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True Power

" True power does not need arrogance, a long beard and a barking voice. True power is attained with silk ribbons, charm and intelligence"

- Oriana Fallaci in "Il Divo"


I’m taking my meds …. Now what?!

    This is a very common question for those newly diagnosed with depression and/or bipolar disorder. The answer is not that simple. Due to the fact we’ve dealt with an assortment of highs and lows throughout our lives, which one(level) do we choose to be our normal? What is normal anyway? My normal is/was/ used to be tons of energy, boundless optimism and a drive to take on the world. Ignorance is bliss.

    I've been officially dealing with the stigma of bipolar disorder for 13 years. Before that, I was just crazy. The more I dig into the world of mental health awareness, the more I see those suffering being lumped into categories such as ‘ill’, ‘nuts’, ‘unstable’ and ‘unreliable’. Not cool.  The major reason for this stigma(s) is that the ‘simple minds’ haven’t had the pleasure of feeling the wide range of emotions that come with bipolar disorder. They simply don’t get it. And when something in America isn’t understood, it is criticized………….and most likely “treated’.  Ride the storm, people ……….. it will always pass.

      The hopeless romantic, I believed that people are innately good.  My journey has taught me otherwise. They don’t mean harm. Society has taught them this. But when our presence poses a threat on their job, reputation and/or image, the easiest thing to do is ignor(ant) us. And that’s what they do. Get used to it.

     “What happened to Greg? He used to be such a nice boy”.

     Growing up, most of us tried to fit in. Be one of the ‘in crowd’. We often think - “Why do people look at me like this?”  The answer I’ve found is that we are intriguing, mysterious and constantly misunderstood. Could it be that most people want what we have? The ability to be spontaneous, creative and uninhibited usually brought only frowns and smug comments. So when we finally break, those same people come to our aid……”Are you OK?”.......”What’s the matter?”……. “You’re not acting like yourself”. After years of criticism and unanswered questions, we’ll get to the point of “You want to see crazy?! …. Watch this!"
This is when we go off the grid. We experiment, isolate and fight.  The timing of this revolution is never predictable, but absolutely inevitable.  My D-Day erupted when I was 33.

      Luckily I have a supportive family. It’s taken over 12 years, but I caught my snap. I refrain from judging my self-worth on the opinions of others.  I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I resist seeking happiness in external things.  Some of our brethren aren’t as lucky.  So when you sense a problem, pick up the phone. And be compassionate. Compassionate to those that won’t understand but are willing to help.


   Once we’re’ stable’, the real work begins. It won’t be easy, but it’s do-able.  We all need to recover from the social conditioning we’ve been made to believe is the truth. We need to re-invent ourselves and make a conscious effort to establish boundaries and trust the process.

    Communicate. Pay attention to your moods. Set goals. Try to be realistic. Never be too proud to ask for help. And seek advise from those that have dealt with depression and/or bipolar disorder first hand. We have felt your pain and would love to help.  


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