Evidence of My Life as a Sitcom

Tonight I’ll be going to my local support group for the first time in several weeks, my appointments with my therapist have been scheduled lately at the time the group normally meets so I’ve had to choose one or the other. I’m taking a week off from therapy this week so save on funds, so it’ll be group night!

The last time I went, I walked into the coffee shop and someone I went to high school with was working behind the counter. This is a little odd, considering my high school contained about 300 people when I went there and I’m living in the biggest cit in the state now, but c’est la vie!

I will admit (though shamefully so) that I told her I was there for a support group, my gut somehow wouldn’t let me say “bipolar”. I know I’ve been talking a lot about how I’d like to be open with people about having bipolar disorder, but this wasn’t the average situation.

It is a lot more difficult for me to talk about it with people who already know me somehow. People who have already formed some kind of opinion about me. I like to have time to get myself ready for those conversations before I have them, and I was so surprised to see her that I was at a loss for what to say.

A part of me was also thinking it wasn’t appropriate to say it was a bipolar support group because I didn’t want to “out” the people at the group. So it was a bit of a tricky situation.

Anyway, looking forward to tonight.

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3 responses to “Evidence of My Life as a Sitcom

  1. I hear that. How well did you know this person? Were you friends or just in the same graduating class? I don’t like telling people I wasn’t close friends with. Honestly, because I don’t want to be the talk of the town. It’s bad enough that my name and “cervical cancer” are now out there. Ugh, I can hear it now. We all know what “cervical cancer” is often caused by…

    I don’t mind telling friends I was really close to. I told a few and they weren’t surprised. They knew me intimately. They knew my best and my worst, because it was harder to hide and intimacy was easier in those times. I guess I hadn’t been stabbed in the back enough or I didn’t have much to lose.

    Surprisingly, a few were shocked. They asked if the doctor was sure because they thought it was a little extreme. Moody is bipolar? I’m BPII, I explain. It’s a little less obvious and appears more like depression. “Yeah, you definitely had periods of depression.” For some, they didn’t know me well enough before the BP really set in. And I guess it’s difficult to determine what is outrageous juvinile behavior and what is dysfunction.

    Good job on the not outing people. Some people have little discretion.

  2. We weren’t good friends or in the same graduating class, but my high school only had about 300 people so everyone kind of knew everyone.

    Since my first hospitalization happened when I was in high school it is likely that having bipolar disorder is extremely old news for the folks in/from my hometown. I’m sure there were all sorts of rumors about it at the time, but I was so depressed and drugged up that I didn’t really care.

    All of the people who are close to me now know already. The few close friends I’ve told recently weren’t shocked at all, in fact I’m not sure anyone has been shocked too much. I quit trying to hide it completely a long time ago, it wasn’t worth the stress it was causing me. Now I’m comfortable with just being myself, so usually people seem to say something like, “ohhhhhh!” My diagnosis becomes a revelation that way.

    • You are the reason people like me take baby steps toward coming out of the closet with this one. But, if a person can come to that conclusion on their own, I have no problem. They must know the truth of the nature of BP instead of the nasty, bastardized Hollywood version.

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