Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Telling others you are bi-polar, just don't tell the editor of the Kern Valley Sun Newspaper in Lake Isabella

So, you know you're bi-polar and everyone in your family knows and probably has some form of it or another.
But what do you do when you tell friends, intimate partners, or people at work?

First, I think you have to use some judgment when deciding who to tell and when. Some might be relieved to hear you're not in denial while others may call it an excuse for being an asshole at a higher rate than the rest of society.

There is always the risk that you will be discriminated against just like any othe minority or group of "different" people.

But let me tell you, for some reason I have had the great opportunity to meet some incredible bi-polar people. They are extremely intelligent, artistic and sensitive.

However, they have notably low self esteem.

This comes from depression. Depression is a liar and you need to make that clear to yourselves. It tells you, not to go on, you're not good enough, you can't get up to do anything: all lies you don't have to listen to.

We will talk soon about what I call, "staying in the eye of the storm," you don't have to act on every thought that crosses your mind. Nor do you have to be afraid of the thoughts either.

Back to telling others. Once you're diagnosed or you are pretty damn sure of what is going on, you've got to let somebody know.

You do need to talk about it with others you can trust. Truly this doesn't have to be a psychologist or psychiatrist, it means a friend with an intelligent mind and open heart. Someone who will show you empathy.

I've just burst out the door with this revelation recently, but it was something that seemed to be calling me: my destiny.
It's not been easy, as people are still digesting or imagining what a "bi-polar reporter" is all about.

But I've made mistakes in the past where I trusted and things didn't work out. One particular misjudgment I still deal with.

I worked for a newspaper who had an assistant editor with her eye on the editor job, and she was using the excuse that the paper was not covering the "news" properly. I bit.
She needed support and I always believed in covering the news and the fluff.
Once she took power at the Kern Valley Sun in Lake Isabella, things weren't quite like she had said they would be.

We had a series of viscious arguments which were about our differences in the way things can be covered by the media.

Well, one day, after I had stayed up all night with a story, a spot was supposed to be left open for the story and a unique chart.

(Bi-polar types know that if we don't sleep we will go into "automanic." Sometimes we use that to cure a serious case of depression.)

I yelled and was so intent on getting this story right, I pissed her off very much.
Feeling bad about being so focused and myopic and not caring about her feelings, I called her to talk to her.
She wasn't open to the idea of talking to me at the time, but I apologized, as we all have to do regularly, and then told her that I was bi-polar and that my thyroid levels were aggravating the situation.
That seemed like the right idea, but the truth was, we were and are, two different kinds of people.
She shared with me at the time that she suffered from depression and was taking medication. Usually when people share they are doing it to help themselves feel better.

I thought it was all well and good, and moved on. This person became an enemy. We hadn't talked anything out like I thought we had. In fact, it came to my attention after we parted ways at the paper, that she was telling other writers and community members about me and my "mental" problems.

So, the untrustworthy usually show themselves at some point, but you don't let that stop you. If, like this person, labels you "crazy," "mental" or many other epithets, realize they have the problem.

It is not you at all. When it is you, you take responsibility for your actions. But that is what you have to do to keep your balance.

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