I thought I had found a great group of people to surround myself with to discuss and share experiences with empathic abilities. I learned something today though, I found my passion. I thought my passion was using my gift of empathy to help heal people, but instead I found my passion was using my gift of empathy to help people by way of advocacy.
A discussion was brought up asking how many people suffer from emotional issues/disorders. I of course chime in with my bipolar diagnosis. Because I am not ashamed of it, it is part of who I am. Others shared their diagnosis’ as well. And then the non-believers chimed in. And my fire started burning.
Of course, this was all coming from a loving place (sarcasm). People didn’t believe in labels because it” diminishes” individuals (to which I played devils advocate and asked “isn’t calling yourself an empath putting a label on yourself? I find nothing demeaning with most labels, I find them descriptive.” of course, no one had a come back for that). Then there were others that believed that “psychiatrists do nothing but put labels on people and throw medications at them to make money”. And my favorite – “Bipolar is not a disease or disorder, it is just a way of being, like being bisexual”.
Of course I point out that bipolar is a medical condition where you have a chemical imbalance. I got… “Oh, are you a doctor?” smh… “No, just an educated patient.”
With all of the people that had mental health diagnosis’in that group, this was a very harmful environment. You never know the stability of who is on the other side, and to make remarks about “medication is not needed”, these are not “real diseases”, “I am cured of such and such because I went completely off of meds”…. just not a good environment at all.
But it reiterated some things for me. Stigma is super strong. I think for a little while I thought stigma was changing, because I have been surrounded by all of you lovely people here in my cozy part of the blogverse. I need to focus my energy on advocacy. This is where my passion truly lies. It is a super sensitive subject for me, it is like someone talking shit about my kids or a loved one; my hackles go up and I need to defend. And not just for bipolar disorder and depression and PTSD, but all of the mental illnesses. People have so far to go to gain a rice grain of understanding. And with the amount of mentally ill people there are in the world, we need fighters. I want to be a fighter, a defender, an educator, an ally.
So I’m going where this passion takes me. I am going blind, but I don’t care. I will use my hands to feel my way to where I need to be. I realize I can’t save the world. I realize stupid is as stupid does, and you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. But I also realize I can’t make a difference if I don’t try. So I will be trying. Trying my damndest to make a difference. I hope to have your support.