Sexually Self Assured
I've never had ANY desire to "come out" regarding my sexual orientation. I am open about my sexuality but I don't want to be all up in your face about it... I'm 'bi sexual'. I've been with women and men. People who take the time to get to know me will know that. Its no state secret.
I have profound gratitude for those who bravely fight for equality. I appreciate the many journalists/writers, protesters, activists, teachers, celebrities, moms, dads, ANYONE who speaks out to make being bi, gay, trans, pans, whatever sexual as okay as I currently enjoy.
Mentally Not-So-Self Assured
Why then do I cower in complete horror when in the position of wanting to offer an explanation for my emotional instability as associated with my mental illness? It is just as much a part of me as my sexuality. I have inappropriate emotional reactions that are part of Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder et al. I am aware of this.
I can have any inappropriate response there is, be aware of it and express my ACTUAL thoughts or feelings upon reflection. Often times this is coupled with an apology for not being more "authentically myself" with my initial reactions. This constant damage control leaves me on edge and with extreme social anxiety.
For now, I can control my inappropriate response by regressing and isolation, never expressing my authentic self. This prevents exposing potential victims to another emotive hedge maze thrust upon them by yours truly. This leaves me running circles around myself.
Mentally Self Assured
I refuse to isolate myself anymore. It is hurting my heart and soul. I am a great person with my own unique flaws. So are you. After years of slowly isolating myself from the world of friends, connections, acquaintances. I here in this moment declare myself FREE of the restraint I have placed on myself for not being "normal". I've seen how big society runs. I don't even want to be "normal" anymore.
It should be mentioned, I am aware:
1./ No one cares how I act, what I think, what I do. They're busy worrying about themselves. If they are busy being caught up in me maybe THEY are the one with a problem.
2./ I owe no one an explanation as to why I am emotionally different than many others just like I owe no one an explanation as to why I find women sexy and men sexy too.
3./ If someone needs clarification they can ask. I can answer. Language is nice and simple like that.
That said, I really feel the desperate need to come out of the closet with my mental illness. LOUDLY and PROUDLY I need to scream it from the rooftops, stick my head out the window and yell:
1./ I am ME first, my illness is only one PART of me.
2./ What I say, what I do, how I act singularly does not define me!
3./ I AM GREATER THAN THE SUM OF MY MANY PARTS!
I know that dealing with someone who does not function mentally the same as people who are not mentally ill can be confusing. It can even be alarming at times. WE ARE PEOPLE TOO. It's not hard though and with a little effort you may even learn to ENJOY our many flaws as a deviance from the "norm".
There is a guy walking down the street mumbling to himself, disheveled looking, maybe not wearing any shoes. Does that scare you? Do you cross the street? If he tries to make eye contact to you look away?
Don't look away. Don't stare. Don't wait for him to pass then whisper to your friend "DID YOU HEAR THAT GUY??!!!".
No more than a lesbian couple holding hands would a mentally ill PERSON like to be made a spectacle for something THEY HAVE NO CHOICE OVER. Don't point and whisper. Just accept it for what it is and MOVE ALONG.
I didn't choose to be bi. It's just what I am.
I didn't choose to be ill. It's just what I am.
You don't "suddenly" become gay (though not being aware that's what you were feeling until later in life is normal for many).
YOU or ANYONE YOU KNOW could SUDDENLY be sick.
Show some respect.
Be the best person you know how.
Love, live, AND LET BE.
At the end of the day we're all people deserving of love, respect and inclusion. You don't have to befriend Mr. Mumbles and encourage him to get some shoes but you do have to ACCEPT him as part of our society. If anything in this messed up world is ever going to work we MUST accept our differences.
Our society is sick right now too. You don't have to look far to see human suffering due to war, famine, ecological disasters... Do your part to help end suffering and inspire kindness. It really does not take much at all to change the tone of our culture. Random acts of kindness inspire more kindness. A friendly hello may save someone from a lonely suicide. A smile can go around the world simply and easily spreading kindness everywhere it goes.
And after all, smiles are free.