I performed a presentation for a classroom today and strangely it stirred a lot of forgotten feelings and emotions. I say things like ‘I ran for nomination for member of parliament’ or ‘I tried to kill myself with a large bottle of pills’ and it generally has the same effect on me. It’s a story that I tell and I walk away feeling like the presentation is done and I get along with my day. It wasn’t the suicide talk that got me thinking, but with us being in election frenzy here in BC I was reflecting back to my political days. I was 25 and I performed a facilitation ‘board day’ for a local constituency association. Funny thing is that I did not know what a board consisted of and armed with my political science degree I set out to do the impossible. Train a ‘board’ on how to conduct board business properly. I was later approached by a elderly party member named Anne Marie and she asked me to run for the nomination for member of parliament in the Victoria riding. I knew little about party politics but it became a dream of mine to try and subsequent to meeting with party members I agreed to run! I often forget how meaningful this time in my life really was and when I spoke about it today, I realized how big of a feat it actually is. I thought ‘BIG’ and managed to gather a team of supporters – a campaign team of ten. I raised thousands of dollars and people I barely knew were handing me money, telling me that I would do a great job as Member of Parliament. I knocked on countless doors meeting with members and delivered a speech, actually several of them to a countless number of people. On nomination day I didn’t win but I had a head MP travel from up island to introduce me and many friends cheered in my section with signs as I spoke passionately about my intentions for the people. I no longer belong to any political party as I practice the non-profit route now but I look back at those days fondly. Shortly after I sold all of my belongings, drove across Canada by myself in five days and arrived in Ottawa with a dream of working in the House of Commons. Little did I know that Bipolar would be the only thing to meet me there and throw me into a torrid and insane psychosis. I also had my first hospitalization in Ottawa and as I reached out to my political colleagues for help, one by one they disappeared. My illness spelt the end of my political career and I often wonder how it would have been different if I had never gotten sick. Still, it is not my style to dwell and frankly I am more than content with the route that my life has taken. Without ‘bipolar’ there would be no Bipolar Babe! I often consider how my life would be different without the diagnosis, but I advocate that we have to embrace the reality and truly push forward knowing that our biggest challenges may lie ahead, and we have to know that as life unfolds so does our will to persevere. I suppose that life wasn’t meant for me, but I’m sure glad I have this one.
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Stigma Free Society
The Stigma-Free Society, formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC, is a registered non-profit since January 2010, receiving charitable status 8 months later in only 29 days from date of application to approval.
Charity Registration Number: 827676867 RR0001