I’m writing a book, yes a book! I have been for a while… its quite cathartic, will probably never get published but it’s an interesting exercise non the less.
Here’s a little excerpt from one of the chapters…
There can be a certain risk in being open about a mental illness. You will be judged, ridiculed, eyed out, singled out, people will be suspicious of you, they will jump to conclusions about you and you most definitely will be discussed. These are the things I have encountered over the years… My best yet was when I was discussed in relation to a man getting intimate with me and a so called person said to him “you should be very weary you know… she’s mad!” Try telling someone that you’re not mad, its a difficult task to convince a person of this when you have a label. Even the Psychiatrists don’t trust you! Theres also the side of sympathy Oh shame, the oh shame bit. “poor Ashleigh, you know she’s not quite right in the head” Empathy and sympathy are 2 totally different things, I learnt this very early on in my life coming from a broken home in a catholic school environment. Yes a Catholic school. I attended St Theresa's convent Rosebank for 13 solid years and here people would feel shame for you not empathy, they had no way of putting themselves in your shoes back then. There were times when I felt like I was the charity case. Dad living in another country and mom working ’til all hours to make ends meet. Today this is as common as taking out the trash!
It was an interesting childhood to say the least, in fact its continued to be interesting and will probably not stop being interesting. The Chinese say “may you live in interesting times” well, yes and thank you, I think.
As far as disclosing my illnesses to people it does take on a double edged sword. At the moment I see myself as a functioning
Rapid Cycling Bipolar individual with Rheumatoid Arthritis and thats my deal.
To be quite frank, I’d rather have this deal than many other deals out there!
Thanks for reading