Standing now on the precipice of 49-years-old. My birthday is Monday, September 10th — World Suicide Prevention Day and the beginning of a solid week of blogging for me in honor of National Invisible Illness Awareness Week (Sept 10-16) and in the name of erasing the stigma of mental illness.
My job as a corporate cog is something I despise even while I know others aspire to be able to function at a level that would allow them to work full-time in the ”normal” world. I have come to embrace corporate America for what it means to me: a steady paycheck, a decent, though not optimal work environment, a means for me to keep writing and thriving in the slivers of time between working and waking and then doing it all over again for 8-1/2 hours, plus my commute. As well as on weekends when I really just want to relax.
My colleagues know I have bipolar disorder AND that my book is launching Monday…some of them have already read it (and pitched it to their contacts the media for me!) and are attending my book launch/birthday party. And, my bosses now know about my book — how much about it I do not know. Or care. They seem thrilled to have a published author on staff, but that’s all I know or have interacted about it with them.
This is all a prelude to mention World Suicide Prevention Day (http://www.iasp.info/wspd) coming up on Monday, only six years since I stopped my repeated attempts to kill myself.
I am happier now than ever. My sister is here from the Midwest to celebrate, and is, with my girlfriend, preparing a birthday dinner for tonight with just a few close friends to have a fun, intimate evening.
One buddy attending my party on Monday is an extremely longstanding comrade of 25 or so years. We have dropped in and out of each other’s lives over those 25-0dd years. There is one person in the book who will be there; the others are friends and acquaintances of less than five years standing, from my new, healthy life, not my bad ol’ suicidal existence. Now, at almost-49, I still can remember why I was in the slough of despond for oh, so many years. And, I remember how it felt and also know I never want to go there again.
Here is some information about where to get help for Bipolar Disorder (http://www.halfofus.com/disorder/Bipolar.aspx). Please do yourself and/or someone you love a favor by reaching out and asking for, or offering help. No one is alone in this stuff…even if you don’t have close friends, or a supportive family, a group of friendly coworkers, or a significant other, there are still people around who want to help. Here are a few resources:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: http://www.dbsalliance.org
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org