January 29, 2013 – About this blog and about me

Some things I didn’t get into about this blog that I probably should. This is part journal, and part therapeutic in nature. I’m an honest person who can and will say what others may or may not. I know for many suffering from Bipolar Disorder, or any number of other mental illnesses, their voice can’t be heard. I hope that in giving words that others may not be able to that it may offer some understanding. I’m looking for that understanding, too. II face stigma from this illness from those closest to me. My wife is supportive, so frankly, the one person that counts above all else in my life does offer support.

The therapeutic part of this is that in therapy (I see a therapist once per week), my therapist and I decided that Narrative Therapy would be best for me. I write when I’m having trouble coping. I’m outspoken, but far less articulate when speaking. It’s harder for me to organize my thoughts when speaking. So, given that, some of these entries will be used in session with my own work. They will touch on things related directly to Bipolar Disorder as well as things relating directly to my personal and professional lives. I am not my disorder and won’t approach this blog only from that angle. If I refer to a “you” in this blog, it’s not to you the reader (well, maybe rarely to give context), but it would be referring to my therapist.

This blog is raw. I don’t filter what I write as it relates to mental health in general, or my life. I’m a strong and confident person. I have no shame relating to my illness. With that, I must give a couple of warnings. Depression has been a major part of this illness for me. My depressions last a long time and are far from mild. Suicidal thoughts and ideation are part of that. I will write openly about that here. If you aren’t in a good place, this may not be a healthy place for you to keep up on. If something is a direct trigger warning, I’ll preface the entry as such with the themes. I’ve had a difficult life, at least for the first 25 years of it, and may touch on some of that here. I have PTSD which I manage very well. Years of therapy and excellent support from friends has gotten me to where I am with it. The one time that the past does get to me is in my dreams. I have no control over that, and is spite of using many techniques to try to thwart that, I still have terrible nightmares about things that did happen. I’ll write about dreams and nightmares here if they bare relevance.

Another note on talking about suicide… I will talk openly about the thoughts and feeling here. From a legal standpoint, I don’t need to be looked up or tracked down if I struggle. If I get to the point where I can no longer manage it, I’ll check into a hospital. Talking and thinking about it is one thing, it’s another to have intent. I’ll write about it openly here as many struggle to describe their struggle. It’s to offer understanding. Many suffer in silence. Stigma, ignorance and fear are unacceptable to me. I’m a human being. I’m not my disorder, I have a disorder. Now that my demon has a name, I’m not seen the same by family and friends. I hope that these things will change in my own life and in the lives of others.

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