On Speaking Out

On Facebook yesterday I posted an amazing article by a woman who lives with Bipolar II Disorder (like myself) who struggles with self-stigmatization and shame (like myself). (http://m.thestar.com/#/article/life/health_wellness/2015/02/27/im-writing-this-because-i-dont-want-to-die-jowita-bydlowska-on-shame-and-mental-illness.html)

I have been very open with my friends & family on FB and in person about the challenges with this mental illness I face…being open though doesn’t mean it is easy to do so. “…never easy to declare publicly or with your nearest & dearest etc…I struggle with stigmatizing myself every. day. Add to that the fact that I’m on Disability?! Sssshhh! Hush yourself! I feel like I’m broken somehow. It’s not easy but I try. Speak up & out anyway you can, despite the fear. Do it for you 💜” were the words I wrote to accompany the post.

Then, something beautiful, unexpected happened…flowing words of love & support in response…one comment in particular I present to you below. Blew me away. May you also find inspiration and solace in it too.

“Give us permission, through you, to have a flaw, because flaws are the norm. When you hide your flaws, you teach us to hide ours. I love to say that we are just waiting for one teacher, just one, to give us permission to be who we are now. You appear as this, big or small, straight or bent. That’s such a gift to give. The pain is in withholding it. Who else is going to give us permission to be free, if not you? Do it for your own sake, and we’ll follow. We’re a reflection of your thinking, and when you free yourself, we all become free.”
~ Byron Katie, Author
http://www.byronkatie.com/

My friend Maggie concluded by saying:
“Been at the mouth of that whorl, Julia, love to you for speaking it for so many of us! xo”

So…yeah. I feel humbled, grateful and emboldened. I am going to continue to speak up and out for the rest of my days because it appears it does help others. The best reason to have this illness.

Peace, love & light,
Jules

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It's a clear day in my 'hood...february 2015

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41 thoughts on “On Speaking Out

  1. smilecalm says:

    wonderful introspection, Julia!
    for a while i was worried about you
    but now i’m comforted knowing
    you’re normal
    just like me πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. kiwiskan says:

    Well said! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pattyalcala says:

    You are doing a wonderful service for others who suffer the same pains that you do. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kbailey374 says:

    Wow! am going to give you some more words, altho beautiful? not sure. Just want to say that self-stigmatization is a GREAT thing to call what I do to myself! I am very aware that it is shame because it makes me cower and whisper and feel “oogie” – but calling it self-stigmatization – that is awesome! My counselor tells me often that if I did not shame myself so much for having a mental illness, if I did not deny, if I did not accept – I would be free to have an amazing life. But even after all these years I stigmatize myself, just didn’t realize that was the term to use! so thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julia Manuel says:

      I don’t know if it is I just made it up lol. But it works doesn’t it. Thank you for sharing here with me…I love that word “oogie” I totally get that. Word love-in! ☺

      Like

  5. Hey my friend Julia,
    This is a very touching post.
    It brings awareness to the effects of all so-called outliers – differences, disabilities, deficits, diseases, deficiencies, deviations, dissonances…
    You’re doing a fantastic service not only to those who feel the same as you do, but above all to those who don’t, and for that can learn to be more understanding and compassionate.
    I commend you for doing that.
    Be sure that there are much more similarities than differences in this world where we led to believe that we should search for an utopia called ‘normal’.
    People just have different menus to describe their ‘deviances’, but no one is perfect.
    Be proud. I’m of you.
    Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julia Manuel says:

      Wow…thank you Lucile. You warm me fully. Normal is a word for weather lol not people. Have never fit inside the box and have never wished to, except as a kid when I was bullied, which is understandable. You’re right…we’re all perfectly imperfect ☺

      Like

  6. JC says:

    Very touching and beautiful. I know when I read this I am not ashamed of my shaking hand and the way I walk…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Julia!

    Liked by 2 people

    • sheldonk2014 says:

      Julia I don’t usually step to the plate all the time when it’s my turn to swing ,I will make statements with my poetry,but to flat out swing it’s hard on me.but for you, well…….I have suffered with depression,anxiety,panic,for more yrs than I wish to admit,I am a survivor of suicide,I have conquered a lot of my demons but there are always there to make me aware that there isn’t a cure for what I have.sure people will try to put me into a square hole for I am that round peg but that’s them, I am clear about who I am,so for those who get in my way ,I have learned to go around them. I have come to far to let anyone or anything stop me. I know I can’t keep what I’ve learned unless I give or share my experiences with others, so I am letting you all know so……… Thank you Julia it’s you that has made my heart sing today,it’s you good people of WordPress that I now have a family and a community to which I call home, I thank you all for you love and support
      As Always Sheldon

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julia Manuel says:

        Sheldon…I am so moved by your truth. Again, I am grateful you feel supported enough to speak out…it’s never easy but it sure is liberating. I felt the same way when I first came “out” on Facebook almost 2 years ago now. I was terrified yet I did it anyway, I had to for me. The outpouring of love, support, affection was overwhelming. I haven’t looked back since. Thank god you are still here with us today. You are a survivor! There was many a time I wasn’t certain I’d be here today…I thank my lucky stars I am. So much love to you…sing songbird, sing!

        Like

    • Julia Manuel says:

      πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julia Manuel says:

      You’re most welcome luv ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  8. sheldonk2014 says:

    Thank you Julia for giving me this platform,this opportunity,to open up I feel a huge weight has been lifted by all of this,it’s what I have been working on for a long time
    Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julia Manuel says:

      Oh Sheldon..I’m so proud of you…grateful and honoured this post inspired you to unburden your load. Fir it surely is a burden when we are suffering in silence. We are not alone my friend…so much love & support here for you.

      Like

  9. sheldonk2014 says:

    If you stand Julia I will always stand beside you

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Julia, This is a courageous thing to do, making you vulnerable and strong at the same time. I am a bit of a fan of proverbs and I thought of a recent post of mine in regard to your situation you talk about here – it was a Chinese proverb: “If you light a path for somebody, it will also brighten your path” I hope that this is true for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. called2b says:

    Thank you Julia for honoring honesty and strength through your words and your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad you are surrounded by all these lovely friends! You totally deserved them dear ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sheldonk2014 says:

    Today has not been my day,I saw your post but did not comment,I’m sorry Julia but I just don’t have it

    Liked by 1 person

  14. sheldonk2014 says:

    I wasn’t worry I just wanted to let you know,I know we talk every day,so l just wanted you not to wonder where I was

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julia Manuel says:

      That’s really kind of you S ☺ thank you.

      Like

    • Julia Manuel says:

      It’s been an okay day today. Took a shower that felt good. As you know depression and self-care don’t exactly go hand in hand so it was a win for me. The weather’s getting better been sunny all week…so yeah, starting to feel better. And I’m joining a choir with a friend of mine! I need to sing again.

      Like

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