Time to showcase another video which was featured at TEDx Bratislava last week.
I’ve decided to add a personal story to this one, because it hit so close to home, and was all too familiar.
I loved Jon Ronson’s TED talk, not just due to his fabulous accent, wit, and charm, but because his message about going a little “label crazy,” is a strong one.
I mean, something’s not quite right when children are being labelled with bi-polar and ADD, ADHD, ADfrigginXYZ, and who know’s what else. LET THEM BE KIDS!
My personal story:
If you had the chance to read my first autobiography installment when it was online, you’ll remember that my mother was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder some years ago.
Being a genetic disorder, I panicked for much of my life that my bouts of depression would eventually worsen, and I’d too, end up with bipolar (which, thankfully, is under control for my mom, and she’s finally the beautiful and loving mother I missed out on as a kid).
Only two years ago, I was presented with a carefully selected DSM list by my ex-fiance, asking me if I fell under any of the traits on the list, & do I believe I have bipolar, or have I ever been diagnosed etc etc etc.
Livid, that this was coming from him, especially considering our situation, (we were parting ways due to external circumstances, and I though I had all the reason in the world to be depressed-he’d only ever seen me as “happy-go-lucky, so an external issue (his ex-girlfriend causing phychological and physical trauma to their infant son), became an internal issue, and something was wrong with me.
My answer was unequivocally, “yes,” I do believe I have some of those traits-but “who doesn’t?”
Back to Jon, the revised DSM list is at a whopping 374 disorders, which likely means, that yoú’re afflicted with something or other too. OR…?
Allow me to go a little further back in history. In all honesty, (and I’m really going out on a limb of honesty here), my ex-fiance, wasn’t the first to think something was wrong with me.
(In a nutshell), my marriage was failing long before my ex-husband and I parted ways, but in retrospect, (and no ill towards him, as he was dealing with his own struggles, which were linked to my depression, which was linked to me not fulfilling my life’s purspose), in order for us to exist cohesively as a pair, I had to have a label.Yes, “the label.”
There was a point in time where we went to see my mothers doctor. Desperately seeking a diagnosis, we each told him a few things (perhaps an appointment of 15minutes at the maximum), and he did indeed diagnose me with bipolar disorder (or something or other), for which he personally prescribed mood stabilizers and anti-depressants. We’d always been against the drugs, but finally, I had a diagnosis–hallelujah, and I popped the pills.
This would have been “happily ever after,” (or rather, my demise), EXCEPT, that I never believed I wasn’t ok. Depressed, and sick of my life, yes, but inherently, I knew I was fine. It was my own GP, who upon a physical check-up, asked me what was going on with me, really. I told her everything, and she said, “kid, it’s not you, YOU ARE FINE, let go.”
That conversation turned into one of the greatest dilemma’s of my life-do I stay and be “sick,” to salvage my marriage, or do I go on, solo, free of “mental illness…?” As you already know, I let go, and only much later, would we see that I freed us, and thankfully, we each got our lives back.
These days, I’m the first to admit that I have a little crazy in me. In fact I came home today and was running a million miles a minute with Janka, my dear sister, about my day and how incredible it was.
I proclaimed that I’m in a “state of mania,” and who the hell cares?! I’m incredibly excited, feel like I’m on fire and I must write!!!” (Maybe I”ll crash and be crying my eyes out in the next few hours or days, but I accept that wholly, that’s just ME).
We laughed and hugged, and with a big smile, Janka told me to “go write, you maniac.”
These days, that’s practically a compliment, in fact it is a compliment, but it wasn’t always so. It’s taken me a long time to get to today, free of labels, & illusions that society creates and reinforces in us.
If I were to be “examined,” perhaps I’d be labelled with adult onset ADD, or bipolar, or mania, or perhaps that I’m psychotic. I mean, I do tend to have “grandiose ideas,” and “an ïnflated sense of self-worth,” sometimes “I talk very fast, jumping from one idea to another,” and yes, I even have “racing thoughts,” as I get so excited…OR maybe that’s just “having dreams, and imagination, and being creative, and full of passion, and free spirited, and being high on life….” Ultimately, I choose my life.
Pardon my language, but seriously, F.U.C.K the labels, I’m so over them.
I love myself exactly as I am, and accept everything about me, the ups and downs, my vulnerability, my strength-it’s all me.
Phew…that was a mouthful, and the 10pm coffee’s not worn off yet. I feel I may need to dance before I close this day with meditation, and gratitude, for all things good and bad.
Crazy, hey…? Friggin bonkers, I tell ya.