People tell you that the stigma of mental health is improving in Ireland. to a certain extent I agree and then there is part of me that just wants to laugh. I was your typical office worker, in a group environment where everyone heard everything. From what you were eating for lunch to who was kissing who in the warehouse behind the cameras LOL. But I experienced a massive mental health breakdown, everyone always told me how stressed I was and my home & work environment was not helping. When I left work and didn’t return for 2 years. It was the hardest thing I had to face, returning to those judgemental faces and having to explain my absence.
There is a certain world you familiarise yourself with, CBT, therapy, group chats, one on ones. Doctors, nurses, tests and more tests.
If you’re lucky you get better, you learn to work on yourself and cope with others around you. Find a happy medium with your medication and you got to get back to your working life. That’s just how it is.
I spent many a day looking at peoples profiles on social media and wondering will I reach out !!!! Will I tell them where I am, but that does lead you to have to explain yourself and always that leaves you open for criticism and gossip. Not what you want when you’re in recovery.
But I wondered, these friends and colleagues I shared my life with for nearly 6 years didn’t call. Didn’t text and didn’t get in touch, the only thing I can explain was that they were afraid of the stigma. On my return I noticed it also, I dare say I am one to shy away from speaking about my bi-polar. I embrace it as its become someone ive got to get used to just as much as them.
Their faces drop, the look at the ground, the don’t know what to do.
Yes I have to hear the derogatory slagging’s of “Jesus what are you bipolar” or the “I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown”. Needless to say I have to learn not to take these to heart. But Ireland WAKE UP, you need to learn about these ways in which we can assist and help one another. Not run away from it or look at the ground when someone tells you “I forgot who I was”.
We are the ones who have suffered in silence and refuse to let you gloat about of illness, we have got there finally and we are going nowhere.