One of the things successful writers do is read the work of other writers, which is something I do as well, even though I’ll probably never be “successful” in the eyes of the world (which means being rich and famous and appearing on The Tonight Show). Actually, it’s not hard to keep up with the flow when the material is as lively and interesting as that written by Kat Dawkins of “Her Bipolar Life”, a blog that can be found on PsychCentral.
For the uninitiated, this website is the Amazon.com of all things mental health-related, from scholarly articles aimed at professionals, to tests and quizzes for the layperson, to support forums for those suffering from one or a number of psychiatric problems. It also features blogs written by both authorities on mental illness, and everyday people who live with it.
Enter “Her Bipolar Life”. While this blog is written from the perspective of a twenty-something woman with bipolar 2, I think it offers substantial wisdom to women of all ages with the condition. Kat writes with amazing clarity of life situations that are hard enough for the average female, and almost hopelessly complicated by the existence of bipolar disorder: Work. Relationships. Social expectations. Finances. Hormones. About the only major topic she doesn’t cover is parenting with bipolar disorder, and that’s only because she’s not a mom; but what she does write about, she discusses with complete honesty and makes no excuses when she screws up.
Like when she broke the window of her car by throwing a cell phone at it (which did the phone no good either). You’ve got to admire someone who will admit to being that out-of-control and then refuse to blame it on anyone or anything besides her own petulance at that moment. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten royally pissed and done something impulsive like that, then blamed it on my PMS or the bad day I was having or the idiot who cut me off in traffic. I also fell into a very bad habit for awhile of using BP as an excuse for everything that was wrong in my life, whether it was failure at work or just plain being an asshole.
The trouble with that line of thinking—besides the fact that it’s childish—is while having a mental illness affects everything in your life, it doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to be a decent human being. That’s why it makes me so damn angry when the mass media automatically point to psych issues as the cause of every evil act these days. I suppose if you’re not MI, it must seem utterly illogical that someone would shoot up an elementary school or shopping mall just for the hell of it, but it happens. Why must it always be assumed that the perpetrator was insane at the time of the crime?
But that’s a rant for another day. Check out “Her Bipolar Life” on PsychCentral (after you’ve read about mine, of course) and let Kat know bpnurse sent you. I’m sure Kat would appreciate the visit, and it probably wouldn’t do my blog any harm either. 😉