Bipolar Disorder is often represented with the Drama Masks of Comedy & Tragedy. These masks very effectively characterize My life as a performer...and as someone who lives with a mental illness. I have discovered that there should be no shame in sharing my story, as it may inspire others to do the same.
I know a little something about living with physical scars...I have a some 'rippers' from being under the knife a few times, but it's the scars of the heart and mind that are most vulnerable. Our wounds leaves scars...but those scars tell the story that we have survived a battle!
Illness does not define who we are - Strength and Courage does.
Mental illness can be lonely and isolating. Keeping up appearances for our family, friends and acquaintances, can be exhausting. Presenting as 'OK' or healthy...when you are actually unwell, is punishing to your already weary mind - and soul. Keeping silent about our mental health is harmful, but unfortunately, stigma towards mental health issues keeps many suffering in silence.
Stigma associated with mental illness can be all consuming for the sufferer. Ignorance, based on fear most likely, can be like a cancer eating away at a person's self esteem and self respect. Talking about mental health is the driving force behind the eradication of such stigma. Not so long ago the word 'Cancer' was said in whispering tones because of the awkwardness or pending doom surrounding the subject. The anti-cancer campaign took off like a rocket, and now there are more awareness groups and fundraisers for cancer than any other cause - which is brilliant!
Eliminating Mental Health Stigma
Speak out...Use your voice...Share your story...Step up...Get involved...
Be informed...Be supportive...Educate others...Don't discriminate...
We all can play a part in helping to extinguish stigma. Act Now!
COURAGE & HOPE
If You Can't Fly - Then Run
If You Can't Run - Then Walk
If You Can't Walk - Then Crawl
But Whatever You Do
You just Have To Keep Moving Forward
Martin Luther King Jr