Has anyone heard the song "Secrets" by Mary Lambert? Lyrically, it's one of my new favorites. Here are a few of the most poignant lines, the ones that really hit home for me:
"I've got bipolar disorder
My sh*t's not in order...
I've got too many things to say
I rock mom jeans, cat earrings
Extrapolate my feelings...
They tell us from the time we're young
To hide the things that we don't like about ourselves
I know I'm not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I'm over it...
I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are (secrets are)...
Ummmm, whoa. Though I don't wear mom jeans, I do have cat earrings. How did she know?
Kidding aside, I truly connected with these lyrics on a deep level. Though I don't have bipolar, I do have other mood disorders and had felt for the majority of my life that I needed to hide them. I thought my anxiety, OCD, and depression were aspects of myself to be ashamed of; actually, growing up, I didn't even know that these were the struggles I was contending with. I simply felt crazy and that something was seriously wrong with me. I had no idea that what I was dealing with mentally had names and treatments. It was only after I opened up and unleashed my secrets did I discover what I was living with. How I wish I had opened up at an earlier age. Those of you who have mood disorders know that the longer we live with them without treatment, the harder it is to heal from them. Our brains become trained to be anxious, hard-wired to dive into the negative, habitually used to taking the course of fear. It becomes harder to retrain this way of thinking the longer we wait; it's like trying to break an extremely unhealthy addiction.
I, like Mary Lambert, have too many things to say and am over hiding what they are and who I am. Because I have held in my truth for so long, hiding myself from the world for these last few decades of my existence, I can't put a stopper in it. It's as though I'm a fire hydrant that's opened up spewing forth all of its contents, but no one is able to close and contain it. I have shared my secrets of my mental struggles, my anxious hell, with the world and am not ashamed of them. What I want is to manage them and heal. What I want is for others to know that they don't need to hide from themselves, closeting who they are, shaming themselves into secrecy. What I want is for the stigma of mental health issues to be eradicated so that everyone can feel comfortable and free to open up and get help. The earlier you open up, the sooner you realize what you're dealing with, the quicker you can access answers, treatments, help, and healing. That's what I want. No more secrets.
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