To look at me, you wouldn’t think I was much of a bipolar success story. I can’t claim an impressive degree. I dress casually. You wouldn’t call me professional-looking which is the watch cry of our time. Bp Magazine won’t put me on its front page any time soon; I won’t be featured as a model of recovery. Many people will rush to judgement based on my sometimes slow demeanor that I am not very smart and in my low moods I am inclined to agree. I am a different face of bipolar disorder. My “fame” comes from industriously providing information and linking people living with the illness to one another. I do not seek to brand myself or put head shots out there as if I were an important personality who had beat the disease because I still live with it every day of my life. I have no secrets to impart, just my life experiences in which you might or might not recognize yourself.
Most people don’t. I am a bit of a freak.
This obscurity does bother me at times. When I read articles by bipolar pundits, they sound a lot like all the other bipolar pundits and I don’t want to be like that. Why don’t they look for people like me who bring a different perspective? I don’t know. I have trouble just getting people to read my blog because it isn’t like all the other bipolar blogs out there. And I am not one of the faces of recovery that the national organizations like you to see. I am not a self promoter. I don’t shave. Among some people in my region, I have a bad reputation due to a manic episode that I had a few years ago. The bad mouthing of certain people hectors me still. Those that know me intimately don’t believe the rumors, so I have few but good friends. I think it is more important to be there for individuals than to be famous, more important to work on creating something insightful than in presenting myself in the manner that we have come to expect of our spokespeople.
Mine is a face that disappears from the memory. People who have met me in person and known me online, forget what I look like. They see me in my casual dress and my hulking figure someone who shouldn’t be remembered at all, who doesn’t have a message that deserves to be shared. But I, too, live with bipolar disorder. I, too, have my stories. May I have the courage just to tell them without preaching at you.