My Story: Black, Beautiful, And Living With Bipolar Disease
“I’m not crazy.”
“I am NOT crazy.”
“I’m not crazy, I think.”
“Maybe I am crazy.”
I have said all of these words and maybe more to avoid accepting the fact that at the age of 24 I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder. At that time I was recently married, the mother of young sons, a recent college graduate looking to go into law school as well as a small business owner. That meant I couldn’t be crazy because in the Black community, being mentally ill automatically gets you blacklisted.
So I suffered … alone. Making life threatening decisions because I couldn’t get help… everyone would think I was crazy. But I was suffering in silence because I refused to let anyone know that I was locked inside of my brain. So I thought, maybe I am crazy. Or maybe I’m just a monster because my father wasn’t around and I left my mother’s home at 15. Maybe I am a rebel because I didn’t like authority. I wanted to accept anything but crazy.
Blacks who suffer from Bipolar Disorder suffer in silence. Some for life while others painfully because their families and friends don’t seek ways to help them cope. They talk about them behind their backs or tell them they are not praying hard enough. Some may even say,…