Tuesday 19 January 2016

Illness and Vulnerability

I have lived with bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia for over twenty years. For a long time I was full of rage, and sought any kind of fixing.

I went to the woods of Maine for a year to find my baseline. What I found was acceptance, within myself. My illnesses were no longer a problem.

Coming back into the world was much more difficult. I suffered stigma, rejection, and horrible ostracization, especially when I was in full blown mania and most needed help, despite precisely following doctors’ orders and taking all steps for self-care. I would get so mad about people’s misunderstanding me and what I was dealing with.

In time, I began to focus on the tiny bits that were good in my life, without expectation. Funny thing is, those tiny bits grew. Now, I have a small circle of diehard friends, and an ever widening circle of those who get it.

As Brené Brown says, “Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.”

Thanks Brené!!!




  1. There's a lot of wisdom in that.

    I believe in being kind, but it's definitely not our job to fix anyone. They'll either respond to your niceness or they won't. :)

    1. Hi Lydia - thank you for taking the time to read our blog and to leave a comment!

      I agree with what you say about it not being our job to fix everyone (or indeed anyone). Our job (responsibility) is to be kind, as you say, and to not make things harder for people, by paying attention to how we relate to others, and being aware of stigmatising, discriminating and hurtful behaviours wherever we become aware of them.

  2. Exactly, Marty! And you're welcome. I hope you have a great day.