My personal goal of starting this online journal was to be comfortable with being open. At the beginning, it meant sharing my struggles with mental health, and learning how to communicate my thoughts (from my depression diagnosis to my current bipolar diagnosis and everything in between!!). This was my form of shouting into the void, and getting everything negative out. I feel more comfortable doing that now, and I am able to discuss updates on my mental health with my mom, or make jokes about it with my family. I don’t get into the nitty-gritty with them, but overall summaries. Through the shadow people scare, I learned that telling people and reaching out ASAP meant my problems would be solved ASAP. In a way I guess it was also a test of me being able to get help when needed… which I succeeded.
That being said, I’ve distanced myself from my friends. I’ve never discussed my mental health with most of my friends. There are literally just 8 people, including my family, who knows about my current diagnosis because I told them. When I was in the hospital last year, some friends who had no idea I was having a major episode of depression, got a sudden text that I was in the hospital. They took the time and cleared last-minute schedules to visit me the next day. I felt like an asshole for seeing their concern and love, yet never opening up for these people whom I’ve known and trusted for years. It felt like I betrayed them and was a shitty friend, and they were a bit upset because it seemed like I didn’t trust them enough to share my personal struggles.
But I think in general I don’t like talking about my mental health. It doesn’t define me so why does it matter? I don’t want my mental health to define me, or people to say “Oh, there’s that bipolar girl”/ “OMG, that is Amanda, she has bipolar disorder”. I want my mental illness to be irrelevant like my favorite fruit, watermelon. No one says “Oh there’s that girl who likes watermelon”/ “OMG, that is Amanda, her favorite fruit is watermelon”. (On a tangent, I also hate being called short or referred to as the short girl. You’re just asking to be on my hit list. I am petty and will literally hold a grudge against you forever. I can still list the people who have made height jokes about me. Unless it is a professional environment I will not hesitate to let you know your jokes are not appropriate nor appreciated).
Anyways, I have an Instagram account ( upsidedown_turtle ) that is rarely in use, but connected to all my friends. Over the past month I’ve put the website to this blog up and down and up and down on Instagram because I was afraid. At first I was scared of being open about sharing my mental health struggles and having people define or judge me for it. But I’ve decided to let it stay for now. If people judge me for it in reality, so be it. I know who not to waste my precious time on. I have no time for people who won’t accept me and will not spend time convincing them to do so. I may take it back down in the future but for now it will stay.
That being said, those that do care can learn more about me, and choose to support if they want. I hope my friends understand that this is a gesture of me attempting to be more open/honest with them. I understand I can be distant and not good with conversations in person, but this is an honest view into what is going on in my life to make up for it. Life is busy, and I have little spare time, but catching up with me can be easier by this. Written communication is easier than verbal small talk. I hate small talk…. but this is a rant for another day.