Can our Honesty be blamed for suicides?

Apparently, it can.

This has happened to one of us.  And if it has happened to one of us.  It could happen to any of us.

Read on.  Please read the whole thing.  This affects us all.

This is unacceptable.

Everyone who has been with me here for awhile is aware of my crazygirl crush on Therese Borchard. Please read this post here for the background on that.

Five years ago the Bipolar Blogosphere was not what it is today. And people like Therese were few. For me she was the first one I came across who tore off her veil of “normalcy” and exposed her suffering, her scars, her truths, her woundedness.

She shared her fragility, and her brokenness. Her stories of struggle with Bipolar….which for her manifests mostly as profound depression.

Her immeasurable strength.

Raw, honest videos on YouTube. Some very educational and I learned a lot from her. I still use the skills I learned from her in battling my own “mental illness”.

In some of the videos she allowed herself to be seen at her worst, in her tears, in her suffocating depression, in her brokenness.

I am unable to fathom that kind of bravery. I am nowhere near that brave.

Her blog…Her books…

She is a wife, a mother, a writer, and activist…..(and she has wit and intelligence in spades)

And she didn’t do all of this because she loves exposing and divulging her deepestness.

No

She did it to help people.

To save people

To show US that we are…..

NOT ALONE

In our world it is ONLY honesty that will save us

our honesty

It is only by stepping up…

Removing the veil

And saying…

to each other

ME TOO

and to the world

This is what Bipolar looks like…

Does it look scary now?

Does this fragility, vulnerability, creativity, compassion and strength…

Really
Scare you

Or do we look

Just

Like

You

But

Suffering

Therese did more for me than anyone else. She has been my very best therapist. I maintain (though I haven’t posted about this yet) that while therapy is great what we most need is a Bipolar mentor. Someone who has been through it and knows what we are going through and can actually help us by telling us what has worked for them.

Therese has been my mentor.

And as I post and post and put it all out there with completely pure intentions and a profoundly felt desire to help my community….I think of Therese.

I think of how brave she is.

I think of how she spoke of the hate mail and how it would hurt her.

I think about how she didn’t give up.

I think about how she even started a foundation.

While all the time risking being triggered because I am sure hate mail is a huge trigger.

_______________________________________

So you can imagine how my heart dropped when I saw this post by her….

I am crushed for her. With her. A suicide is a tragic horrific event and I automatically send the good contents of my heart to that person and the people affected.

I do not know the ins and outs of what exactly happened.

But the idea of blaming Therese for the suicide is horrendous.

The reason they are blaming her, according to the post, is that she has been honest about her own struggles with medication and her admittance of medication’s limitations.

Let’s just let that sink in for a moment.

She is being blamed for being

honest

———————————————————–

I am following and reading a lot of your blogs…I know that you are here and I know that most of you are radically honest about your struggles.

That you too are brave

I have been cooking up a post honoring you but now here we are facing this…..

This is not just an attack on Therese. This is an attack on ALL of us who are

Braving

Whatever the world

Is going to

Throw at us

for being

HONEST

For taking off the veil

For coming out of hiding in our own small way

By taking up our own little corner of the Internet, and picking up our key boards

to fight

Stigma

To fight

Discrimination

To save others like us

To show the world

What

Mental

Illness

Actually

Is.

Can you imagine if someone accused you of being responsible for a suicide because you posted honestly about your experiences?

If a person blogs about their divorce can they be accused of causing trouble in other people’s marriages?

I have complete compassion for the loved ones but I find the accusation absurd. Of course they would want to find a scapegoat. So they found Therese. She is a target because she has let herself be known. She has put herself out there.

The reason why she is so courageous

is because she has Braved things like this.

This is the stuff that can happen

These are the accusations

But it is groundless

Those of you who vent your experiences on Internet support sites…..what if you were accused of causing a suicide because of the things you shared about your own life?

Those of you who bravely go to real life support groups and share openly and honestly…..what if someone accused you a being responsible for a suicide?

I can barely think of something MORE damaging to us all.

I can’t think of a better way to

Shut

Us

All

Up

And if we all stop talking, stop sharing….

if we then can’t find each other…

if we don’t hear other people’s experiences and stories….

If we are all driven back into hiding (more hiding)

Then how will any of us who are suffering terribly…

on the edge

Know we are NOT ALONE

and how many of you have been helped by stumbling into a Bipolar blog or support group where people are bravely sharing themselves and their Bipolar…..

How many of you have listened to another Bipolar’s honesty

And

seen your Bipolar in new light

took away a new tool to combat it with

thought differently

Felt slightly better

LESS ALONE

Encouraged

More inspired

Like I said before

Bipolar is a one person kayak. We are all alone. Paddling by ourselves.

But we are not the only one on the river.

You need to be able to look up…

Look around

And see the rest of us paddling away.

We need to be able to help each other

See each other

Acknowledge each other

HEAR each other

We can’t quietly put our heads down and ignore each other…….

……..in fear

_________________________________________

And what about Stigma and discrimination?  It is not possible to fight those without each other.

without honesty.

We are a discriminated against, stigmatized community.

We are up against so much.

We need each other

____________________________________________
Take a moment to think about this. This is a very serious issue for ALL OF US.

And please go give Therese some comment support.

She is a beautiful shining star in our community and we all owe her big time.

I truly believe that honesty saves lives

and that radical honesty

changes the world

______________________________________________________

Therese,

What you have done is beyond brave, beyond inspiring. The whole community owes you whether they know it or not.

You are a jewel of a human soul.

You cannot be blamed for this.

You have saved so many.

images-63

(This wonderful woman is responsible for THIS amazing piece.  That alone makes her a hero.  But she has done so much more.)

10 comments

Add Yours
  1. DM

    Hello, Bipolar First, Bipolar Together.

    As you already know, I loved your post…and your blog.

    I don’t know if you have seen Therese’ latest post, but it’s beautiful.

    You and Therese are two pillars of strength and I am so grateful for you both.

    Thanks, again, for keeping things real. It gives me courage. And I’m a big chicken, LOL.

    Like

    • bipolarfirst

      Hi DM,

      I had not seen it until you told me so thank you for that.

      As for the compliment I appreciate but I am not being self deprecating when I say that I am undeserving of it.

      Thank you for being so supportive of me and what I am doing here.

      It means everything to me to know that it is helpful to you.

      You can’t be that big of a chicken…You are Bipolar right?

      And I am honestly not that brave…look around

      Like

  2. DM

    LOL… I’m a Luteal Phase Bipolar Chick(en), LOL! I was diagnosed as Bipolar II years ago, then a doctor said I wasn’t, then another doctor said I’m Bipolar II when I’m PMSing (hence, the Luteal Phase, which isn’t even in the DSM thingy). I have no idea. I just know…I soooo get what you are talking about and I so love how you keep it real. (These days, oh, well, maybe the past 18 years or so, they just consider me mainly PTSDed with supposed Treatment-Resistant Depression.)

    Oh, and you’re welcome RE: Therese. I read your comment and, of course, I had a great big smile. Especially loved the ROCK ON. Reminds me of one of my favorite shows, “As Time Goes By.”

    I have a confession…when this all went down with Therese over the weekend I wanted so much to contact you but wasn’t sure how to do it via your blog. You were the first person I thought of because I know how much she means to you.

    I am off to read your latest posts and take a much needed internet break. I hadn’t been on in a while, but when I saw what went down with Therese, I was on fire. Even my husband knew to give me some space, LOL. It’s as you said, this is about all of us.

    Thanks, again, for being there for us.

    Peace!

    Like

  3. Tessa

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    A blogger blamed for a suicide due to openness of her blog and experiences. I find this shameful and I stand behind her in feeling that we need to support each other and show the world that stigma is to blame for all these suicides. People afraid to get help.

    Like

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