For as long as I can remember, the thought that something was “WRONG WITH ME” haunted me. I felt defective, inadequate, incapable, marginalized, broken, worthless, and ashamed.
My brain didn’t process the same way others’ did. I was plagued by obsessions, intrusive thoughts, and distorted thinking that sometimes paralyzed me or hindered my ability to function.
I yielded to my obsessions and acted compulsively.
I had serious, chronic insomnia.
My moods shifted rapidly. I suffered from chronic anxiety and depression. My emotions we’re “unruly” and unpredictable.
I felt “less than” and “not a part of.”
All early signs of my Bipolar Disorder and Addictions which were to plague me as untreated illnesses until 1993. And they continued to bedevil me until I finally found the missing modalities of my Recovery in 2010.
Today I live with Bipolar Disorder and Addictions. I don’t survive in spite of them.
But when I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, mental illness was still horribly stigmatized. I lacked the vocabulary to describe my struggles, the courage to do so (in a shaming society), a safe person to share them with, or the tools with which to cope with them in a healthy way.
In my 51 years, I have observed and experienced progress and a degree of enlightenment about mental illness in our society. And improvements in access to treatment and tools. But our society is still mean and ignorant towards those with mental illness. And our system is still badly broken.
Love to all those who are taught they are defective and left to wonder, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME.”