I made an incredible discovery today while tweeting…I was feeling true joy! I’m reminded of a quote as I reflect upon the #mentalhealth community I’m involved in on Twitter:
True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance. Henry David Thoreau
This photo is of my sister and I. I can tell her anything about my struggle with bipolar 1 disorder. That is also true of the mental health sisters I’ve made on Twitter. The biggest challenge of having a mental illness is isolation and stigma.
We’re bringing our illnesses into the light of day. We’re learning more about mental health and the processes involved in getting better and living healthier and the pitfalls to avoid.
There is a lot of love and sharing in our streams because of this. And encouragement, and validation, and understanding, and compassion, and insight and laughter and tears. Lots of tears and sorrow some days.
Today I felt joy. One of my very favorite emotions. Joy runs deep. A chord deep within you has been touched when you feel joy. Two of my most encouraging friends: @DyaneHarwood gifted Author of “Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder ” a life changing book, comprehensively dealing with her journey through the jungle of the onslaught of postpartum bipolar disorder following the birth of her second child. The same way bipolar hit me! And Brandy @WellMentally another gifted writer relatively new to Twitter and the blogging world, tackling both voraciously and with great talent and passion like Dyane does her writing and her life. They were both encouraging me by pushing like on most of my tweets and I began to beam, smiling ear to ear with abandon and joy.
Not often does anyone with bipolar disorder 1 feel that abandon to self love that brings joy. Not often does anyone meet with so much approval on an ordinary day! Yet I did and do feel happiness and fun often … thanks to many amazing friends I have made in the mental health community and on Twitter, including @BipolarBattle, @bipolar_story, @bipolarnana1, and a dear friend from the fitness community who always supports: @planetshark.
I edit an internet paper. li daily called “Mental Health/Living Above the Madness.” It consists of different articles from various media sources that have been shared on Twitter. I spend a bit of money on it monthly so that it doesn’t just go out automatically based on the content sources and subject matter I’ve chosen. This way I can go through it manually before publishing and rearrange articles and take out any that are irrelevant or too dark, or mean, that I don’t think will help anyone. This subject matter can get very dark. Some days I read things I definitely wish I hadn’t!
The purpose is to educate, to beat the stigma, and to highlight some of the terrific information in the blogs being written daily.
Joy! Encouragement! Validation! Understanding! Compassion! Humor! Insight! Laughter! Tears of joy and sorrow! All can be found in the #mentalhealth community on Twitter. Please join us. Oh, and last, but not least…love, friendship and fun. So, come and learn with us RT and like what you read. #KeepTalkingMH #mentalhealthadvocacy #BipolarStrong
Thanks, @libbytalks (Libby Baker Sweiger)