Vulnerability – My deepest fear

As usual this week I am combining my Life of a Blogger (by Novel Heartbeat) post with my Friendship Friday (by Create with Joy).  This week’s topic is fears. 

Some fears are easy to discuss, and some are harder to discuss. It depends a lot on what your fears are. For instance, I have a fear of making myself vulnerable. So stating my fears actually goes against one of my deepest fears. However, I’ve been working on this specific fear, so this post will be a good opportunity to test out my new mad skilz at being vulnerable.

The Scream
Artist: Edvard Munch
(who theoretically had bipolar)

One of the things that has been making me feel vulnerable lately is my recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this diagnosis, it used to be called manic-depressive disorder. I’m diagnosed with type 2, which means I’ve only been “hypomanic” and not “fully manic.” Hypomania increased my irritability, irrationality, and impulsivity while (on a happier note) making me feel that I couldn’t be wrong, that I had the ability to climb the highest mountains and take on the world. I lost several people I considered friends during that period. And that still makes me feel abandoned and vulnerable. (Though, I have to admit, the online community is SO amazingly supportive, and I’m very thankful for you guys. You’re all rockstars!)

With the spirit of fighting my fears, I will admit that the reason my blog has been a bit quiet last week is because I was in the psych ward of the hospital. (My doctor was unfortunately not as handsome as the one above.) I was really angry at my psychiatric NP for putting me there, because I didn’t feel that I was in crisis at that time. But now that I’m out, I realize that he was trying to make sure I was stabilized and ready for my new job, which starts on the 2nd of September. He was being forward thinking, and I was very unappreciative. I guess I’ll have to thank him later.

I hadn’t originally planned on writing about my mental illness on this post – nor had I planned to mention that I’d been hospitalized in my upcoming weekly update. But when I was searching stock photos for a nice illustration of fear, I found the one above. It seemed fitting, somehow. Before I can change (and therefore master my new job), I need to admit to myself that I actually am in crisis. And to admit that, I need to make myself vulnerable. 

The picture I wanted to choose for this post is the one above – with the spooky religious images. I’d already been having a bit of a faith crisis before I was diagnosed with bipolar, but the diagnosis put my faith into a tailspin. What if…I thought…what if all this time that I thought I was being inspired or called by God, all those feelings of “rightness” and euphoria were just figments of a hypomanic mind? That is the most terrifying feeling I’ve ever experienced. The foundation of my faith was no longer stable. I’d say on the Richter scale this faithquake was about a 6.5. Most of my faith is still there, but I’m walking around all wobbly. There were a lot of things I felt that God had called me to do – writing is among them. I started writing this blog because I felt that God wanted me to write, and a blog would be a good place to practice both writing and marketing. Now I wonder…what do I blog for? If I give up on my faith, do I stop blogging?

Anyway, putting my vulnerability and faith aside, my own diagnosis of mental illness is a fantastic segue to plug my upcoming Suicide and Mental Illness Theme Read. Don’t forget to stop by my blog in September and October to see what people are reading and watching for this event. I’ll also be having a couple of giveaways. You’re welcome to jump in and participate at any point in time…all you need to do is read or watch something that educates you on suicide or mental illness. It can even be something that’s an accurate portrayal of mental illness – just tell us why you think it’s not. 🙂 I have a list of suggestions for both books and movies.

6 thoughts on “Vulnerability – My deepest fear

  1. Rachel – I am so sorry to hear about your illness I hope that you find healing and feel better soonest.

    This was such a genuine and meaningful post. You seem to be such a thoughtful person. Even in the absence of ailments thinking and analyzing a lot, while a wonderful attribute, can be a double edged sword and can work against us as your reaction to your own doubts show. I have had similar experiences.

    As for your blogging, I for one would miss your posts a great deal if they stopped.

    Take care.


  2. Admitting is the hardest part. I remember when I first had anxiety and figured out what it was, it took a long time to be able to tell people I had it. I still hide it a little bit. Only those very close to me know about my real panic attacks and what can happen. I have thought about trying to get disability but that is so hard for mental illness. I am so proud that you are going out and getting a job!! I am just terrified to try again. I need to soon though. This is great that you shared this!


  3. I'm always wondering why I'm blogging too and sometimes I'm not sure either. However, like you, I keep doing it…as for your reasons, whatever they are, I think your honesty is important in it as you've shown in this post.


  4. Facing, living things is rough, but putting a name on your problem must be… a release ? Knowing what it is, how it can evolve or not, it helps that you can put a name on it and it can be officially recognized ? I'm not bipolar, but I have some experience on the subject 🙂 Yet it's never easy on a daily basis. Take care 🙂


  5. Embrace it even as it scares you. I have many relatives who have this diagnosis and I think those who do best with it embrace it wholly, and then slowly its power subsides and it becomes only a part of who they are.


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