I have debated about writing those four words for quite awhile now. It wasn't until I read over on Crooks & Liars about an 18 year old schizophrenic boy being killed in his home by a police officer that I decided that now is the right time.
In the summer of 1987, after having attempted to kill myself, I was diagnosed as a manic-depressive (bipolar is today's term) with a borderline personality disorder. I was only 18 at the time and had graduated from high school that spring. Even after years of seeing a psychologist from seventh grade until my senior year, this was the first time I had been diagnosed as with a mental illness.
As with most who suffer from a mental illness, one wouldn't necessarily know that I am a manic-depressive with a borderline personality disorder just by looking at me. I try to dress nicely, am fairly well groomed and fairly well spoken. To be honest, I don't want anyone to know that I have a mental illness. All I want them to see is the facade of a "normal" person trying to make it through this world.
I don't want people to know the daily struggle I have fighting against both mania and depression. I don't want people to know that I can't stand being around people while still needing to be around people. (Wrap your head around that one.) I especially don't want people to know that I am not really employable for more than three months at a time and am currently seeking government assistance.
This is the blogger you have been reading. I am hoping that what I have been suffering through for over 30 years doesn't scare you off and I am hoping that by me sharing with you that I am mentally ill, that you have a better understanding of me.
National Alliance on Mental Illness