Written by Hannah Blum, author of The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love
As someone living with bipolar I want to share a letter I wrote to the world. Included is a piece of artwork by one of the most well-known artists of modern-day, Donna Adi.
My name is Hannah. I am the author of this blog, Halfway2Hannah, which started in 2016. This is where I first began to share my truth and revealed my diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
At 20 years old, I was involuntarily placed in a mental hospital and diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder. Since then, it has been a journey filled with ups and downs, but every battle has shaped me into the woman and advocate I am today.
The way the world views those of us with bipolar disorder is a tragedy for both you and I.
You miss out on the opportunity of knowing who we are, and we suffer in silence. For centuries, people with mental illness have only seen as people with a problem, a faulty mind. Although each day is uncertain and the pain can be all-consuming, for some it’s debilitating, we still fight through the storm, and when we shine, it’s like magic. In so many ways, we have had rights taken away from us simply because we are different, and different, in todays world, means wrong. However, that could not be further from the truth.
People with bipolar disorder are not monsters,
we are humans, beautiful humans who were born with a mind much different than yours. What you see in the media, in the news, and in the movies is a false portrayal. It’s a lie that contributes to stigma that has caused many of us to struggle, even taken lives. I ask that you be aware and conscious of what you believe in the media.
It’s interesting because the world worships icons,
until they disagree with what we understand, and Demi Lovato is a perfect example of that. You may be her biggest fan, listen to her songs, spend money on her concerts and music, but when it comes to her bipolar disorder, you do not recognize her as much. You cannot accept someone for only the part that agrees with what you believe and understand, and I ask you remember this.
This art by Donna Adi shows the emotions, the light, the dark, the beauty, and the struggle of bipolar disorder.
I know so many people want me to feel ashamed of my diagnosis,
they want me to abide by their rules for what’s accepted and what is not, but I am not, I am empowered by it, I am inspired by the brave souls every single day who have it. What I ask from the world is that you listen with the intent to simply listen. We have been silenced for too long, we have been left out of the conversation, even the “mental health conversation” that was for us, we have been overlooked too many times, and it’s time for that to change.
Give us a chance to live the life we deserve.
Give us a chance to love ourselves as we are. Give us a chance to get the treatment we deserve. Join a movement with meaning. Do something epic in this world, and create change.
However, no matter what, our community will empower each other regardless of what society said. You can join us, or you can watch us, but we will not stop fighting for our rights.
It’s been almost a decade since my diagnosis, and at that time, I felt so much shame, but today I feel the opposite. I am filled with pride. It’s from the shattered pieces that I am whole.
the act of simply being seen can save a person’s life.
For more mental health content, follow me @hannahdblum