Monday, June 25, 2012

Do you trust me? Then come, walk with me a while....

"Credibility is like virginity. Once you lose it, you can never get it back." - Unknown

"The more you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you will have." - Brian Koslow

Just so you all know, I normally type out my posts with all of these thoughts racing through my head, and sometimes it takes me a while to focus on what I'm really trying to say.  I've got that "gift" of the creative spirit, and I pride myself on being different.  Uniqueness is something I'm attracted to, and sometimes that creativity can be a curse.

And that, ladies & gents, is something I deal with on a daily basis: the "cursed" portion of being creative, unique, different.  For I, am a part of a fraction of the general American population who lives with being bi-polar.  Hell, even my nature of my diagnosis is uncommon.  I've been diagnosed with bi-polar I (one), rapid cycling, with OCD, anxiety, PTSD, and military sexual trauma.  My rapid cycling is/can be/has been accelerated at any given point in time due to life events.  Most people with a similar diagnosis experience rapid cycling over a period of days or weeks.  I experience it in terms of minutes, hours and days.  And if I'm not careful (meaning, if I don't take my medication like I'm supposed to), I can easily slip into a cycle and be so far into said cycle before realizing it.  So, as you may imagine, it is very difficult for people to take me at face value, or to even trust me, give me a little bit of credit for thinking or even having life experience to work from in varying situations.

There is a woman, who goes by the nom de plume of Natasha Tracy.  I found her on a website called HealthyPlace.  She wrote a simple little article back in March, that hit very close to home for me this week, about losing credibility as a person with bi-polar disorder.  Her article is straightforward, to the point and it left me nodding my head in agreement with everything she wrote.

For example, this week, I ran into an issue with my vehicle.  To make a very long story short, let's just say I had an issue with my power windows that I thought I could at least diagnose in order to save me money on getting the issue fixed. I proceeded to "diagnose" the problem, even going as far as dismantling the driver side door to take a look at the motor & cables for the window.  I've done this before on a previous vehicle, for the exact same issue, and according to my recollection, I thought a specific person taught me how to do this.

Turns out, I only got as far as dismantling the door before I figured out I didn't know what I was looking for/at.  I called the person in question, and we tried for several hours to figure things out together, all the while arguing about my knowledge of vehicles and what it was they taught me.  Eventually, the issue was fixed, if only temporarily, but I was left extremely angry, and upset because I wasn't being given the recognition for having a brain and using it to think things through given the situation at the time.

To be fair, there were several things I should have done, most of which included thinking things through a bit more, but to be honest, I was trying to solve a problem for myself.  Now that I've had a few days to reflect on it, I apologized to the person I dealt with for my car but I realized it was important to me to be able to complete this task myself so that I had some experience & credibility about the subject.  How else is someone going to learn something unless they actually DO it?  Whether the outcome is a success or a failure, you're not going to know unless you do it for yourself, right?  I didn't want to be seen as a helpless or weak female, especially when it comes to the subject of cars, and since I'm broke (as people with bi-polar may be, due to compulsive spending), it was important to me to save money as well as get the problem fixed.

But it doesn't stop there when it comes to the subject of credibility.

Just because I have a mental illness doesn't mean I can't think for myself, I can't have opinions that aren't colored by my illness, or that I can't function on a daily basis. When you're bi-polar, everything in your life is affected; the way you think, the way you act, love, care, eat, sleep, your relationships with people, money, all of it.  Yes...ALL of it.  There's no half-way with this shit, guys.  And it's not only the affects of the illness itself that takes it's toll on us, it's the lack of understanding and compassion that play a role.

But what frustrates me the most, what I feel is the most hypocritical aspect of the human race, is the unwillingness to try to understand.

I'm not sure how much more I can write on this subject of credibility without sounding like a broken record, or plagiarizing Ms. Tracy.  She's got one hell of a blog, I encourage you to check it out.  Hell, I may even become a member myself, and request to go ahead and post on their website too.  I don't know what type of perspective I can lend since there is someone else already filling that awesome role there, and doing it in fine fashion.  I'm just glad that I'm able to lend a voice, an ear, and a shoulder (or two) to others out there.

Thanks for reading!  I really appreciate you!

Peace, love & light!

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