Every single day I think about the time I tried to kill myself. It is one of my strongest and most detailed memories. I mention it in passing in my talks as if it is just a point of reference, but it has a profound impact on my every thought. I have not heard the bipolar or depression world debating pro-choice vs. pro-life suicide, but it is an internal debate that I often have myself. I wonder if others have had similar thoughts?
My debate is further colored by the suicide of my best friend Santiago. I think about his hanging himself every day, and the effect it had on everyone around him. It is another memory that is so strong it could have just happened. It too has a profound effect on my every thought.
The other day I was showing a visitor around San Francisco and he brought up suicide when we drove by the Golden Gate Bridge. He asked how many people have jumped off (over 1,200 so far) and whether they have put up a barrier yet. I found myself sharing my internal debate and chose to take the pro-choice side.
This video is a segment of a one-hour DVD based on the book Bipolar In Order: Looking At Depression, Mania, Hallucination, And Delusion From The Other Side.
What is unfortunate today is that far too many people continue to cling to the old belief that it is impossible to live a full life with a mental condition. On the other hand, a growing group of people are beginning to consider a life that is not restricted to a narrow range of experience. I look forward to the day when we all rise above the ignorance that keeps us in fear and denial of a better life.
Bipolar In Order is based on a very simple premise: we can learn and grow to the point that we see our condition as an advantage in our lives. Because this concept is often difficult for many people to accept on blind faith alone, I encourage everyone to simply begin by accepting that this new perspective is possible. To make this perspective a reality requires persistence, determination, and commitment. If you will give this perspective a chance, you will prove it in your own life.