Saturday, April 9, 2011

a letter to the editor

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you have to know how anxious i am about putting this all out there.  but here you go…this is a copy of an email i just sent to the editors of Parents magazine.

I just got done reading the article, “Visiting William” by an Anonymous writer in the May 2011 issue of Parents magazine.  My heart breaks for the mother who had to watch her child yo-yoed around by a father suffering from bipolar disorder.  I was moved to tears for the little girl after reading of their last meeting.  Still, I feel moved to share another side with you.  I sincerely wish that you would have (or in the future) include a story further exploring the life of bipolar parents.  On behalf of many bipolar parents (and readers, I’m sure) I feel it necessary to clear the air for those who aren’t necessarily familiar with the disorder and all it entails.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and chronic depression when I was 22 years old.  Since then, the fight against the stigma society holds has been hard.  There have been times I have brought up my disorder and have seen the person visibly cringe.  Being bipolar isn’t something I would have chosen for myself.  One can’t change the fact that they are bipolar any easier than a redhead can change their freckles or a basketball player can alter their foot size.  It’s all in how we’re “wired.”  There are many of us who, with the help of medications, are well-adjusted, properly balanced and able to have secure, strong, affectionate relationships with our children.  Life with bipolar disorder isn’t always the way popular culture sees it: a rollercoaster at an amusement park.  With the help of medications, life for me is more like a drive through the country.  There are some dips and peaks, but for the most part, I’m able to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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