As much as I want to destigmatize mental illness I also want to be completely transparent with you all and I’m afraid my transparency may only fuel the fire.
The fire? Yes, the societal fire where people throw in their trash statements about the mentally ill. I have a pretty dark sense of humor and I deal with a lot via humor. Jokes are, for the most part, okay. What is not okay are the entirely ignorant things said. You know the statements. We’ve all heard them.
The weather is not Bipolar. Point and case. I understand the rationale because Bipolar quite literally means “having two poles.” So when describing something like the weather it would make sense would it not? That sudden shift from sunny to cloudy?
A more accurate description would be something like this.
“Some days will simply be black. The sun won’t shine, the wind won’t blow and everything will stand still.
But don’t panic just yet. The weather hasn’t left us — it just can’t get out of bed today.
The sun will go to bed at 5 p.m. and wake up at 10 a.m. It will never be able to get enough sleep, even then,” said Aaron Olsen in his blog post “What The Weather Would Look Like if It Was Actually Bipolar.”
His blog post continues on but I’d like to have the bulk of this in my own words.
The main point being, those offhand comments that try and equate a mental illness with the weather, calling a cat “schizo” or what have you. They are wrong for a lot of reasons. The number one for me at least is the fact that my life is so consumed by my illness. I want to be an advocate for others to have a healthy relationship with their illness BUT I will spare no honesty.
It is with me always. Sure there are times where I am relatively stable and I may forget for a while but I take medication every day. I schedule appointments and see all sorts of advertisements. There is no escaping it. So when someone decides to use bipolar to describe something broken they’re inadvertently calling me broken but folks the main point is you’re reminding me.
You’re reminding me of what I am so painfully aware of. I wake up with it and lie down at night with it. I understand (most) people aren’t trying to offend me. I understand people are ignorant and a lot of insults aren’t intentional. Not many people go out of their way, silently praying, hoping what they say will strike a personal chord with the person they’re making their brilliant description of the weather to.
If anything I hope after reading this you take with you one very important (close to) universal truth. Those suffering from mental illness don’t want to be reminded. (If someone needs serious help and isn’t taking their meds or anything that deems intervention then, of course, remind them.)
It’s such a private matter. Even though so many people use social platforms to talk about it, offer help and seek advice, that doesn’t mean we are truly comfortable being so public.
I am here and I am open to questions. I am also behind a keyboard. I can get up and walk away. I can take time to articulate my thoughts. I want to be of help to whoever is in need.
In return here are 10 new vocab words you can use to describe the weather…
10. All over the place
Photo Credit: unsplash-logoDorin Vancea