I don’t think World Bipolar Day is much different. I have never acknowledged it in any real concrete way, my only contribution usually is when someone tells me that it is the 30th of March, and I smile and wonder why they needed to tell me the date and the month of the year as we sipped tea together in the garden. Often someone will be writing a blog to raise awareness that they hope thousands will read or taking a picture of themselves to send to a mental health charity to draw attention to the fact they actually look human. All throughout the year charities coordinate different events to raise awareness. Mind (a mental health organization in the UK), recently began their Take Off The Tape campaign, a way for those suffering with anxiety to finally open up about their experiences. By writing down the things that made them feel anxious on a piece of tape that was then stuck to their mouths and shared on social media, it was thought this would help people find a way of expressing their own difficulties, encourage others to do the same, and perhaps reach people who did not suffer with the hope the campaign would breed understanding.
It reminds me of the types of activism society uses to provoke change, demo’s, marches, petitions, all rather archaic and outdated forms of public participation to achieve a result. Mental health charities seem stuck in this same pattern of recycling old ideas, jazzing them up a bit, then chucking them out hoping this will be the critical change they’ve been waiting for. The thing that seems to be lost is that unless someone suffers from mental illness themselves, or families and friends know and/or love someone who suffers, society isn’t particularly interested.
Most of society is too busy having their soul sucked out of them through their vacant bleak eyes as they navigate the intangible idea of normal, and in doing so becomes a dying remnant, a husk of the human being they once were. They have little to no interest in those who have become unwell due to their soul being very much alive, sent mad by a diseased society whose greatest achievement is the mass insanity of its citizens. Pretending that the mad are insane, whilst you have populations wandering around in a great sleep, inert, apathetic, and pacified by monopoly money and a Big Mac is one of the greatest political and societal scams ever implemented by those pulling our strings and seemingly all too successful.
This is why mental health campaigns don’t work, one is not simply fighting to educate people about mental distress, mental illness and how that time you became stressed when you moved house or had a child is evidence of the vulnerability of our mind. No, we are trying to educate the masses, those who think toughness of mind, not complaining, pushing through, showing no emotion are the prerequisites to a great life, even if your eyes are dead and you can’t remember the last time you smiled.
Therefore, today as someone with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, my only participation is this guest blog, my opinion on commemorative days, and this thought:
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
Henrietta Ross is a writer living in rural Scotland. She isn’t good at much but she can spin a good yarn, so she does this on a regular basis. When not writing, she likes to dump her writing in impromptu places for fun, leave local charity shops with a wheelbarrow to transport her books, occasionally try active mediation in a field as she wanders after confused sheep or dances absurdly to cheesy eighties music, because like Rockwell, she thinks somebody IS watching. Henrietta is working on three books, one novel and two non-fiction works. She hopes to finish one of them in this lifetime.