I believe that it's important for people with mental illness to be cautiously open and "out" about their illnesses so that they can put human faces and human realities to illnesses that are so often stigmatized, ridiculed, and misunderstood. I say cautiously open because it's still difficult and, sadly, perhaps even risky to be "out" at the workplace (in my opinion). But in other contexts of one's life, I think it's good to educate and enlighten people about brain illnesses, which are medical illnesses not unlike diabetes or multiple sclerosis. There is no cure for mental illness, just as there's no cure for many other chronic conditions. People afflicted with mental illness have to learn to live with it, manage it, and be compliant with medication and treatment so that they can lead good, productive, fulfilling lives.
That all said, I'd like to let it be known that my memoir is about my experiences having bipolar disorder--to be specific, bipolar I disorder. I was diagnosed seventeen years ago. My aim is to enlighten, educate, and perhaps even entertain since there is some lightness and humor in just about everything in life. I don't have a title for the memoir yet, and I'm writing it slowly since it can be difficult to delve into some of the darker times I've had, but I will finish it and see where it might take me. I will on occasion write about my memoir in this blog, so I feel cautiously comfortable revealing my illness and letting it be known that I will be discussing it.
Several good websites about mental illness are the National Alliance on Mental Illness's site and a site called BringChange2Mind. Very informative is the National Institute of Mental Health's site. There is also the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance site. So if you'd like to learn more about mental illness, please visit these sites, and keep up with me here as I occasionally post information about my memoir.
- Emily Glossner Johnson
- Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have a poem in The Poeming Pigeon, essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. My story "Santa Lucia" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which are as yet unpublished. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!