Note: This was originally published on lackofbetter.com. Click the link to view the original post.
I do not know what it is like to be a Minority in America. I know what it is like to have a stigma of a mental illness diagnoses as this was one of the cards in life I was dealt. I was diagnosed Bipolar after a traumatic experience at the age of 30 that left me almost dead.
After this experience, I was told by medical professionals that I had an illness. Any medical material I read was loaded with negative labels.
This type of language, along with other representations of Bipolar creates all kinds of negativity for people challenged with this diagnosis. To be told that your mind is ill can have serious damage to your self-esteem and confidence.
There were too many times where I opened up about being Bipolar and received awkward stares or the conversations changed on a dime. People started to look at me as dangerous because they found out I was Bipolar.
I imagine this is what minorities are faced with every day except a striking difference is I can hide being Bipolar if I choose to do so. I do not have to wear this stigma on my sleeve.
Throughout my life, I debated with people about whether everyone has the same chance to make it in America. The answer has always been a flat out no!
Each of us is dealt a hand at birth much like a player in a card game. Your cards in life are made up of traits such as mental/physical abilities, race, gender, etc. You also receive cards based on your families’ economic status and the environments you are born into.
The player will deal with different challenges based on the cards they receive at birth, some more than others. In a card game, the sharks know how to play these difficult hands. The Kings in life are not any different than these sharks at the table. They beat the odds and overcome the challenges they are faced with.
The thing is I never told myself I have an illness and never believed I have one. I never succumbed to the negative labels placed on me. I have a unique, amazing mind that needs to be taken care of and if I do so, I can flourish.
The thing that this society does not share with you is we all are also dealt an Ace in that hand of life. This Ace is our Superpower. The part of us that allows us to do amazing things.
The irony is that my Ace is my Bipolar mind; a mind that they call ill. My mind is highly creative, intelligent, open minded, and has powers that others will never experience. My mind is the gift given to me at birth.
Because I know my mind is my Ace, I am more able to deal with the struggles that come with it. It is up to us to choose to dwell on the negatives that people place on us or to find the Ace within and flourish no matter the odds society gives us!
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