*My “Silver Linings Playbook” Of The Stigma In this Country*


WOW!…..Was that really what I looked like before I was diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 symptoms and Panic & Anxiety disorders?  So my hubby and I watched the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” with Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Jennifer Lawrence last night. Now for those of you who have not seen this film, I won’t reveal much, but it is about a guy who was undiagnosed with Bi-polar with high mania.

He has a blow up regarding his wife, and takes a plea of 8 months in a mental institution, instead of jail. He lost his wife, his job, home, and while in the mental institute he finds he has full bi-polar. That’s where the movie starts at. His father also suffers from it, and OCD. He decides to “Skip” the meds he spits out, and begins a journey of finding the *Positive Silver Lining* in al he does, as he starts to rebuild his life.   SEE,  I don’t like really sharing this part of my life, because of “THE STIGMA” in this Country about *Mental/Emotional illness & Addiction* And I do BELIEVE it is high time this CHANGES!

So, the reason why I made the statement about, “is that what I looked like”  is because in a couple of  area’s in the movie, I could relate to the way he was acting, I to had done the same things before I started on medications. It was an uncomfortable experience watching it. I though, don’t have High Mania, I have more manic-depressive symptoms. After the movie was done, my hubby and I talked a little about the movie, and how it related to me before I got diagnosed. I to had a bad incident that landed me in the hospital with cuts on my arms and wrists, then was sent to an Addiction. Mental Crisis Center for 15 days, with the first 4 on suicide watch. My mind just went “BLACK”…….

I don’t remember being taken to the hospital by ambulance, until I woke in the crisis center. See, I had also had a very BAD RELAPSE of gambling addiction. I’d just lost 2 of my best friends to cancer, and I was to go that to her Memorial service, instead, I went and gambled at a casino for HOURS. Then got home and I just Snapped! I was on the phone with addictions councilor, which I don’t even remember calling her, and she called the police to come check on me because she said I was talking about killing myself. I’m still ashamed of that day, and all that followed, but……it’s my REALITY……and I only talk about it because I don’t want this to happen to anyone ELSE.

So, while in the crisis center, that is when I was first diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 disorder, sever depression, and Panic & Anxiety disorder. I was started on medications and therapy. It was a very “Dark” period of my life. I was using my gambling addiction to “Escape” from not feeling anything! Using it to cope, because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  Then, I made the mistake of taking my meds in front of my family one morning while I was down for a visit.

See, I live in Oregon, they all live in So. Cal.  After that day, they started treating me “different”…..like there was something wrong with me, or I was some mental freak or something. This was in 2002. Then in August 2003, my mom passed. Same thing happened again when my husband and I went down for my mom’s funeral. They treated me different, like I was going to go “Postal” or something. And, my husband noticed it as well.  After coming home from our visit and mom’s funeral, my father was going to come up to Oregon in a few months for a visit with me & my husband. Well, I guess he changed his mind, went on a cruise instead with my sisters instead, and I have not had any contact with my father since then. I called many times, no returns call. My 2 sisters didn’t call or talk to me either.

I thought, “what the HELL……what did I do to them???……So, after months of no calls or contact, I wrote my father a long letter to explain how all this made me feel,……NOTHING!  Didn’t hear a word back.
It’s been 9 years now………so I ask? What Father Does this to his Daughter?  SO…..NOW you know why I say that the “STIGMA” around Mental illness and Addiction needs to change. How???  I don’t have the answer to that question……Maybe it needs to be talked about openly with family, friends, everyone.

We don’t live in a generation where if someone has mental and emotional illness that we lock then away in an INSTITUTION any longer because they are *Different* and ignore them as if they don’t MATTER.  We live in a generation that “EMBRACES” all people, with any disability, and treat them like the *Human Beings* they are, who have *FEELINGS* and just want to be *EXCEPTED* like everyone else. All we ask is to be treated Normally. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask for now is it??

My intentions are not to hurt anyone’s feelings, I’m just VERY Passionate about these 2 subjects, and feel deeply that it’s time to Change people’s attitudes around these issues.  “As DR. Seuss once quoted, “WE WERE NOT BORN TO JUST FIT IN, No, WE WERE BORN TO STAND OUT!”  *A Good Man with Positive Advice* *TELL YOUR KIDS YOU LOVE THEM…TODAY**

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