Okay, I can’t take credit for the title of this blog. It’s an anonymous quote I found on Pinterest. That being said, it just spoke to me. “Be Brave with your Life”! Imagine if we all took that to heart, just imagine the things we could accomplish. So many people when they first receive their diagnosis of Bipolar, Major Depression, Schizophrenia, whatever it is tend to go straight to the “Why me?” stage and immediately start to play the victim. Now I’m not saying that’s everyone, so please don’t think that.
I know for me, when I heard the words Bipolar and GAD, I was a bit relieved. I finally knew what was going on with me, however, I was not ready to shout it from the roof tops. I knew the diagnoses as did my husband, but I was NOT ready to admit them to anyone else. This is a bit of the victim part I was writing about. I was afraid of what others would say or do, how they would treat me, would they still want to be around me and be my friends? It took a few years for me to be open with friends and family. I found that once I discovered my courage and was “Brave with my Life”, that a whole new world opened up to me. A world where I willingly told my story to others and it actually helped them. A world where I found others like me and we have become life long friends. A world where my voice can make and has made a difference.
I feel like I’m babbling a bit in this post, but I just want people to make the most of their lives. So we have a mental illness, it can be an incredible strength for good if you let it. There is so much more that we can do than we can’t. I say focus on what you can do, want to do and do it well. Don’t let the “stigma” be a deterrent. Use it as a driving force to show the world how great we are. When you see bad portrayals of people with mental illness played out in the media, write them and educate them. When you hear about a bill that you feel will do more harm than good, write your Congressional leaders. Let them know. When you hear someone making a joke about mental illness, correct them. Let them know that it’s not okay. Even if the person making the joke has a mental illness, it’s still not okay.
Okay, I feel like I’ve been on my soapbox long enough. Just be brave with your life. You can accomplish so much!