Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stripped: Coming Out of the Mental Health Closet

What a weird weekend! lol I have gone from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. See, that’s what happens when you are Bi-Polar. Yes………I have mental health issues and I am now ready to talk about them and stand up and say: I AM NOT ASHAMED OF WHO I AM!

Over the weekend someone that I used to trust, gave my “big secret” away and told all of Twitter and the world I was Bi-Polar. She said this was the reason I was a hurtful person and that I was a, quote “loon”. It is this type of ignorance that has brought me here today to talk about being Bi-Polar/Manic and dealing with life and that for any one out there with the same issues, you too can stand proud.

So let’s start first with why I am Bi-Polar and have manic episodes. I will very shortly and quickly say…….. it is a by product of being abused both physically and sexually by my own Father from the first memory I have until I was about 12 or 13. There are patches I don’t remember because my brain keeps it locked away to protect me. In return, I have a chemical imbalance that makes be go from very high highs of happiness, to very low lows of depression. Depression does not make you mean. For someone to say that I hurt people because of my manic episodes (high to low) is pure ignorance. If I am mean to someone, I take responsibility for that. However, if I come out with the painful truth about someone who has hurt me and how they have lied, then that is just fact. Simple as that.

People who are Bi-Polar/Manic do not hurt others on purpose. In fact, many artist and people of creativity are Manic. They are very passionate about life and love and standing up for the truth and fighting for what is right. But yes, without medication and proper therapy it can be harmful. However, I have been on medication and seeing both and shrink and therapist for years now. Do I have issues? Of course I do. Do my meds need adjusted? Of course they do. This is something I will live with the rest of my life and deal with it on a daily basis.

For people who say ignorant things like……..we all know you are Bi-Polar Sean so that is why you are acting this way. Or, you are acting out, time for you to adjust your meds……..is just as cruel as saying……you are such a little faggot Sean or Sean you are such a drama queen. It is just as hurtful and just as damaging and just as mean as being homophobic. I would say it’s mentalphobic. (Think I just made up a new word there. LOL)

Millions of people deal with some time of depression or mental health issue. I am here to tell you there is NOTHING wrong with you and you are not alone. It is time we stopped hiding in the closet of shame and allowing people to make ignorant statements and make fun of people with mental health issues.

Along with those of us that are strong and face our issues……..there are MANY who do not. They are usually the ones that are the finger pointers and most angry with us. Because they do not know how to deal with their pain or loss or depression. They just simply lash out all the time. Refusing to admit they have an issue and get help. They are the ones I hope read this too and find strength to get the help they need.

A very wise young man of 17 once said to me, 'Sean having a mental health issue is no different then being diabetic. Just like if a diabetic didn’t take their medication they would get very ill…… people with mental health issues need that medication too to make it so they are not ill.' THIS, from a 17 year old boy. A 17 year old wise, SO WISE, beyond his years.

I allowed people to make me feel shame and embarrassed to the point that I was so hurt, I left Twitter. Something I found to be very fun and had a lot of people I loved talking too. But the hate was too much for me, so closed my account and I left. Maybe I will find courage to come back, maybe it is best not to. I have not made that decision yet. The point is, I allowed others to hurt me. I allowed them by giving them my power. A lesson to be learned and I hope others will know that no one can take your power away or hurt you unless you give them permission to. Sadly, I let them and gave in because I could not take the pain or embarrassment.

But I have received so many emails of love and support……….I realized, I have nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. Like being gay, this is a part of who I am and NO ONE has the right to make fun of me or others with mental health issues. Just as I would stand to the death to fight someone over gay rights……….I need to take that same stance and fight and not allow people to say ignorant things or treat me and others, like there is something wrong with us. THERE IS NOT! Just like a homophobe……a mentalphobe is the one with the issue…….not us.

So I stand there today. Not ashamed, not embarrassed and say to the world………yes, I am Bi-Polar, yes I have mental health issues and no…….there is not a thing wrong with me. I take medication and I am proud of who I am and so should everyone! I take back my power from those who chose to out me without my permission. I take back my power from those that made fun of me and said I was a loon. I take back my power to stand up for myself and say FUCK YOU to some people for being so ignorant and hateful to those of us in this world dealing daily with these issues. We work very hard to control daily and to remember to take our medication, to stay level and to keep our heads held high………for there is nothing wrong with us. It is YOU out there with the problem of not being more understanding and accepting.

To all my brothers and sisters that deal with depression or any type of Mental Health issue………join me today…….stand up and fight. Take back your power and when someone says something ignorant, call them out. Just like you would stand up for anyone gay or of any minority, stand up and fight. FIGHT for you and those who live and deal with the same issues. We are all in this together and its time people started to pay a little respect and take care with their words of hate.

May those that I have hurt forgive me, but forgive me for being an asshole. Not for anything to do with my mental health. There is a HUGE difference and may you also have more compassion and a better understanding now of what your words can do. For they are just as sharp as any knife that would hurt someone of any minority or that of the LGBTQ community.

Let love find its way in to everyone’s heart and I pray that people will take my blog here today as it is intended……..not to be preachy but to educate and hopefully help others.

Peace & Love,
Sean Patrick

"In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make" ~ Lennon/McCartney


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