I have always been open and honest about who I am, unfortunately this means some people see me as a chronic over-sharer. But that is just who I am.
I got into a minor argument this evening with my hubby. The other day I suggested he use his blog to mention Liptember and what womens mental health issues mean to him – give that his grandmother has scitzophrenia, his wife has bipolar and his daughter has anxiety issues I thought this would be a great opportunity for him to talk about stuff. I want to also preface this by saying his blog is mainly used for him to talk about feminist issues (yes my husband considers himself a feminist one of the things I like about him) and highlight various social injustices. It’s not like his blog was all about kittens and I was asking him to post about something like this. Anyway he said he did and I forgot about it.
Today I looked at said post and was so disappointed. It basically said his wife was doing liptember, took a direct quote to their website and linked to my fundraising profile. When I asked him why he didn’t mention anything more specific he started mumbling something about not knowing how I would feel about having my issues talked about.
It was here I resisted the urge to yell “Do you not know me at all????”.
Now he is not the first person to act like this, it is just more surprising given that he should know me a bit better after thirteen years. Others have asked permission to forward my link on and suggested maybe they leave out the personal information about mental illness in my family. I have had people tell me they love me now, but were really put off by me mentioning my bipolar early in the friendship and suggested maybe it would be best if I saved that for later, after people have a chance to know me and realise I am not crazy.
This is exactly why I am participating in Liptember. Mental Illness is not something to be ashamed of. In my case I was as likely to get bipolar (remember my mum, gran & great gran had it) as I was to be born with red hair (I was, and so was my mum, gran & great gran). It’s not something I chose. It’s also no more shameful than me having diabetes.
Liptember is suppose to raise awareness for womens mental health. I wear my lipstick proudly and anyone who asks I tell them why (ok I have been sick in bed for the last two days…but I wore it to the doctors today and explained it there). My daughters talk about their mum having bipolar and people look at them like it is the saddest thing in the world…it’s really not. My kids have two parents who adore them and who are actively involved in their life.
When I was 12 I was sexually abused by my mums boyfriend. I knew it wasn’t my fault. I survived that because I knew it was his issue, not mine. I then proceeded to talk about it a lot. Over and over I have been told by people it’s off putting and I really shouldn’t talk about things that are so distressing. For every single one of those people I have come across girls who had never had the chance to talk about their abuse as people had made them totally ashamed and embarrassed to say anything. For these women I will keep on talking.
I will keep on talking about mental illness and the impact it has on my life and the lives of those around me. I have nothing to be ashamed of and if you are sitting there and hiding your illness because of small minded people, I will keep talking for you until you have a world that is free from stigma and you can talk about it for yourself.
So if you want to take any part of my Liptember posts and use them on your own blog/facebook/twitter to promote Liptember and help remove the stigma around mental illness please do. If you want to share my Liptember profile link around (the more funds raised the better) go for it.
You can also buy a the official Liptember lippie from Myer or Lorna Jane (or online here)
sponsor my Liptember effort HERE
Spread the word and let people know why this is such a great cause.