Billings, MT USA
Let me ask you this.......
How many of you have a relative that has, or has had Cancer, Diabetes, or any other disease that is ongoing and life-threatening? I bet if 10 people were to be asked this question, 9 of them would raise their hand and say, ďI do,Ē or ďI have!Ē That is at the least... I would almost say that all ten of them would say that they do or that they have.
Now, let me ask you this......
How many of you have a relative that has Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorder (Manic
Depression), or any other kind of depression or depressive disorder? I think the statistics are just about the same as those asked about a relative with Cancer or Diabetes.
So, my real question is......
Why do people tend to feel embarrassed about admitting one and not the other? What
makes the Depressions and Disorders different than Cancer or Diabetes? Both people with one or the other of diseases is in a life-threatening situation. Both are struggling to just survive. Why are there foundations to help find cures for Cancer and Diabetes and none for those that need pills to just feel that they belong in society? (At least I have never heard of any heard of such foundations. Please let me know if you know of any.)
I will admit to the world that I have Bi-Polar Disorder, borderline Schizophrenia. I am no longer ashamed to admit this. I used to be. And to be honest, it is easier to admit this to people I have never met face-to-face. I have faced discrimination in the workplace because of my disorder. I have lost friends because of it also. I have learned to manage my disorder, thank God. And I no longer hate my pills because I depend upon them.
But my problem now, is this: I feel that I, and those like me, do not get the recognition
and the respect that they deserve for what it is that we endure. Can you normal people
imagine how it might be? Imagine this: Your life revolves around struggling just to get out of bed each day, because literally, you may be so depressed that you donít have
enough energy to even stand. You think about ending your life, but you donít have the energy to get out of bed, so how are you going to do it? And even if there are days that you can get out of bed and go some where, you canít think straight. Your boss yells at you for something that you did or didnít do, and you donít have any clue what he/she is talking about. You are constantly paranoid that people are talking behind your back or out to get you. I, personally, used to get anxiety attacks when ever I saw a police officer. I never did anything unlawful, but I was always afraid of being accused for something I didnít do. Imagine having to take a pill everyday just to feel happy, because without it, you would never know what true happiness was. I, personally, resented that fact. I
wondered why God picked me to go through the agony of it all. And one day, I swear He
spoke to me... because somehow I just knew that I was a strong person and not just any
one could deal with that monster that I battle every day of my life.
Cancer patients have their radiation and chemotherapy... Diabetics have their insulin... and I have my Lithium. Itís a battle for each of us every day not to end up in the hospital for one reason or another. Itís a battle for all of us to keep on living. Yet, Cancer patients and Diabetics get flowers and love... People just run away from me if I tell them. I have to tell myself that they left because they didnít know how to deal with it. I
have to accept the fact and tell myself that I will always be the only one who understands
how my mind works. However, I still long for someone to understand me and know me
as I know myself. Perhaps that is why I write poetry? I donít know...
I am not only writing these thoughts for myself alone, but also for those of you who know what I am going through. I want to give others like myself the respect and recognition for their strength and endurance that they highly deserve, but that I know they never get. I want to tell them to hang in there and stay strong. And I want you all to know that if you have any questions or concerns you are more than welcome to contact me. Please do so. I would like to offer any help that I can.
I donít want anyone to think that I am saying that we as manic depressives or
schizophrenics endure more than the next person. That is not my intention at all. I just know from first-hand experience the loneliness and longing. I only want to let at least one person out there know that they are not alone.
©1999 Erin Solari
"She looked at her life
like lines, never-ending,
reforming and bending."
[This message has been edited by ~one voice~ (edited 08-08-99).]