I recently was asked to be a guest on the community access television channel in Sacramento. With date and time determined, I looked forward to being able to represent Bipolar Insights.
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Over the past several years I have been interviewed many times, and normally I am comfortable answering questions and explaining our program. On this occasion, as I drove to Sacramento, I took the opportunity to rehearse statements, emphasize important words, and visualize how I would appear in front of the camera.
I remember the first time I was on the local community access television channel in Placerville. I was so excited. As a child I imagined being discovered as a star while dancing, singing and acting out characters. After several years passed, I realized and accepted this was not my future. To this day, however, when the stage lights go on and action is heard throughout the studio, I am momentarily hopeful again.
When I received the tape of that first interview, I anxiously put it in the player, sat on the floor in front of the TV and hit play. In that moment, what was meant for a local station became nationally syndicated.
As I watched, I shielded my eyes from the person I saw and cried hysterically. I believed that everyone was staring at an overweight, old woman and I was horrified.
My thoughts raced from emotion to emotion as I cried out loud, “I cannot do this.” Then I heard a voice deep within me — a voice mixed with compassion and firmness — reminding me that this was not about me; it was about people needing help. I wiped my tears away and proceeded to listen to the content of the interview rather than scrutinize my appearance.
Now at the television station in Sacramento, the countdown began.
“On the count: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — action.”
The host turned to me and stated, “We are happy to have Marcia Rose of Bipolar Insights with us today.”
I responded with a smile and confidence and said, “Thank you.”
My host leaned closer and asked, “What does Bipolar Insights represent?”
What? The first question is typically about the symptoms of bipolar disorder, the medications and journals. In 13 years no one has ever asked what Bipolar Insights represents.
I sat paralyzed for what seemed an eternity. Sensing my terror, my gracious host began to cover for me.
“What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?” he asked.
With ease I began to explain the details of each symptom. I relied on my ability to “go into character and was quickly able to convey information regarding the disorder and Bipolar Insights.
I was mortified at my inability to answer such an important question.
“What does Bipolar Insights represent?”
Truthfully, I did not know.
For the next two weeks I was determined to find out.
My discovery began with reviewing what I teach on a weekly basis. I found that each lesson encompasses the truth about individuals — each one is uniquely human.
What I have discovered is Bipolar Insights represents people of all ages and genders. We symbolize and stand for the value of each and every one of us, recognizing we are all walking the same path to understanding and knowledge about ourselves and our place in the world.
It does not matter if you are rich or poor, what the color of your skin is, where you live or who your family is. If you have a mental illness, a physical illness, a terminal illness, an annoying illness or no illness, Bipolar Insights is on your side.
Whether you take one medication, no medication or several different medications, Bipolar Insights believes you have value.
If you’re a drug addict, alcoholic, have a shopping disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, watch too much TV, read continually, or play on the computer for hours, Bipolar Insights understands your needs.
Our organization, at its core, believes that all people have had pain and difficulties. And how each of us copes with life’s struggles is different. We represent all of you.
Our motto is, “Not entitled but empowered.”
One of our members, Dan Boals, expressed it this way, “For me, it’s about pride and money, things a job provides that disability doesn’t. When I joined Bipolar Insights, it was a dream to get to the point where I could be self reliant again, now it is becoming a reality.
Bipolar Insights is a light in the darkness. When you are overwhelmed, information and a plan on how to move forward are a wonderful help.
Bipolar Insights is educating people about their illness, bipolar disorder, and about life in general.
Bipolar Insights is a hand up to people who are down. Teaching them to pull themselves back up and get back on the path and continue moving forwards.
Over all, Bipolar Insights represents a chance at a “normal” life for people who feel lost in adversity.
I would say that includes us all.
Please take an important step in healing and join us; we have something for everyone.
The co-founder and facilitator of Bipolar Insights, Marcia Rose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings start at 7 p.m., on Monday nights in Room 304 at Green Valley Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville, and Tuesday night at the Marshall Medical Health Library, 681 Main St. in Placerville. The fee is $5 per person. Check bipolarinsights.com for complete details and further information.