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
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,