Or something in-between?
We live in a culture that doesn’t like to speak about harsh realities. No one likes the words mental illness, they prefer mental health. However, it is clear that many people’s lives are left in tatters by the ravages of these disorders we don’t want to call illnesses.
Right now I’m very ill with rashes covering a good portion of my largest organ: my skin. They itch like crazy. Even if I control my urge to scratch them during the daytime, I will tear into them at night.
I’m still undiagnosed after many months of suffering. Steroid creams have been somewhat successful in defeating them. Prednisone, oral steroids would have stopped the inflammation in its tracks. However, due to bipolar, they are out of the question. They used to bring on mania when I had to use them for asthma years ago. Now my asthma is under control and I thank God, because when I tried them for this rash they brought in depression so severe, I was battling suicidal thoughts within a few days!
Now the steroid cream is bringing on depression in the strength needed to kill the rash. So I went down to a lower strength and proceeded to exacerbate the rash. Now I am back on the stronger cream, gambling that I can get rid of the rash before depression comes back too strong for me to deal with.
You may guess where I stand on the subject that has been debated on the blogosphere and on twitter lately… is bipolar a gift? Absolutely not. Nor is cancer, or autoimmune disorders which may be the cause of my rash… we’ll soon know…or any other malady that plagues humankind.
The in-between is the person involved. We’re all learning. Many from our maladies. We are the gifts. Our beautiful hearts are gifts from God as I see it, and they shine light and love and hope to others. That’s the gift. Friendship, caring, wisdom, love.
This makes all we are going through more bearable. Even though the price we are paying is very high for having a mental illness. The illness itself has ruined jobs, stressed marriages, hurt our children, cost us hours, days, years of suffering, lost time spent in hospitals…
,,,It’s a tremendous gift to know we’re not alone. Hearing other people’s stories gives us a will to go on like they are, courage to speak up too ~ and best of all ~ makes new friendships!
Love you ALL! Libby