Illness in Society and the System: Why the Questions Need to Change

Okay so here goes me having to explain myself publicly because so many people are so far off, that I’m so beyond offended and sick of feeling like something is wrong with me. This blog is not gonna be sunny, it’s gonna be true, it’s not gonna be a pity party or how I’m the victim. This is for the uneducated, for the ones putting down those suffering. We’re gonna go deep, into why people who call others crazy are crazy and likely have a personality disorder. And how suicide, anxiety, depression, mania, schizophrenia, autism, transexuality, bisexuality, gay, queer, whatever label is not crazy these are the real ones.

Let’s dive in shall we? Cause if you have ever bullied I get you and if you have been bullied I get you. We act from our childhood trauma and pain and learned behaviour. It’s rough in school- we’re asserting dominance trying to learn our place. The key is learning though- if you don’t evolve and you’re your high school level maturity in your 30’s good luck! What I don’t get is girl vs. girl. Slut shaming, miss labelling, thinking that because I’m bipolar type 1 that must obviously mean I sleep around, spend $1000’s+, gamble, am crazy for my actions etc. I have a brain neurotransmitter disorder between my serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline etc. they are out of balance and go out of balance… and Lithium salt, salt water, sweat, tears the whole sea keep me sane (where’s the mermaid emoji?). Nat Mur/ phosphorus in Homeopathy, and just a salty person in general.

As someone who studied 1.5 years of Naturopathic Medicine (0.5 for general/ organic chemistry cause I didn’t take them in my Kinesiology degree at Western) and 1 full year/ 4 $20 000)- I have learned that we can go natural, treat ourselves to a point away from the MEDICAL. HOWEVER, we ALWAYS NEED THE MEDICAL. I got so sick when I was studying Naturopathy. Like to the point where I may legally pursue. I’ve spent $80 000 on education to tell you I know we need both. And putting down the other is gonna lead to more sickness. The sick are in power and making us sicker. We need to wake the fuck up and think maybe theres bigger issues than accepting a Mental Health Diagnosis or treatment. Maybe trying to self treat with marathons, binge drinking wine, spending insane amounts isn’t the healthiest or should be the most accepted way.

It takes both Medical for acute/ emergency and the alternative for complementary treatment to mitigate symptoms and side effects. I am so sick of everyone blaming ‘big pharma’ all the money they generate and AVOID as if you’re an activist? YET you go to the mall drop $$$, do coke drop $$$, go to the bar drop $$$. You put money back into systems of consumerism and unethical treatment. Are you also Bipolar? Are you living with an unlabelled illness? An illness in your brain?

When walking on the bridge everyday from North York General Hospital studying on my breaks in the hospital cafe back to CCNM the Naturopathic college across from it- at my darkest I was like this is the bridge I would jump. If the two don’t come together we’re all going to continue to suffer. And by come together I mean you the people, think for yourselves. Denying medication to someone is taking away a RIGHT and PRIVILEGE. Removing our personal opinion allows the option for someone to receive treatment. Everyone deserves CORRECT assessment, medical doctors/ practitioners, ethical treatment, bed side manner, a support system. Suddenly you’re so much better than all the money our taxes generate in Canada for paid health care? You want to put down getting checked by your doctor? Your medical doctor is the one making sure you don’t have HIV, STI’S, pregnancy unless wanted, injection shots to prevent tetanus etc. Do the people in the states live with the luxury we do right now?

I was living with Type 1 bipolar disorder for 24-25 years before it was diagnosed properly. Because no one believed me when I told them I felt something was really wrong. I saw probably 8-10 practitioners all saying different things. From probably 13 to 28 I have felt off. 18-28 were intense but whats weird is that 10, 14, 20, 24, 28 I got depressed. My brain works on these cycles of mood. For me though it’s also the fact that I couldn’t accept pharma until I was 25 and since then have struggled to accept it fully although it does make me feel better, BUT  those around me being like ‘pharma is a business’, ‘you should try to live off of it’, ‘you just need to be sober’ (which I do because I have substance abuse too) but the thing is I am Bi polar. I was first told at 20 and then it was denied by me and my family. But I knew she was right, this intense Russian doctor filling in who stacked her papers and left after she heard how much money I spend (that I make myself), how much I drink and that I had slept with more than 2 people. None of these questions equal bipolar. Bipolar can lead to impulsive behaviour like these but no it is not dependent on this judgemental checklist. Bi Polar disorder is an energy imbalance. It means that individuals with this disorder can feel the full spectrum of emotions as well as energy. When we get pulled to too far of an extreme on the spectrum polarity is created which is not functional. And I am sorry but it truly is not my fault and this is the first time I have ever said those words. I’m not happy about how my ‘illness/darker side’ comes out. It is usually after extreme stress and exhaustion- I get short, mooooody, bitchy. I turn on a dime, and suddenly can’t calm myself down. Although I know what helps now and that is taking my medication every morning, seeing my psychiatrist monthly, checking my blood work quarterly, my support system of my family who I am sooooooo grateful for. They literally do not judge and do not see it as an illness. I’m also so thankful I was born the year I was because my Grandpa is also Bipolar and his treatment included electric shock and far from acceptance- except for my saint of a Grandma who has stood by him and supported him his whole adult life since they met in high school. It is truly human connection that can ‘cure’ the ailments of this illness. But having people look at you differently, walk on egg shells around you, whisper untrue commentary that can deter healing. Judging out of lack of knowledge and understanding is so transparent now. Calling anyone crazy is finally starting to fall on deaf ears, there is ALWAYS a reason for someones behaviour- and if that behaviour is coming from unwanted impulses in their brain maybe let’s not add further shame to this persons emotions.

1/5 Americans suffer from mental illness- that’s 1 out of your 5 friends at the bar. Who is undiagnosed bipolar? The person everyone thinks just does coke and parties 5 nights a week and then gets super depressed is in a normal funk and is just going through it and living their life. This illness manifests differently for everyone. But I can tell you if someone self sabotages and then drags themselves through life yup that’s unlabelled mental illness. Maybe caused from trauma, sexual assault, drugs, genetics who cares IF mental illness wasn’t of some benefit to our progression as humans it would be extinct. 

So what can you do if you sense someone is struggling?

Asking the RIGHT questions. Literally, simple, direct, protective energy and behaviour. 

Ask can I get you anything? Call me if you need to talk IF someone struggling says no maybe still do it anyway? Maybe just text your friends get over your ego or fear of insanity and just be like holy shit all of Toronto does cocaine, is in this weird ‘hookup’ culture, the bars feel like they’re full of dark sticky pulls to old behaviour (ew). Everyone is suffering so I personally am way beyond being judged on top of that. And maybe lets just ask someone how they are? Turn to someone anyone because right now the level of emptiness I can feel in people is terrifying. I’ve been there, and don’t want to go back. You must seriously heal yourself before you can anyone else. How can you turn inward and own your story, actions, self, dark, personality because it’s at this point that you will not even want to judge someone or call them crazy for their behaviour, because you’ll be educated. 

Uneducated people call everyone else crazy but themselves. People who suffer feel crazy all the time and that’s why they try to do behaviours to numb ‘the crazy’. It is only though once we feel the pain that the numbness and emptiness will lift. A wise teacher in my life told me at twenty after my first manic episode and psychotic break over my whole life falling apart really that ‘the only way out is through’, meaning the only way out of the pain is through it. It’s so hard but this is why we need support systems, why there’s alternative care, why we must create our own system. Medical mental health hospitals are C0-ED- they blame it on funding? That young sick females are around disgusting very sick ill and insane males lingering around. Part of my life purpose is system change supposedly in case you can’t already tell. And blame the Eastern European side of me but I am ethical in treatment but when I sense an unjust system the fire/ craziness/ mania/ rising yang lift. 

I’ve been told by healers that I am a healer which is so hard to hear- it’s a gift but it’s a double edged sword. It’s walking into my own pain and authenticity everyday and showing it to others. Here’s my super broken heart on my sleeve and face. I struggle so much as someone who’s Bipolar 1 and who feels the whole human range of emotion, from suicide and death to kanye level tweets. For me I can be doing so well killing school then suddenly I take on so much I go at 1000, and then burn out and spiral go dark. When I was younger I would binge drink to deal with the energy and emotions I felt, and get so empty after.

All I ask is that if you’re gonna call people crazy if you’re gonna judge take a step around and fall back, cause my level of craziness will not stand for it. I am here to heal myself and others- and will literally risk it all to better this world. Because I have seen the dark and I will always choose the light.

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