Last night, as I posted my first article on the Mrs Bipolarity Blog, right before my Mrs Bipolarity Facebook Page went live I sent an email to about 60 of my closest friends and relatives. It opened with this;
Dearest Family & Friends,
Something big is about to happen, and I’m so excited, scared and nervous!
As you may know, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2002 following some very tumultuous years of rebellion and heartache (not only for me, but for my poor parents). It’s been eleven years since that diagnosis, but God has blessed me beyond measure.
In my heart I feel like the time has come to give back to the bipolar community and the community of mental illness as a whole, and beyond. I’m writing a book that will be a memoir/self-help of sorts…it’s still in the works, so more on that later. But the reason I’m emailing you today is to let you know I’m also working on building a platform that will bring focus to this cause that I’m passionate about: ending stigma against mental illness. If one in every four people suffer from mental illness, (which is the current statistic) then odds are that you have at least one (or more) people in your family who struggle with mental illness in some form.
And people, let me tell you my God is amazing. Something BIG has happened. I’ve received email after email, text after text, blog comments, Facebook comments and face-to-face encounters full of gratitude and encouragement, sweet words congratulating me on my bravery and even tears of understanding. Something BIG is already happening.
In the eleven years since my diagnosis I’ve come to terms with having bipolar disorder and I can truly say I even see a benefit to my life. Oh yes, that’s what I said. The biggest thing that’s contributed to my ability to embrace my bipolar disorder is helping other people. To embrace it, is to pay it forward. Bipolar disorder has molded and shaped me and made me who I am. And I can’t change it, so I might as well embrace it.
In embracing bipolar disorder, AND now truly being honest and OPEN, greater things are still to come.
I love all of you and endlessly thank you for your support.
Writing through happy tears,