Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who's To Blame?

Have you ever heard the expression, "There's enough blame to go around"? Maybe, in an act of self-preservation, you have said, "Hey, don't
blame me", or its evil twin, "Who's fault is it?" You might have been guilty, or maybe not. It doesn't really matter. We are simply a blaming

society, and almost always we like to see the blame deflected off of us to someone else.

Being bipolar lends itself very well to the blame-game. The doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, sociologists and all the experts who study the issues and share their unique findings through a well-published paper, tell us the cause is ... well, actually ... it can ... well, we don't really know ... it varies. Wow, the studies that determined this are money well spent.

But they're right; the cause does vary. It could be hereditary, a gene passed down from some our ancestors. My great uncle "Happy" shot himself  in 1940, so I could have gotten the "unbalanced mental condition" from him. If that's the case I could blame my great aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents or cousin. What would be the point of that?

Maybe it's environmental, like when I was molested by my babysitter, or one of her friends or relatives, when I was three. Here I could blame her, my parents, or I could even blame her ancestors; maybe they were the fore bearers of the gene that made her act the way she did. Were the constant nightmares, fear and insecurity a sign of the coming storm, or an effect of it having already arrived?

See, we have plenty of excuses we can use. There is plenty of blame to go around. Actually, with all of our scientific knowledge, there is no  definitive cause. There is no way, other than speculating, to know the cause of our illness. If you don't know the cause, you can't possibly know who to blame.

Face it, your illness, regardless of where or who it came from, is yours alone. It is not like another's mental illness; it is uniquely yours. I challenge you to embrace it, accept it. Of course this does not mean to stop trying to get better, or stop making improvements on your life.

Before you can move on, you have to come to terms with the fact that you have an illness of the brain that can't be cured, only maintained. Stop trying to find someone to blame; there is nobody, not even you. Put this part of the mental illness to bed, and move forward. And, like me, make every day a new day. Make today count; you'll never have another.

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