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Why I Share My Bipolar Story 2
|May is Mental Health Awareness Month|
Earlier in this month, I received a mail from International Bipolar Foundation informing me that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As I mused on all the wonderful things IBF is doing to ensure the objective for May is achieved, it dawned on me that sharing my bipolar story may just be an effective start to generating Mental Health Awareness in my corner of the world.
I have seen several persons diagnosed with bipolar loose very precious and reliable relationships because they were not sincere or because they were not wise about when and how to disclose the truth about their mental health.
Now, there are no specific rules or a customised way of going about disclosing the truth about your mental health. I will like to share some of the points that did help me, you are not supposed to adhere to this as a rule…no! These are not rules, they worked for me, they may or may not work for you, but the most important thing is that I want you to realise that
when you understand yourself and understand how precious the people in your life are, you will make a conscious effort to wisely share your mental health status with them so that they can help you.
In dealing with bipolar and mental illness in general, you will agree with me that going ‘solo’ is not the best way out, rather it is the fastest way to an untimely exit from life. So please:
1. Take time to identity your support group. Your support group could consist of individuals, a couple, a friend, or the people you have in your space who seem to want the best for you. They love you. I would advise you to put their love through the litmus test by reading I Corinthians 13: 1-8a. If you are convinced that they love you as prescribed in the above scripture (Please note that this love could be described as ‘tough love’), then you can consider sharing your bipolar story with them. In Coach Anna McCoy’s words,
‘‘Love is contending earnestly for the highest positive good, to be made manifest in the present time.’’
2. Be prepared to be vulnerable.I know you do not like the sound of this. The truth is that, every time we open up about some unpleasant experience we have had, we became vulnerable. Vulnerable to be misunderstood, Vulnerable to be taken for granted, Vulnerable to be gossiped about, vulnerable to rejection… the list is endless. But should we allow our vulnerability be the stumbling block to a life of purpose? A life of fulfilment and an opportunity to be helped while offering help to others?
3. Say the whole truth. I believe that half truth is no truth. If you have decided to share your bipolar story, then you must be prepare to look beyond the feeling of vulnerability and say the truth. Avoid a situation that will require you tell a lie to improve your social image.
4. Be authentic: By this, I mean be real. Being authentic elicits empathy from your listener. I mean EMPATHY, not pity. Empathy, is them putting themselves in your shoes, feeling your pain, your joy, your struggle, your push, your determination and will in turn lead your listener to start thinking of how he/she can make a positive contribution to your life.
5. Be discerning. Please, Please, Please you have to be very careful who you decide to tell your story to. Please prayerfully go about this. If you are not at peace with the thought of sharing your bipolar story, then do not hesitate to refrain from doing so. If you feel that your support group is ready to hear you with the belief that they will understand your bipolar story, without deliberately studying their non verbal language through their gestures, you are not discerning! At other times, the only way to discern correctly is to simply get a confirmation from the Lord as you pray.
6. Timing is Important: Feeling that your support group is ready is not enough reason to tell your bipolar story; you must be discerning and calculative about the right moment. The timing is as important as the message. If Naman’s maid had related her story to her ‘madam’ in a wrong timing I am convinced that she would not have received the right attention, she most likely would have been ousted.
In conclusion, I want to assure you that when you eventually get to share your bipolar story, you will be fulfilled and thankful at the same time. Fulfilled, because by sharing, you encourage yourself first and then your listeners. Thankful, because bipolar does not define you, because you dare to blossom and you will by God’s grace, blossom forth each day into a beautiful version of you.
My Name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a Full Life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your constant love and protection over my life. I ask that in your own way, you will make a way of escape for all who are suffering in silence and managing their mental health issues alone, father, divinely connect them to their helpers this Month, in Jesus Name, Amen. 1 Corinthians 10:13
I Corinthians 13: 1-8a
Coach Ann McCoy, author of the book, Woman, Act Now! www.womanactnow.com/
1 Corinthians 10:13
All scriptures used are from the King James Version of the Bible
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One thought on “Why I Share My Bipolar Story 2”
Every part of our story, our journey can be useful in the hand of a God like ours. That is why I love Him so much. Thank you for sharing your story with us and so many. I am confident it inspires not just I, Salt.