ABC’s Black Box like watching a bad movie I could have starred in

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ABC-TV launched a new program a few weeks ago called, “Black Box.” The series stars Kelly Reilly as Dr. Catherine Black, a neuroscientist who has Bipolar Disorder. It was how I found out about the show though that is burned into my memory. I was celebrating my 13th anniversary with my hubby at some hot springs. After some small talk, this girl started up about the show. A stranger in a pool started telling me my own life story, my deepest, darkest secrets as if it were the punch line to a joke, with a coy smirk on her face and a condescending tone in her voice. I felt paralyzed. She talked about mania and hypersexuality and how the fiancee didn’t really know her. It was like she had flipped through my autobiography which I will never write and had turned precisely to a horrible chapter in my life. This stranger could not have known that I had just reluctantly released my book: Med Free Bipolar, just two weeks prior, and was still not comfortable even telling the title to anyone. She could not have known that as she prattled on about this show, I felt like I had been stripped naked and could hardly hold back the tears that were choking me. I don’t know whether this show is a good thing or bad thing, a thing that will help people empathize or judge even more. I don’t know if it will help reduce stigma or make the problem worse, but I am curious as to what other people who suffer with bipolar think of the show. For me, it caused me tremendous grief at a time I should have experienced nothing but joy. I am med free bipolar, whole and healed. I finally watched the first two episodes tonight, and even though I am not sure what I think about the show, I do feel sorry for Dr. Black, that her only apparent options are a life of meds or a destroyed life unmedicated. There is another option, a natural remedy option, one that has allowed me to live med free and symptom free for eleven years. Perhaps they should make a show about someone who was “cured” from bipolar suffering, like the tens of thousands JUST LIKE me. It saddens me that they repeatedly said there is no cure…just not one that the masses can know about because the big pharm can’t profit from it. When I left the pool area, I cried in the shower and tried to explain to my husband why I had been hurt so by her simply retelling the plot of a TV show. It seems sometimes that no one can truly understand the pain that is this condition: not a character on a TV show, or an actor in a movie like Silver Linings Playbook, not ABC, not the viewers, not the reviewers, not the neurologists, psychiatrists, and especially not even myself.

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