I suffer from Bipolar I, Social Phobia and Panic Disorder w/ Agoraphobia. I sometimes pop caffeine pills like they're flipping Flintstones vitamins. This is the result.
So a while back I applied for a health mentors program at one of the local universities. I didn’t get through. Yesterday however, I got an email from one of the people who interviewed me, asking me to be a speaker for one of their mental health workshops on Bipolar Disorder!
I have to talk with my therapist about this, because I don’t want my ego boost to blind me to my own limitations, and I think I could use a bit of a reality check just to be certain I’m not jumping into something without truly thinking it through.
I know that I am very engaging when it comes to speaking about what it’s like living with Bipolar Disorder, and I have no doubts as to my ability to actually grab the attention of a room of people and capture their minds - I inadvertently had half a table focused on me while talking to one person about my illnesses, and once they realized I was aware of their attention it was questions aplenty.
The best part is, when applying for the Health Mentors program, I wrote a number of essays as mere prep work (me+essays=love), so I already know many of the issues I would want to discuss with them and things they should know that aren’t necessarily understood about Bipolar Disorder. It covers all the main topics: curiosities, stigma, self-stigma and ableism, support systems, discussing suicide, and individuality.
I haven’t decided for certain that I’m going to do this, I need to be sure that I’m doing the right thing not just for myself but for the people I’d be speaking with. This is, however, an incredible opportunity, and fulfills many of the desires I have for my life trajectory, and whether I choose to participate or not, it has shown me that I’m on the right path and gives me some hope that I might one day fulfill some of my dreams.