I asked my husband to read over a potential blog post today. After he read it, he said, "This is not your style." He pointed out that my writing style for this blog is very different than my other blog, Moving in With Dementia, and my preaching style. Interestingly, Jeff said the problem with the posts on this blog is that they are too preachy. No one ever wants a preacher who is too preachy!
My style is storytelling. When I write a sermon, I need a story first. No story, no sermon. It's just who I am. So, why is my style for this blog so different?
I am afraid to share my story.
I am not afraid to tell people about my bipolar disorder, and even share a bit about it, but I realized I am afraid to say too much. People with mental illness are judged so harshly that our jobs, family life, and friendships are at risk if people know too much about us. That is why most of us don't speak up.
However, the purpose of this blog was to let other people with mental illness and their families know they are not alone. Sharing our stories is what connects us, not sticking to just intellectual, heady talk about what is going on.
From my experience, having mental illness makes you feel like a freak. Heck, other people actually call us freaks. It is lonely, not only for me but for my husband and son. Sometimes it feels like we are the only people dealing with this because very few people actually talk about it.
So today, part of our story included being lucky that I even got out of bed this morning. Jeff actually got me to go for a walk, which was a big deal. (I was supposed to go running and just couldn't do it.) One of my great therapists said we were working towards having days when I don't wake up and automatically think "I hate my life." I have very few of those mornings, but I will keep working for them.