I am busy. You are busy. Heck, we are all busy. We have jobs and commutes and family. Life is a rush of things that go on with or without you. I hope you can find the gumption to participate, most of the time I can’t. My anxiety gets the best of me and things I really want to do like go to a concert or walk in alone to a new meetup group become too nerve wracking to actually fallow through.
But being busy or anxious should not stop us from sharing our experiences and illness markers with others. I go to therapy and every single week I say, “[My life] is just so hard.” And it is. My three mental illnesses make it rough: Bipolar 1 with psychosis, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and severe Anxiety Disorder. So it is hard. Your life is hard too. And his and hers and theirs. I express myself in therapy letting my secrets run onto an unmarked canvas. Sometimes you have to talk about your illness to someone who understands even if that person is not your therapist.
But recently I found myself explaining my disorder of Bipolar 1 with psychosis to someone who did not know anything about it. I was in a hospital setting where I had to go to get some testing done. When my name was finally called, I was led back to an examination room. We got started and she, of course, asked what I did for a living. I told her I blogged here and about how wonderful and informative I find the site. She asked me about the name of the blog, “Being Beautifully Bipolar.” I told her I had the mental illness of bipolar. She sheepishly admitted she knew a little about the illness, but not a lot. I told her what it was trying (and I am sure failing) about the highs and lows. She had a lot of questions, especially about mania. In that moment I realized that not everyone knows about mania because not everyone goes through it. I tried to take great care in being as honest and smart as IĀ could. By the end of the appointment, I felt accomplished, like I had done a daily duty.
We should all strive to educate, even in the smallest of ways like me and the hospital technician. You do not have to stand in front of big crowd. Megaphones are needed. You do not have to write a book. Just take the little moments when feel brave enough to share.