Chloe had a few of her classmates from Armadillo over a few weeks ago for a sleepover. We were all talking and she says to me nonchalantly, “I told my class about my bipolar the other day.” Surprised, I said, “You did? How’d that come up?” “I emailed Jesse (science teacher, they use first names at Armadillo) information on bipolar and Aspergers and asked if I could tell my class about it,” she said confidently. “Wow! Good for you Chloe!” I said.
Our girl has come a long way! I think we adults could all learn a lot from Chloe’s courage and strength to defy the shame and stigma of mental illness and be real about what it is and who she is. Just like anyone with a mental illness, she can’t control having it but she can manage it.
We are grateful and encouraged for her continued progress and we are working through life’s trials one day at a time. Early intervention with a mental illness is critical and can prevent numerous other issues down the road, not just personally but in the community as well (remember my friend’s “crazy neighbor”, or Sandyhook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and so many others?). For every success story like Chloe, there are probably 10 kids or people and their families suffering out there because they don’t know what to do, don’t have the resources to get help, and remain stuck in the vicious miserable cycle of mental illness. NAMI.org is a good resource and place to start. But just like Chloe, we have a long way to go!