All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

31 Days of Bipolar: Day 23. Why do you blog about bipolar?

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Day 23: Why do you blog about bipolar?

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Hopefully enabling other people who are battling depression to realise they are not alone.
Hopefully enabling people who are prejudiced against mental illness to gain a better understanding of what it is, and the damage it can do.
Hopefully enabling me to have a better understanding of who I am and what I’m capable of.

I wrote the above words on the 21 October 2007, the day I began my blogging journey. Back then I was naive to the world of blogging and trod wearily through the maelstrom of syllables, words and sentences that joined together to form the blogosphere. It was the start of a new endeavor; a new chapter in my life that saw me journal for the world to see, rather than hiding it away in the A5 notebooks I’d written in previously. I was opening myself up, sharing things that I had never before shared, and it was difficult, painful at first, but endowed me with a sense of freedom that I never thought possible. I was writing about depression. About self-harm, suicide and, later, bipolar. I was talking about my innermost demons, all the chaos that I had lived with for nearly fifteen years was being shared for the world to read, and comment on, should they so desire. It was an enlightening experience and soon it became my world. The blogging bug had well and truly infected me with its venom.

My reasons for starting to blog were outlined in a short introduction post, and eight years later those reasons haven’t changed. I continue to blog so that other people who are suffering from mental illness realise they’re not alone. I continue to blog so that people who are prejudiced against mental illness gain a better understanding of what it is, and the damage it can do. And I continue to blog so that I can gain a better understanding of who I am and what I’m capable of.

I blog because it enables me to do things that I love (write, help other people, share my story) from the safety and security of my own living room.

I blog because if I didn’t, my life would be hollow, empty of point, purpose or direction.

I blog because someone has to.

I blog because I love it. And that’s the only reason I need.

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5 thoughts on “31 Days of Bipolar: Day 23. Why do you blog about bipolar?

  1. I love this post. I blog for mostly the same reasons, although I work on other platforms too and recently I’ve fallen in love with the eye candy of FB posters. i am trying to work up courage and energy for a book. Have you done so? hugs, gerry

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    • I fully intend to write a book about my life’s experiences, as and when I have the opportunity (and energy) to compile it, as doing so would see the realization of a life-long dream to publish my own book. Until then I will continue to blog as much as I’m able! I haven’t dabbled much in other platforms, although have recently been considering publishing to Facebook, as it seems to work for other people. We shall see what the future holds! :)

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  2. I love your blog. It has caused me to think about bipolar and Mental Health in general. If like me one does not have mental illness it is altogether too easy to disregard it and even to think that it does not in actual fact exist. This is like putting your head in the sand. I have a sneaking suspicion that to some extent there is mental illness inside every person, certainly there is the potential for mental illness in every person. I sincerely hope that I am wrong in thinking that all are mentally ill. Who is to say what is normal behaviour? I think that if a psychiatrist were to examine anyone that they would find some reason to diagnose mental illness. Maybe it is that I am far to cynical. As you, Addy, have seen and been treated by psychiatrists I would be very interested in your opinion on my thoughts. It could well be that I am indeed wacky.

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    • I have met people in my life who think that mental illness doesn’t exist, my abusive ex-girlfriend used to state quite matter of factly that mental illness didn’t exist, that it was a figment of people’s imagination. She just couldn’t understand what some people battle against on a daily basis, the eternal struggle for mental stability.

      From personal experiences dealing with psychiatrists, I think they could easily diagnose a mental illness in anyone that they meet, especially with normal human experiences becoming as medicalized as they are. That is not to say I agree with this, which I don’t. I believe that although everyone has the potential to be mentally unwell, that doesn’t mean they are going to become mentally ill. I believe the statistic is “one in four” people will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime. This may be bipolar or schizophrenia, or just a period of depression that is reactive to a life event, but each illness is serious and needs to be treated with kindness and respect. As for what is ‘normal behaviour’, I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as normal, and we need to move away from thinking of behaviour as normal or abnormal. What is normal to one person is abnormal to another. There is no such thing as normal.

      And from the intelligence in your comments, you are clearly not wacky! :)

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