Saturday, November 13, 2004

My Own Soapbox

You may have noticed by now that much of this blog-site has a theme. If you’re unsure of what that theme is, please scroll down right now and read the first post, “The Hot Chik Code.” Women’s rights and anything that may interfere with them—sexual double standards, lookism, sexism, sexual and emotional abuse against women, domestic violence, women’s self-esteem issues, etc.; all of these subjects and more are fair game with us. We hope to increase knowledge and awareness, and perhaps even make some changes in the attitudes and actions of our readers through the revelations of our own experiences and observances. We tend to temper our tempers with humor, not only to keep from sounding too preachy and keep readers from nodding off, but also because we can’t help it. Theresa is especially knowledgeable on these subjects (she even taught Human Sexuality at a major university!), and because she is the Love Goddess, you should pay special attention to what she has to say. I do.

In addition to this most worthy theme of, for lack of a less cliché phrase, Woman Power, I have my own life-theme that I’ll undoubtedly bring to 2 Hot Chiks blog-site—Mental Health. I’ve had “bipolar disorder with major depression” probably since the age of three, but was not diagnosed until age twenty-two. I’ve taken nearly all the antidepressant medications on the market at one time or another, and have had dozens of Electro Convulsive Therapy treatments (ECTs, formerly known as shock treatments). I even lost my job at Mental Health Services because of my disorder, which I’ll tell you all about another time—don’t worry, it’s kinda funny.

Over the past 22 years, I’ve come to realize that what I once thought was a handicap is actually a gift. Due to the fact that I simply can’t keep a secret about myself, I tend to fully disclose my psychiatric diagnosis to anyone who stops long enough to listen. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the individual and the situation. However, I can’t count the number of times people have thanked me for my honesty and openness and told me that they wouldn’t have sought treatment for their own mental illness if they hadn’t heard me spew about my own. Sure makes every shred of pain and suffering I’ve gone through in my life more than worth it.

My major issue with all this, my own soapbox, is that it’s a fucking crime against humanity that most people can’t talk about mental illness without whispering. We hear more than we care to about people’s physical maladies and never think twice about it (unless it concerns foot fungus, the digestive system, or anything containing mucus). But mental illness is considered to be either non-existent, psychosomatic, or a character flaw. And that really burns my shit.

Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you from my soapbox.



At 10:41 PM, Blogger dwduck said...

Thank you for being so honest.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Kay said...

Ah, I love you both! - taking on the world in eradicating stupid prejudices on both women's sexuality (my problem) and mental illness (my late bipolar brother's problem). You go girls! You are a must-link for me!

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Lu said...

To dw: You're welcome. My wish is that more people could feel free to be honest and open without fear of ridicule and prejudice. I've always figured we gotta start somewhere...

To Kayten: Thanks for being another honest and open person! And thanks, also, for validating my blog. I was worried that my soapbox belonged elsewhere--T's blogs have been so ingenious and funny that I thought mine was a little too serious, a bit of a letdown. (but never fear--if I know me, humor is bound to sneak in here now and again!

To Theresa: Perhaps there really are people who think about other things besides sex!


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