Be A Teacher, Not A Scapegoat

drama

Drama sucks. Let’s all take a break from this drama and talk about something much more interesting.

It seems like people lack that in the world today, the gift of being interesting, from my perspective.

I’d like to bring to everyone’s attention something that was brought to my attention via email last night.

As I’m sure everyone has noticed, I have a loud (writing) mouth, and I will say what I think, what I experience, without regard for people’s feelings or thoughts because I truly value truth and honesty over people’s histrionic emotions.

That’s not to say I don’t care about all of you, it’s just that if you come at me with something stupid, I’m going to tell you it’s stupid. If you’re telling me a fact that’s wrong, I’m not going to appease you. I’m going to tell you it’s wrong and I’m going to back it up with concrete details. That’s a quality you should look for in your friends, I believe. If you’re a person who, you know, likes that kind of thing. Friendship, I mean.

And, as I’ve probably stated before, one of the purposes of this blog is to also be a safe haven to bring to people’s attention the truth about all different types of mental health issues, not just mine. Sometimes I get bored talking about myself.

That being said, I give a shout out and a thanks to Nicole over at Healthline.com for 1) giving this blog her attention and for 2) providing me with this graphic:

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I’ve also included the graphic in one of my far older posts: “What’s your neurological disorder?” . In case you don’t know about that post (most of my new followers probably don’t go trotting around my posts from three or four months ago), I decided to bring it to the front of the line today.

If you don’t know about Heathline, it’s got information on how to find a doctor, it’s got a pill identifier, and much more information on health related topics. It’s got news: the bad stuff with the good stuff. It’s got the tobacco industries being sewed over the cancer causing chemicals in their E-Cigs and it’s got the topic of racism being bad for everyone’s health. It’s like much more poised and classy version of Web M.D. If you haven’t checked it out, I’d suggest moseying on over there. You might find a topic that interests you.

Those of us who struggle with our mental health issues, and of course those who experience Bipolar symptoms, can sometimes be baffled at how ignorant the general public is of mental health in general. Considering we all have brains, I’m even more baffled at people who are bewildered when I mention something like “neurotransmitter”.

They do this:

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And say “that’s a big word”.

No. Not it’s not a big word. A first grader could spell Neurotransmitter.

Me as a first grader could spell Neurotransmitter. I can’t speak for the rest of you.

The point is, the general public is severely under-educated. And if you’re bogged down with mental health symptoms, if you’re stuck in your house all day or find it too stressful to work or you just have trouble seeing any advantage at all in struggling day after day, I’m giving you the title of a teacher right now.

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Someone needed to teach you math before you could be an engineer. Someone needed to teach you physics before you studied quarks.

There’s nothing wrong with being ignorant. In fact, I love ignorant people. Keep in mind, the literal definition of “ignorance” is “lack of knowledge”. What’s wrong with lack of knowledge? It just gives you a chance to learn, and the ability to learn is one of the greatest gifts life provides us.

When people are clearly ignorant in your face, when they think your psychosis makes you a murderer or your agitation at a parking ticket is “your Bipolar side coming out” (dude, I don’t know, people say that stupidest things), don’t get mad at them. Don’t be me; don’t punch them in the face and make a snide comment like “No bitch, that was my Bipolar side”. Don’t then kneel on the ground and keep hitting them through their chocked, worthless apologies while saying in perhaps the calmest voice you’ve ever mustered: “Oops, there it is again. Damn, again. Man I’m so sorry, my Bipolar is just so active today!” 

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Don’t do that. Don’t perpetuate blind stigma. Yes, their words might be offensive. Always remember there’s a difference between someone knowing the facts about disorders but still blurting ignorant statements and someone who knows no facts about disorders and reiterates only what they’ve seen portrayed on T.V. Particularly Lifetime. I’ve seen some pretty bad ones on there.

I’ve seen some good ones. But a lot of bad ones. They stick too closely to stereotypes and too loosely to truth and reality all for the sake of drama.

Instead, teach them. Remember you experience a world they’ll most likely never get a glimpse of. Your job isn’t to beat sense into them, although sometimes that seems like the easier route, your job is to provide them with as much necessary information as you can. What they choose to do with that information, how they choose to process it, and whether they choose to take it seriously or not is up for them to decide.

You won’t beat stigma by getting laws passed. You beat stigma through education of, specifically, the general public. There are way more people there then there are in congress and all the other lunatic asylums of the government.

Oops. I mean government institutional establishments. *Ahem*.

The more of the general public that is on our side, the more allies we have when we finally do approach capital hill.

So I encourage you, especially if you’re someone stuck in a rut at this moment, to teach. Inform someone. Do it with firm confidence but soft demeanor. Show them the opposite of what they see on television and in the news. Don’t just talk about it. Don’t hashtag on Twitter, don’t say “OMG, people are so rude!” on Facebook and post a picture of you with your prescriptions or whatever that one day trend was.

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You don’t want a one day trend. You want something that can last a life time and, if you haven’t noticed, memories and thoughts can last a very, very long time.

That’s the purpose of that graphic way up there. It informs you of things. I’ll keep my personal opinion of particular parts of it out of this, because the principal of the matter is what counts here: inform, inform, inform. Create your own graphics. Post that on your Facebook instead of your face and a fucking orange bottle. 

Sorry, sorry, the aggressive side of me is just begging to get out today. I don’t let him play around much anymore, and after last night’s drama he’s been itching for a taste of the world again.

Most importantly, tell your story. Don’t tell it for dramatics, don’t tell it for attention or sympathy or whatever else you can get out of it. Don’t tell it just for you. Tell it for everyone. Because your story is a truth for you and perhaps a truth for many. Maybe some of those many don’t have the courage or the ability to tell it like you do.

You never know who it might reach.