This is a touchy topic, but often discussed within the community.
Who, how, and when do we tell others of our diagnosis.
For me, it hasn’t been too eventful. Until I told my dad. My friends are supportive, spouse is supportive, even my mom is supportive.
So, I was diagnosed over three-years with Type I Bipolar Disorder. But telling my dad was a strain on me. Why?
Because my dad and I have had a strained relationship since I was a child. He’s always been in-and-out of my life.
But, as I had a positive experience telling my friends and family, I felt now was the time to talk to my dad.
He lives pretty far from me, so I had to impersonalize with a phone call.
I drew-up the courage to dial his number, let the phone ring, and…he answered.
I started out with the usual small talk. Mind you we talk only two-times a year, so catching-up can fill about 20-minutes of time.
After we caught up, I decided it was a good time to fess-up.
I sort of blurted it out, “I’m diagnosed with bipolar disorder!” He said, “what?”
I repeated it again. He asked, “what is that, exactly?”
I went into semantics, and he started to understand. He was surprised. He ask me If was sure. I undoubtedly stated, “yes!”
We talked a bit more, he even surprised me with a show of support (which, in time would dwindle to nothing).
As little as he’s been in my life, I was enjoying his positive interaction.
But, that’s where it ends!
My dad took it amongst himself to share my news to the rest of the family (on my dad’s side).
Most of my family and I are “friends” on most social media.
Within a few weeks of my dad sharing my news, all of a sudden I was “un-friended” or “un-followed” by a few family member’s.
As it turns out…i have the plaque. Well, not for real but that’s how they treated me now.
My own sister has disowned me, not to mention my step-mother, and the list goes on.
There reaction to me having bipolar disorder is NOT how I saw there reactions being!
But, as its stated time-and-time again, “you never really know someone (even family) until you “know” someone!”
I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt a bit, but I’m glad its over, and I know who my TRUE family is!
So, I guess the age old question of “when is it a good time to tell someone about your diagnosis,” is to each his own.
I wish I could come up with a more positive response, but its hard after my experience with my dad.
Although, it was only one experience, telling my friends and my mom’s side of the family ventured a more positive outlook!
Please share how you broke the news of your diagnosis. Was it a positive outcome? How are you coping?