Happiness is…brave love


Hello lovely souls,

Since January I have posted photos of my ‘weight’ quest and shed 2.5 dress sizes in the process. However, do not be fooled! A lot of bits are still wobbly (quite happily!) and dare I say if I wave my arms I will be able to take off 😀(Happiness I think, is also self deprecating humour and being able to laugh and accept oneself!! 😀 ).

For me, it’s always been the stories we carry, the burden of opinions, the hopes and dreams of others, our own perceptions and the stigma and discrimination that comes with the medical model of psychosocial disability through lived experiences of mental illness / distress.

One source I recently came across defined stigma as “a mark of disgrace”.

Although I knew happiness started from within, putting it in practice was much harder to achieve. Happiness and being able to live as me and who I am, looked like brave love.

My quest had begun in earnest.

Brave love with a mark of disgrace….and fixed mindsets.

Recently I uncovered a situation that not only was covertly hostile, but was riddled with subterfuge, gas lighting and vitriol. Moreover, it was embalmed in rigid & fixed mindset that was embedded in prejudice and ignorance towards mental distress and our personal lived experiences as individuals.

To paraphrase Brene Brown:

‘Where there is blame, shame is always riding shotgun and fear is the backseat driver”

The above is not an uncommon tale as I learn through my professional life, the stories of others shared by those with lived experiences. Hostages to emotionally bankrupt behaviour and questionable stuations in the fear of stigma and discrimination – public and self imposed.

This is the weight I used to carry, together with medication effects contributed to my obesity. Past tense. The weight of fixed mindsets, The weight of our own fears, stigma and prejudices. The weight of what it means to have “Bipolar” slapped alongside your name. The weight of our stories.

So I ate my words, swallowed my hurt, self harmed my soul and allowed the shame stories to replay in my mind.

After all – wasn’t I a “mark of disgrace” ?

Happiness is coming out of the shadows and stepping into the light. It is shifting the Herculean weight, standing in your own truth and living your life the way you need and want to live it – empowered.

Today, I am all of the above – most of the time. I can finally say I have come into the light, as a flawsome, splendiferous soul who has not only found her voice, but has a conversation with stigma and discrimination whilst inundating Bipolar Disorder with squishy cuddles and noisy kisses.

I’ve lost the weight – and found brave love

Happiness is…. me.

#stigma #discrimination #empowerment #bipolar #selflove #selfworth#weight #mentalhealth #happiness


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