Invisible Illness

I heard / saw somewhere that mental illness is an invisible illness.   That people with mental illness are not afforded the proverbial “ramps” they require in order to cope and survive in the world.  And whilst I would suggest moving stairs as a must have for anyone with mental illness, particularly up hill, it’s actually this suggested invisibleness which amuses me so.  You see, if you’ve ever met me, or anyone who is really chronically ill, let’s just say that there’s a lot you’d rather wish you didn’t see, because this chick with severe Bipolar is a very proudly uninvisible me.  Also, if you didn’t know, I would be worried about YOU,

I know that I am inappropriate, that I say the wrong things at the wrong time.  That my brain mouth filter does not work, no matter how many times I try and lodge the closest item into my mouth, to avoid the lithium language that well, lingers after it’s come out.  Yes, I have been known to be THE singular fart in an otherwise perfume factory.  In fact, this endearing trait is perhaps my only consistent thing I’m able to do.  Basically, the opposite of everything that is socially acceptable and done by everyone else.  I’ve had these extraordinary abilities since I was little.  Even then I would feel and experience everything at least 1000 times more than anyone else.  I didn’t have a precise meter to measure this, other than the fact that my siblings didn’t vomit each day they had to go to school, on account of the nauseating anxiety of being late.  It appeared at least through this example,  that I was gut wrenchingly experiencing something else.  Well at least literally, my little psychiatrist self in the making believed.

I am also the same person that will make you three different kinds of biscuits if you come for tea, will write / draw (with no artistic ability) a little note with biscuits I send to take home, I will share my last piece of bread. I also have an even more extraordinary ability which not all people have:  the patience and understanding to help you cry. The kind of cry that’s tucked away, the pain in teardrops no-one wants to see.  No mental illness is not all sadness – but it is in my experience about hard earned boundless empathy.  When you’ve felt the spectrum of emotion I have in my long short life, there are very few emotions I have not encountered. And although I personally flip flopped through my own experience, I am now a well-versed pro in how to deal with anything uncomfortable, clumsy, drowsy, emotional anything.

But no matter how uncomfortable the world may be with my unbridled display of emotion – or stigmatised madness – I am not invisible.  My experiences are not invisible.  My daily fight to conquer my mental illness is real.  And if my eyes look slightly dazed, it isn’t because I’m mad.  It’s because I’m TIRED.  I am taking a nap, while standing, looking at you.  Yes, I have mastered this art too. Because when insomnia is real, you can sleep awake.  I’ve done and do this, cigarette in hand.   I can sing, and I can cry, even within the shortest space of time.  I feel inappropriate feelings at inappropriate times, and if it’s hard for anyone to see or be around, they are infinitely unaware of how it is overwhelmingly amplified in what I can see and feel in me.

People with mental illness are not invisible, we matter, and how we feel matters too.  The world has done the opposite I think/.  Pretended that mental illness doesn’t exist, or when it does, it should be housed in the strait jacket of psychiatric hospital and disability stuff. ’cause in the absence of ongoing stability (we are programmed to believe we can and will relapse) we do have this:  an abundance of feelings we do and don’t like.  All. The. Time. And if you don’t understand it, just think about this:  you would never want to be, at a minimum, invisible.  Please don’t do it to me.  Be part of those who support us as opposed to those who don’t. I am 4M’s Bipolar Mom.

unsplash-logoGregory Pappas

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27 Replies to “Invisible Illness”

  1. I love this post. Do you accept adoption papers? In Native American teachings, you remind me of “Coyote” medicine. ‘Heyoka mom’ – A teacher specially designed to make people take a really good hard look at themselves by just being who you are. Those who take issue and judge because you don’t conform to the socially puppeted norm is NOT normal! No wonder your tired – there are too darned many in one area no matter where you go! Bless you and thank you for being you. Do you give lessons? I’m at that age where my age allows me the freedom to speak my mind, but I must say I lack the education.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. I feel bonoured to be a Heyoka Mom. I fully intend to use that phrase, like forever. I did not think that me and my ramblings would teach anyone. And I’d gladly give lessons if I knew what to teach!! Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your REAL writing about your life. Maybe if more people could truly connect with their emotions there would be less stigma in the world. I look forward to reading your blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much. A lot of people think I’m trying to be funny. Not actually. It’s like a national geographic serious documentary of a person with mental illness in the wild / world. Thank for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The truth is there is nothing invisible about mental illness. What people see is a fraction of how and what people with mental illness actually go through and feel. I’m not fighting them anymore. It’s wasting MY time.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Woah. I loved that post. There is so much I liked that I can’t even share my favorite parts. There are just too many and I can relate to absolutely everything you wrote. I know it, but you wrote it much more beautifully than I ever could. Thank you for this. I love loved loved it. Much love and hugs, Sue

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AWWW Sue! I loved writing it. And actually it was just me telling the truth. Just me talking about the things that happen to me – some of which I wish wouldn’t. We all have hard earned experiences. Hugs and Love from South Africa

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. If anyone else with Bipolar felt like it described their experience, like it somehow penned what other people to know, I would be glad. WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We are definitely not invisible and we should NEVER be treated that way. People need to start talking about it as well because the silence is deafening and can wound deeply.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. If I am invisible it is somewhat because I try to be. I probably stay safe at home 80-90% of the time lol. Interacting online (WordPress and social media) helps keep me from feeling too invisible though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would prefer to stay at home too. Unfortunately my kids have this daily habit of needing to eat so I have to force myself outside. I usually think I’m ok to do so, until five mins before I have to leave / during the trip / doing something FUNNY when I get wherever. Don’t stop living because of other people. I’m not suggesting that living is only outside your home – but go, sit in the sun, Sit in a park. People with mental illness need as much sunshine as they can get.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, yeah, the whole kids have to eat thing can put a crimp in your plans 🙂 I do go out some, but normally only with my husband and not to big social events. We do go out shopping and out to eat, go to the park sometimes, etc. though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome. And honestly, the less we have to engage with the real world, the better. Well, that’s my take anyway. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this especially the line about relapse, I have anxiety and have had some episode in the past and it’s been almost a year since my last one but your right theirs always that feeling or relapse fear of loosing self control

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately that’s true. That doesnt mean that we are invisible, dont matter or that we shouldn’t live life to the fullest. 🤗

      Like

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