Bipolar II, blogging, mental illness, Writing

Thank you for the little slice of hope, Mary Lambert!

 

I’m one of those people who constantly has music playing; especially in the car.  In fact, every year for Christmas, my husband renews my Sirius Satellite Radio subscription because he knows that it’s the perfect gift for me, both for my entertainment and my safety.  I tend to get REALLY sleepy while driving and loud music, blasting cold air conditioning, and a self-inflicted face slap are often needed to keep me from drifting off into dreamland and into the wrong lane.

If you lived near me, you might pass me in my electric blue Sentra, singing my heart out, not caring whether or not I look or sound like a complete fool.  I could also quite possibly be showing off some of my dorkiest dance moves–the kind that used to make my daughters duck down and beg me to “sit still” while we were stopped in traffic.  Now, as adults, they’ve given up trying to tame me, and just dance along with me.

Today, while driving to the hospital to pick up at at-home sleep study monitor, in order to find out if my weight loss has lessened my sleep apnea, I heard THE most awesome song; Mary Lambert’s, Secrets.  It didn’t make me sing, or dance, and it wasn’t even the most inventive style or melody sequence, but the simple lyrics really spoke to me–and I’m sure a lot of other people.

 

“Secrets”

I’ve got bi-polar disorder
My shit’s not in order
I’m overweight
I’m always late
I’ve got too many things to say
I rock mom jeans, cat earrings
Extrapolate my feelings
My family is dysfunctional
But we have a good time killing each other

[Pre-Chorus:]
They tell us from the time we’re young
To hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves
Inside ourselves
I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I’m over it

[Chorus:]
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are) So-o-o-o-o what
So what
So what
So what

I can’t think straight, I’m so gay
Sometimes I cry a whole day
I care a lot, use an analog clock
And never know when to stop
And I’m passive, aggressive
I’m scared of the dark and the dentist
I love my butt and won’t shut up
And I never really grew up

[Pre-Chorus]

They tell us from the time we’re young
To hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves
Inside ourselves
I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I’m over it

[Chorus:]
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
So what
So what
So what
So what
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)
So what
So what
So what
So what

(I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are)
So what
So what
So what
So what

(Lyrics Courtesy of AZ Lyrics)

The chorus is spot-on.  Most of us are told from the time we’re young to keep quiet about what society would consider our flaws, our struggles, and the things that make us appear to not measure up to the rest of the general population.  So, the majority of us, live our lives with our story always looking like a fresh coat of paint.  The problem is, behind the shiny surface of the paint we’re crumbling. Secrets hurt and it’s mostly the beholder who suffers.

It would be amazing to make admissions about ourselves without the fear of judgment, or ridicule from others.  Mary Lambert has her rightful share of celebrity and is most likely at a point in her life where she just doesn’t give a flying f*ck about the repercussions her confessions might cause (providing that her lyrics are true).  Most of us don’t have the cushion of fame and fortune to gently fall back on if our peers, or general society, find out certain things about us.  Take mental illness, as an example.

I’ve mentioned before that my youngest daughter has type-two bipolar disorder.  Fortunately, with proper medical care, medication, and the love and support of family, she lives a very normal, nearly symptom-free life. (She has a wonderful job that she’s great at, a loving fiancé, close friends, and is a very independent and capable young woman,)  Yet, I know from the past nine years of experience, since her diagnosis, bipolar disorder is sometimes the crumbling beneath all of our shiny paint jobs, especially hers.   By her choice, only her immediate family, fiancé, and doctors are privy to her diagnosis.  Now, of course, my husband, older daughter and I have talked in confidence to other people about her diagnosis, however, those people are closest friends, counselors, family, (and a few hundred blog readers).   This secret that we keep, isn’t because of shame; we’re immensely proud of her accomplishments.  We hold her disorder close, because we fear the repercussions of society.  Schools require  health information forms,  that include a list of all medications that a student takes and the reason for that medication.  Job applications often ask potential employees to answer this question:    “Do you have any conditions, physical or mental, that would keep you from performing this job?”  Even our state Department of Motor Vehicles requires that a person reveals whether or not  they have a mental illnesses, along with clearance from their physician in order to get a driver’s license.  I realize that the nature of these questions is, in part, to protect public safety.  I also realize that a truthful answer can cause devastating consequences in terms of gaining employment and furthering one’s education.

In a perfect world we could share our secrets about mental illness, and maybe once those secrets are out, a vine of hope and acceptance can begin to grow.  A healthy dose of acceptance would lead to less fear when it comes to seeking treatment, and more people living a healthy, happy life, like my daughter.

This leads me back to my gratitude to Mary Lambert for merely using the words “bipolar disorder” in her song.  Not only does she sing them, she’s singing them with a smile on her face, ( if you watch the video.)  People like me, or the kid down the street, or a person halfway around the world will belt out those words in their car, or shower, or in their kitchen while they’re making tea.  Suddenly, “bipolar disorder” won’t sound as secretive, maybe people will even begin to see that you can lead a normal life with it, and other mental illnesses.   Just my thoughts for today…

Oh, here’s the video!  (You might be redirected to You Tube to watch it)

 

What issues would you like to see become less of a secret?

 

8 thoughts on “Thank you for the little slice of hope, Mary Lambert!”

  1. Your daughter is one lucky lady to have such an amazing, loving, and compassionate family.

    Secrets, my mother has Epilepsy. This information was kept a secret from her 2nd husband for years. It wasn’t until they attended a wedding with a disco theme that included strobe lights that he found out. Why a secret? While she was growing up Epilepsy was not understood and the rejection that went with such a disorder was humiliating. Also, when mom was growing up it was believed that people with epilepsy were not as intelligent and not able to comprehend as well. With life long medication and awareness she has led a healthy life. Out of respect for our mother we don’t share her secret unless she says it’s ok.

    What issues would I like to see become less of a secret? Epilepsy

    Maria

    1. Wonderful answer! My best friend had epilepsy throughout her childhood and young adulthood. It was finally discovered that it was due to a hormonal imbalance and corrected.
      I’m so glad that your mom has led a healthy life and is doing well. I completely understand your keeping her secret. 🙂

  2. The things people accept as fine and dandy vs the things they judge harshly is at best baffling.

    Here is why your post meant a lot to me: I went to live with an aunt and uncle at age five due to my mom’s mental health issues. The message I received as a child was I must never let myself be like my mom. And the adults around me made it clear it was in my power to control. Well sometimes you can out pace the truth but at a certain point truth just may corner you. I experienced a major depression about 13 years ago. Thank goodness for the fact medicine and attitudes had improved from the early 1960s. Things were good until my husband had a major health issue this past fall. The stress sent me into hypo mania. So here I am at age 54 newly ( 8 months in) diagnosed as bipolar. Thank you for promoting an acceptance that removes fear of mental health conditions.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story; I’m honored to hear it. I’m so very, very glad that you found the help you needed when you needed it. Medications are amazing and fortunately bipolar disorder has a really good prognosis for a normal life when medical care is properly followed. Luckily, my daughter is great about visiting her doctor and taking her medication (lithium) on time. I don’t know if your doc has mentioned this, but in addition to her medicine, my daughter’s doc recommended that she take a women’s daily vitamin, a B-100 supplement, and fish oil. Studies have shown they help with depression.
      I hope your husband is doing better, and that you’re finding your way around this new diagnosis. If you ever have any questions, feel free to email me. My daughter’s symptoms began at 14 and she was nearly 16 when she was officially diagnosed. She’s now 24. Things were rocky before her medication, but afterwards she’s flourished. I’m sending tons of good thoughts your way! 🙂

      1. My husband made a full recovery from a cerebral hemorrhage. He is now taking much better care of his health than before his crises. Much of the stress I felt was that I live in a rural area and do not drive so had to depend on friends for the hour commute to the hospital and all other errands. And because my husband had optic nerve damage at first we were still without a driver in the household for the first month he was home. My G.P. even thought the Lexapro I had been on for unipolar depression may have been the main cause of the mania. She was very hesitant to make/accept the bipolar diagnosis but given a screening questionnaire by the phychaitrist who now manages my meds and my mom’s mental illness I had to say ‘oh, yes!’ I just have to accept that I could not help “falling apart” as my as my pride says “why couldn’t I have been grace under pressure, after all people face worse, and my husband is as good as new now” Wishing that is as silly as a St Bernard wanting to be a Greyhound — my logical side knows, but I am not always so logical. Thank you for sharing the info about vitamins and supplements.I will look into that further. I am on a generic version of Seroquel. I had been told fish oil supplements could raise A1C but it will be worth asking again. Having symptoms and getting a diagnosis during adolescence is very tough — I watched a close friend go through that with her adoptive daughter. Hey I am just juggling mine with perimenopause.

        This exchange has really made be feel good. Thanks.

      2. You’re so welcome. I’m glad your hubby is doing better and it sounds like you are, too!
        I know a diagnosis like this is hard to come to terms with, but it does get easier. Now perimenopause–is another story!! LOL! I’m going through it too! Hot flashes and night sweats are so much fun!
        Take care of yourself and have a great rest of the week! 🙂

Comments make me reappear!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s