Yesterday I put my lippie on one last time and took my very last photo. Today my trainer at the gym asked me why I wasn’t wearing lipstick today…so I told her. I have talked and talked about liptember, mental illness and the issues facing women with a mental illness.
Take bipolar as one tiny example. First of all bipolar generally comes on around your early to mid 20’s. A good majority of women at this point haven’t started having kids. From what I have been told by doctors and psychiatrists there isn’t a single drug available to treat bipolar that is safe for pregnancy. Also women with bipolar have a 20% chance of developing post natal psychosis. So women are faced with the choice of not having a baby (for those curious…people with a mental illness can’t adopt or foster which also rules out surrogacy in this country as I am pretty sure you then need to formally adopt the child), have a baby while taking drugs and cause pretty significant damage to your unborn baby or go off the drugs and possibly end up with post natal psychosis. Which is why many women who are diagnosed with bipolar choose to not have kids. We need more research into these things as people with bipolar don’t automatically make shitty parents and in my case I have never been the primary caregiver (I worked and the girls father stayed at home). He is a pretty awesome dad by the way.
The problem with most of the research we have today on mental health is that for the most part they have used males (more specifically white middle aged males) for the majority of research and then applied the results across the board which doesn’t take into account the fact that women have different hormones, have babies or just that their lives are for the most part very different from a mans.
These are some of the reasons I participated in the fundraising part of Liptember. Otherwise I would have been content to raise awareness of mental health issues. I bought my lippie and I wore it everyday. I wore it when I didn’t leave the house or my pjs, I wore it to my psychologist, I wore it to the doctors, I wore it to the ballet, to my friends wedding, to the shops and the library. I wore it at the soccer presentation day. I wore it to the gym and the pool. I wore it to the zoo. I talked about it every opportunity I had and I was so incredibly grateful for those around me this month who let me talk. Who let me monopolise the conversations we were having for this purpose. Who wanted to understand more. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who blogged about Liptember, who donated money, who “liked” my instagram photos and who bought lipsticks. For me this is clearly an issue that means so much to me and to have the support of those around me has been really, really lovely.
There is still time to donate if you have been thinking about it but haven’t gotten around to it (or wanted to see if I could make it the full 30 days). All you have to do is click on this link