By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric
In the world of online journalism, trolls and haters — which are not always one and the same, roll around and rub their stink on anything available.
I have seen false allegations of pedophilia aimed at others who were at one time or another deemed ‘enemy’, for whatever reason, by someone, somewhere.
Let’s face it, calling someone a pedo is a pretty nasty affair. It gets one’s attention even though it is the lowest hanging fruit of insults made solely, when coming from a troll, for the sake of creating a cloud of questions to hang over the head of an adversary.
What’s more, this nonsense can cost children their safety, and even their lives.
Certainly, their innocence.
In some ways, making such spurious accusations so lightly, can jeopardize those who have been, are, or will be, abused by sexual predators, by taking up needed resources and diluting the attention away from real incidences of pedophilia and abuse.
The same is true of trolls and mental health.
Down The Tubes
Recently, YouTuber Tal Pollard took issue with my reporting and embarked on a Twitterfest, sending out dozens and dozens of Tweets directed at me.
Many Tweets were threats to ‘expose’ me as someone having bipolar.
I am not sure what sort of newsflash Pollard thought he had, although I do admit he made me take pause.
At least, long enough to stop laughing and to wipe the water I’d spat, off of my computer screen.
I was ever so grateful it didn’t come out of my nose.
Anyhow, I digress …
I have prolifically written about having bipolar for many years …
… not in a private journal, but publicly, for whoever wanted to read.
How is that a secret?
Some may call it a public service.
I call it accountability.
There is no secret there, but because some think there is, and for those newly interested, — for whatever their reason, I am happy to oblige another ‘Oh helloooo? ‘ moment, out of the deal.
Any opportunity to bring awareness to mental health, and specifically bipolar, I am happy to take.
Thank you Mr. Pollard, for highlighting an important topic while pushing the soapbox my way.
Ooh I’m Bi-Pollard, Oh So Bi-Pollard
Having bipolar is both a blessing and a curse. Often times I am asked that if I could, would I choose to not have bipolar?
Every time my answer is the same, ‘no‘.
Sounds crazy I know, but …
… even though there are many aspects of who I am that would surely be different if I did not have bipolar, not all of those things are worth changing.
I am who I am because of some of the many gifts, yes gifts, that come with having bipolar.
I accept that.
I even like that.
Does that make me crazy?
Lucky for me, I recognize those gifts and have chosen a path to embrace, instead of deny and/or make excuses for, having bipolar.
The one thing I would change without question is ever having taken the many medications I was once prescribed.
Talk about being crazy!
The variety of pills, known as a polypharmacy, truly were exacerbating my problem, or at least my symptoms, and slowly, physically killing me too boot.
To this day, I blame many of the residual ailments I have on the medications I’d once been prescribed.
I know, that’s just another conspiracy theory!
It has been more than 5-years since I ceased taking all pharmaceuticals. I am personally better, healthier, and more in control, for having done so.
That may not be the answer for everyone, but it was certainly the answer for me.
Acceptance, that something wasn’t quite right, was the best medication.
It was also just what the doctor never ordered and the dose of reality I’d fought the longest to take.
I made many mistakes in the past on my way to acceptance, which was inevitably the real key to management.
Initially that path was one of ignorance and denial; and then one of constant lambasting by ‘friends’ who were just as anti-label … anti everything … as I was.
Friends who ultimately harassed me for believing the government, the DSM, or ‘pseudoscience’, could be right … about anything.
And, because I did, and because of what that world I lived in really was … I was re-labeled, by many in my own choir … a ‘sheeple’.
I should point out the ‘pseudoscience’ I have been accused of believing in is the same considered by most to be ‘alternative health’.
The very thing many of these people allegedly advocate for to begin with.
Again, I digress.
The point is, that kick-in-the-ass was followed quickly by blame.
My own blame.
At my own self.
There was no one for me to point my finger at.
And, I’d had the misfortune of having fingers [at times rightfully] pointed at me.
The Bipolar Blame Game
We often say or hear others say, ‘maybe it’s you’ … and maybe, it really is?
I know that’s a lot to think about.
I had to ask myself the same, long ago.
For me, and for a long time, sometimes it was.
Especially in the years I was chasing down conspiracy theories, thinking I was some magical cog in the salvation wheel of the world.
Not to say there were not plenty of things in my life that went south at no fault of my own, but it is true that at times I was my own worst enemy.
Or, more truly stated, denial was my worst enemy and we were on a dangerous date, dancing to God knows where.
As long as I was fighting a diagnosis, because I was an all-knowing ‘activist’ who didn’t believe in labels or pharmaceuticals, I was not learning about myself, and the very real issues I was experiencing.
And, as long as I was trying to find someone to blame, I didn’t need to look closely at myself.
Why should I when there was a wealth of other things to blame?
GMO? Processed foods? Fluoride?
Government overreach? Infringement? Corruption?
False flag operations? Culling? And, God forbid, FEMA camps and indefinite detention via the Patriot Act and the NDAA?
And, I did.
And, then …
… I didn’t.
I was suddenly faced with who I was and what I had been. That look in the mirror, however harsh, was a tipping point.
I realized that, even if I was right, about all of the many things that I was blaming bipolar on, it didn’t change, or take away, any of the very real symptoms I had.
Learning from my past mistakes has since been the backbone of my own wisdom, and the platform on which I have stood, moving forward.
Imagine my surprise when many years after this epiphany, I was told I didn’t have bipolar at all, and that my reactions to many things, those things that had previously gotten me labeled bipolar, were part of the abuse syndromes, as a result of my childhood.
… well, while that is entirely possible, either way, I continue to self-manage under the assumption that I have bipolar. The understanding I have discovered, works for either scenario and I am better for it.
Those who want to use mental health — mine or another’s, as an insult or leverage for any sort of agenda, whether for entertainment or to shame, are a part of what is helping to create the world’s mental health crisis.
Just like those who falsely accuse others of pedophilia contribute to the problem of childhood sexual abuse and trafficking.
Crying wolf to psych oneself and/or others out, comes with it’s own diagnosis. But, I am no shrink, so I will leave that chart note to the professionals.
If Seeing Is Believing
A diseases and a disorder are entirely different things, but some may still have the same symptoms.
This is often what trips many up in understanding one another and the slew of challenges we all face.
Science and technology has added to the confusion as they teeter on the precipice of expanding what we have thus far believed to be true.
As technological times rapidly progress, so do the clinical observations and peer reviewed studies that come from them.
Studies which have shown very real differences in the brains of those with bipolar.
The future may bring differing diagnostic tools and treatments treating bipolar as a physiological disease of the brain, verses a disorder.
But, what matters more is, are you a Picasso, or a Monet?
They choice is yours, not your haters.
And to be sure, and even regardless, there is beauty in bipolar. You just need to learn how to mix your palette, and then, gracefully hold the brush.
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