We are living proof that something beautiful will arise from the ugliest days.
I’m honored to be a part of a dynamic community of writers living honestly, bravely and openly with Mental Illness. Stigma Fighters’ mission is simple: to fight stigma and bring understanding and hope to those who live with Mental Illness and those affected by it, one story at a time.
Yesterday, I was notified that my piece, “Honey”, was posted live on the site, stigmafighters.com. It’s a true, short-story about two people living with Bipolar Disorder that happen to fall in love during the obsessive throws of manic onset, only to come out of it with love and deep compassion for one another in the simplest of forms – friendship. This was about myself and someone I had met last summer, a relationship that led us through spiritual upheaval, hypomania, mania, psychosis, suicide attempts, recovery and finally … healing and closure. We are not the same two individuals we once were. We are stronger, wiser and braver. We are fighters and the story will not end there.
I am not one to necessarily state the obvious and I don’t even prefer the term, ‘illness.’ I am not an information packet that will spout off what mental illness is, the dangers and ways to handle ongoing recovery.
All necessary, but I tend to focus on the underlying stories that drive my own personal journey through Bipolar Disorder and attempt to write passionately about each. I focus on the silver linings and even humor, found within each episode and I am working on connecting the dots and reoccuring themes found through them all, in book form; not only to bravely capture the essence of something so wildly misunderstood, but to also heal and help heal the wounds of others from past trauma, abuse and that which is largely beyond our control.
Some may say that danger lurks in romanticizing mania. But, I find that writing poetically and passionately about it is the only way for me to accurately portray euphoria and quite frankly, it fascinates me and propels healing. I have yet to come across many that write candidly about it and I understand why. To write it out or to talk about it, is a brave thing indeed and I applaud anyone putting themselves out there to do so. We know all too well the resistance we face.
Today, I am proud to say that the CEO and founder invited me to be part of their latest collection of printed work – Stigma Fighters Anthology, Vol. 3. It’s been a long road trying to find my voice, fine tune it and courageously speak up for myself and others. And I’m honored to have been chosen as an author for this piece. I can finally say, after 38 long years of fighting this deafening silence within, that we are not only being heard, but we are also beginning to be understood and celebrated for that which I, and many others, have hidden for far too long.