Inny or an outy??

Posted: August 7, 2012 in Crazy stuff, Mental Health

Many of you in the UK may have seen Ruby Wax’s show about mental health , I dont intend doing a review of it here, I was happy about some bits and not others and that’s all I will say.

The show basically centred around the premise that people should let the world know their struggles, in this case professional colleagues but the idea isnt new and gave me pause to think. I did consider outing myself a few months ago when it seemed the people I working alongside needed some education or enlightenment and I wanted to be the light that took away the metaphorical shadows, I then considered this a BPD thing, a hero to all and the bringer of truth and justice type thing, so as always I thought better of it for reasons of personal judgment.

Since then I have tried to let it out slowly, expressing knowledge that is too detailed to be from a lay person, only those in the field would have my knowledge and I was waiting for someone to ask, no one has so I continue to let things slip, the death of a thousand cuts springs to mind but I will keep going in the hope the world pays attention and asks the damn question, how do you know so much then? I have kind of rehearsed my answer for impact and discretion and I am not sure it is balanced as I would have hoped.

the rehearsal is simple enough and fulfils my BPD of knowing what to expect so I dont have to absorb change at short notice, I spoke with a lady with Aspergers syndrome and her description of her way of thinking frightened me, do I have that too? So anyway I have planned what I would say and what they would say back then my answer to that and everything else that could happen and its pretty good, except people dont think like me so I couldnt truly guess their responses to one let alone a string of questions and answers they have never thought about before.

I am many things, a father, son , brother,cousin husband and a student and volunteer, I could add to this list other less important stuff that I would use to associate myself with a person,Chelsea fan, south london council estate product, A bird control expert as well as a timber and damp surveyor, I am an Author, poet and comedian of sorts and to many people I am a man to be feared both physically and intellectually, through all of this I still have one person looking back at me in the mirror and its him I am beholdent to, if I let him down then everyone else relying on me is failed too.

I would like to stand up in a room of people who thought they knew me and reveal my condition to them, or would I? the reaction would be mixed. some, my best friends would just shrug and accept it for what it was others would see it as ammunition in our ongoing battle of wills, some might be appalled that I sit and chat to their children and help folks whilst being, you know mad and stuff. The real reaction would happen away from me, back in their cars driving home they would no doubt discus me and what I had said, if it changed their opinion of me or whether they would be better off avoiding me from now on, I am confident that 80% of my people would be okay eventually but I am lucky, most of my compatriots dont have that luxury and need to keep the friends they’ve got in the dark to manage their relationship.

Professionally I think it would be a mixed bag, it would be seen as a positive by some, writing a work of fiction whilst living one would seem noble and might even add some context to the feat but others would see it as an extension of crazed mind, writing about dark stuff might make them uncomfortable, as if the horrible stuff was in some way real in my sick mind. The volunteering situation would be difficult to judge, I am very capable in my roles and bring some much needed levity and forethought to events but could knowing that when I am alone I have problems with demons within my own mind make me appear to be false, some of my work is directly affected by my mental health, as a positive I might add but this might not be seen as such, there is a risk I could be castigated and very cleverly managed out, where my condition allows me to empathise with all sorts it could be seen as a cancer within the camp and lead to all sorts of wrong uns joining.

I am now looking at campaigning for mental health patients rights very soon, I have a very specific piece of work I want to put out there and hopefully it will inspire debate and concern which I would then have to field, bring it on I say as I sit here now but others have tried to temper my actions, quite rightly they point out that negative reactions would cost me ten fold what it might be to others but I have seen and heard what passes for Mental Health concern and I want that to change. I will be working hard to get my feelings out there and justifying my concerns with facts, in the meantime I will continue to research and make connections that could help not my cause but the cause of those who today arent able to fight their own corner.

  1. Elke Meixner says:

    Do your children know of your BPD?

    • bigsteveg says:

      Yes, the older two are fully aware and my youngest who’s only six knows there is something but he’s too young to understand, in 42 and I’m not sure I get it yet

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