Today the weather is Bipolar?

As much as I want to destigmatize mental illness I also want to be completely transparent with you all and I’m afraid my transparency may only fuel the fire.

The fire? Yes, the societal fire where people throw in their trash statements about the mentally ill. I have a pretty dark sense of humor and I deal with a lot via humor. Jokes are, for the most part, okay. What is not okay are the entirely ignorant things said. You know the statements. We’ve all heard them.

The weather is not Bipolar. Point and case. I understand the rationale because Bipolar quite literally means “having two poles.” So when describing something like the weather it would make sense would it not? That sudden shift from sunny to cloudy?

A more accurate description would be something like this.

“Some days will simply be black. The sun won’t shine, the wind won’t blow and everything will stand still.

But don’t panic just yet. The weather hasn’t left us — it just can’t get out of bed today.

The sun will go to bed at 5 p.m. and wake up at 10 a.m. It will never be able to get enough sleep, even then,” said Aaron Olsen in his blog post “What The Weather Would Look Like if It Was Actually Bipolar.”

His blog post continues on but I’d like to have the bulk of this in my own words.

weather

 (photo by blogpostsfromthedge)

The main point being, those offhand comments that try and equate a mental illness with the weather, calling a cat “schizo” or what have you. They are wrong for a lot of reasons. The number one for me at least is the fact that my life is so consumed by my illness. I want to be an advocate for others to have a healthy relationship with their illness BUT I will spare no honesty.

It is with me always. Sure there are times where I am relatively stable and I may forget for a while but I take medication every day. I schedule appointments and see all sorts of advertisements. There is no escaping it. So when someone decides to use bipolar to describe something broken they’re inadvertently calling me broken but folks the main point is you’re reminding me.

You’re reminding me of what I am so painfully aware of. I wake up with it and lie down at night with it. I understand (most) people aren’t trying to offend me. I understand people are ignorant and a lot of insults aren’t intentional. Not many people go out of their way, silently praying, hoping what they say will strike a personal chord with the person they’re making their brilliant description of the weather to.

If anything I hope after reading this you take with you one very important (close to) universal truth. Those suffering from mental illness don’t want to be reminded. (If someone needs serious help and isn’t taking their meds or anything that deems intervention then, of course, remind them.)

It’s such a private matter. Even though so many people use social platforms to talk about it, offer help and seek advice, that doesn’t mean we are truly comfortable being so public.

I am here and I am open to questions. I am also behind a keyboard. I can get up and walk away. I can take time to articulate my thoughts. I want to be of help to whoever is in need.

In return here are 10 new vocab words you can use to describe the weather…

1. Unpredictable

2. Unreliable

3. Inconsistent

4. Fluctuating

5. Erratic

6. Dicey

7. Chancy

8. Difficult

9. Oscillating

10. All over the place

 Hey, click me!

Or click me on my blog!

You friend,
Hume

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoDorin Vancea

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36 Replies to “Today the weather is Bipolar?”

    1. I appreciate your thoughtfulness 🙂 and your vocabulary! sending my best.

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      1. Lol that’s why I get those big teacher bucks (I’m laughing really hard inside right now): that extensive lexicon of vocables.
        Truthfully, I really loved this post. It was very insightful and something I definitely think often about (particularly today after going head to head with a psych about my own diagnosis).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am beyond flattered! I am glad it was worth the while. I hope thing ended well for you. It is never an easy thing to make someone understand exactly what it is you experience. But you come off very articulate and well read . I am more than confident you made a point or two. In any event I am rooting for you my friend.

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  1. Thank you for the post and for your honesty. As someone who lost friends and family to suicide, it reminds me of when people say they’d rather kill themselves than do x or y. Such a painful reminder of something completely unrelated to the actual situation taking place. Always a good reminder to remain mindful around others and choose your words thoughtfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right back at cha but in all sincerity many thanks. It is definitely very important to practice mindfulness in both private (positive thoughts y’know) and public. I appreciate your kind words. Sending my best.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also please excuse my manners. My heart goes out to you. I am sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing, truly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually dont fully agree with you in this post. Yes you always live with a mental illness but we are bodies and cells of nature and we are subject to those laws. A long term sufferer from so called Bi Polar Stephen Fry has used the weather as a metaphorical concept to explain his own ‘illness’. I think there actually IS a part of you that is whole James Edgar deep down inside. I think to say you are completely ill is not absolutely true, sure you are suffering but your suffering also comes from how you relate to your own inner light and dark and yes it is so deeply painful to be possesed by an inner darkness and thoughts of doom but my personal experience is that these do change and fluctuate. Then again that is just my experience and yours may be different. With greatest respect.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comment. I think it is all too often assumed that those who suffer from a mental illness feel trapped and consumed by it. At times yes, but it is my sincere desire to communicate to my readers that to be reminded of something that is part of my daily thoughts (taking meds etc) and in a perceivably flippant manner, are reminders I would very much appreciate to do without. Of course I can’t and don’t expect everyone to do as I say. I believe in free speech and just as wholeheartedly believe in human decency. My best wishes to you.

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      1. Yes I do understand… if that was said in a way to diminish the extent of what you are actually going through then it is very hurtful. I know you have a very good blog that helps others. I just feel we are cells in the body of nature I dont see that as a detached concept but as a deeply engaged and embodied one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When we separate ourselves off from nature through conceptualisation that is when the body soul and psyche suffer and weather on some level mirrors emotional states that actually occur in the body.

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      3. I know you come from a very sincere and genuine place. I hope my reply didn’t come off as bitter or hostile. I am better understanding what you are getting at now. If anything I can agree with you when it comes to nature. As the Romantics say look to the beauty of nature for wisdom and guidance. That’s some shoddy paraphrasing but I do believe many of us are disconnected from the world and therefore disconnected from ourselves. I really do appreciate your comments. It has given me more to think and reflect upon. Best wishes my friend 🙂

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      4. I have two sisters who I have seen diagnosed bi polar I personally see a greater dimension to their suffering. I am also suffer depression and deep despair at times so I am not coming from a detached place. I also dont identify my being or the complex being of others with labels. ❤

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      5. Also I am sorry if I was clumbsy with the expression possessed by thoughts of doom, reading it back that was not very well expressed and did imply a kind of detachment on some level, so I get why it may have triggered you. Best wishes in return. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, thank you! That is the most annoying line I’ve ever heard & I snap every time I hear it. I know it’s not a good reaction to it. The crazy thing is, I have a pretty good sense of humor. Great, really. But comments about mental illness that evolve around ignorance just piss me off. Because it always comes from people that have no idea what they’re talking about or what the dynamics truly are.

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    1. Yes exactly and at times it can be very trying, my best advice (not that you’re asking) is to remember a time when you were just as ignorant. I find it helps to act as a reminder we all make mistakes and many times those mistakes are unintentional. But hey I’m not perfect and as my post reveals at times I get worn down, that is why I am so grateful for this little community. If anything we can support one another 🙂 thank you for the read!

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  4. Very well put. I also find it frustrating when people throw around mental illness terms freely. E.g. “Omg I’m so OCD”. There are people who actually suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder out there who would probably take offense to that. I watched a movie recently where the friend of a young girl was referred to as being “bipolar” because she was sad. It was intended as a joke and people laughed. I was so offended I stopped watching the movie! Mental illnesses are serious. They should be taken seriously. Especially the chronic ones because we are stuck with them for a lifetime.

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    1. Thank you so much for the read and the lovely comment! Nothing is more offensive than inaccuracy. That movie sounds like the epitome of it too. I look forward to checking out your blog 🙂 sending my best

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  5. I actually had a conversation with someone about this the other day. I’m often seen as the person who has no sense of humor when I don’t laugh at people’s jokes that use terms in the memes that relate to mental health in relation to anything non-mental health related. The reason it hits a wrong cord with me is that by people doing this we only add to the misunderstanding and stereotypes without actually learning about what what life truly is like for someone with said illness. I have also stopped watching television shows when they bring on characters who “suddenly” have a mental health issue and it’s worst case scenario or completely off the mark. It bothers me that we work so hard show people how “we” truly feel and what “it” truly is these illnesses used as the punch line of a joke.

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    1. That was so perfectly articulated! You should be the one writing about this not me. Sincerely I completely agree. It is a very dismissive and lazy attitude to adopt and only furthers the gap between ignorance and understanding. Thank you for your insight and perspective my friend 🙂 sending my best.

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  6. I’ve actually said that about the weather in our state because it’s so random. My brother-in-law is bipolar and I never thought about it from yours or his point of view. I understand the whole being reminded thing. So I just wanted to tell you I’m genuinely sorry and will not use that as a descriptive term again. Thank you for your honesty.

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    1. You’re an absolute angel. Thank you for this. If everyone were as receptive as you the world would be a much better place. I appreciate your honesty and I am sending you my best.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with you on basically everything you said except one thing. Insults are intentional, they’re meant to hurt otherwise what’ the point in saying anything. A “normal” person, relatively intelligent knows what it does and says. They have no excuses.

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    1. I think that was probably more a personal thing I threw in there than anything else. In my life I have unintentionally hurt people because of ignorance and thoughtlessness. I guess I like to take the approach that people don’t realize the magnitude of what they saying because they have no firsthand experience and I think a byproduct of that is a lack of real empathy. We all have our own thresholds and I respect and understand why you have a no tolerance rule. For me at least it makes everything less difficult to deal with when I practice forgiveness and understanding even if the offender is as thoughtless as I used to be. Sending you my best.

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  8. Oh my favorite is when people who refuse to grab ahold of their own attitude and anger say “You know I’m bipolar” or “I had a bipolar moment”. Are you saying that because it is cute or are you saying that because you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions? Either way it isn’t cute nor are any of us suffering from the actual illness being excused from the effect of our cause. It’s so ugly I hate it and I have allowed myself to take on using bipolar in the certain context such as the one used in your post but I cringe every time.

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    1. One of the most trying things is having to deal with anyone who refuses to take accountability. It is sad to see and even if you try to steer clear of these people they will always reappear and show up (at very inopportune times might I add) so I empathize completely. It’s frustrating and sometimes it’s soul crushing but that’s why I’m so grateful for people like you and this wonderful community. Sending my best.

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      1. It is very trying but I’ve learned to stand firm when correcting and let them know I don’t take it lightly. If it proceeds, I completely remove them if possible and just let them figure it out. I have been working too hard for people to trigger me and not learn from that interaction. I am very grateful for the chance to know I am not alone and that people around me can be understanding.

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      2. I admire you for your strength. It’s no easy task to have a hard bottom line like that. It is very necessary though, especially when you have worked hard (like yourself) to get to a better place. I think everyone needs to do what works to benefit them and I am happy you have figured out a way to maintain your mental wellness. I’m here supporting you. Thank you for the insight and advice. 🙂

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