As sufferers of mental illness go I’m a lot luckier than most. While I suffer from bipolar 1, I’m fortunate to have been married to a wonderful woman for 35 years. Some say she’s either an angel or simply too lazy to have ever looked around. I also have two wonderful daughters who deal with my illness with savage humour and understanding. I live in a lovely home in a beautiful Sydney suburb, enjoy the company of great friends and am well-off. Life has been good, but it’s also been a hell of struggle.
A friend recently said to me that I was incredibly brave to write this blog but that’s simply not true. Bravery would’ve been to have written it when I was 35. Those were the days when to speak publicly about my mental illness would’ve been to risk my livelihood and the life my family and I had built upon it. If I were 35 today, I think I’d still keep my mouth shut – at least at my workplace.
That said, I think I would’ve liked the opportunity to gain some insight into what the hell was happening to me. I also would’ve appreciated knowing that I wasn’t some kind of freak or hypochondriac and that there were many others just like me. Hopefully this blog may do just that for you. Welcome to Club20.