrong with being wrong. It happens to everyone. Everyone. Some, more than others. Many, more than me. But it DOES happen to everyone. Daily.

Being wrong can be a very positive thing. I truly believe that we learn more from our failures than from our successes. That being wrong can lead to research and learning that will only help you in future.

Unless you're me. Then it's bad. Very, very, very, very bad. It means you're weak. It means you suck. It means everyone is gonna find out your dirty little secret and no one will ever love you for the rest of your days. An overreaction? Of course it is. But it is also a very accurate depiction of my inner monologue. Did anyone ever hear the Adam Sandler stand-up comedy bit where the mother keeps saying "NOOOOO, they're all gonna laugh at you."? Well that mother is my inner voice.

I keep saying that others' judgment of us, and the stigmas they assign to us need to end NOW. I am right, of course. However today I am feeling a tad hypocritical (and I really really hate that). Why do I feel hypocritical you ask? How can I expect outsiders to stop judging me and assigning me stigmas and stereotypes when I can't even do it for myself? Until I can stop judging myself, and accept and love me for me illness and all, how can I demand that anyone else do it?

So here we go #twitterpsychward, it starts with us. Until we demand respect from ourselves, until we can stop judging and hating ourselves based simply on the fact that we have an illness, until we can love and forgive ourselves, we cannot tackle the outside stigmas, judgments, and barriers.

Join me won't you?

My name is Cristina. I have bipolar II disorder and it's not my fault. I've had a lot of hard times, been in a lot of trouble, made mistakes, and yes I've been wrong sometimes, but that's ok. It's all ok.

My name is Cristina. I have bipolar II disorder and that doesn't make me any worse or less of a person than anyone else. I have value, I deserve respect, and my illness does not define me.

My name is Cristina. I have bipolar II disorder but I will feel guilt and shame no more. I am more than an illness, more than my diagnosis. I am a bright, smart, wonderful person, and I am fantabulous.

My name is Cristina, and if you think differently you and I will have issues. Starting now.

Speak up #twitterpsychward. Who are you?

First we change our own perceptions. Then we change those of the world.

2 comments:

  1. I name is Noah. I have BPD and major depression.

    I don't let it define me even though I still see how it affects me on a daily basis. I do my best to manage it and deal with it the best I can. Being diagnosed has taught me how to better empathize with others who suffer in some way. So I feel it's allowed me to be a better overall person.

    I still have my bad days. I still have my bad thoughts. My highs, my lows. But it's just who I am. I deal with it. If other people can't accept me for who I am, then I don't need or want them in my life. I simply REFUSE to be stigmatized by other people's ignorance.

    -Noah

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  2. Hello Noah.

    You are awesome. You just made my day :)

    You also said something that made me think. It's ignorance, fear, etc that leads to others stigmatizing me and my illness, but it's ME who for so long allowed them to do it. I accepted their skewed judgments of me. I perpetuated the stigma by rolling over and refusing to fight. It's as much my fault as theirs. But not anymore.

    Dear world: I reject that biased, uneducated, ridiculous stereotype that you placed on me and others with metal illness. I reject the blame you place on me, and on every other warrior in this battle. I will never ever again allow your dirty looks, hushed whispers, laughter, or mocking to make me feel ashamed and unworthy.

    I am sick. It's not my fault. It doesn't make me a bad person.

    I will beat it. I will thrive. And then I will tear down walls.

    Thank you, Noah. You just helped me reach another level in my own self-therapy :)

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