hatching a master(s) plan

It’s Saturday afternoon. And I’m working on figuring out a topic for my master’s thesis (okay, and watching golf on tv). It’s not like I don’t know where my interests lie. I do like to take apart parts of my own life and examine it from a sociological point of view, which means I do have a fascination with the social dynamics of mental health…and fantasy football. But I can’t seem to get my ideas together. Actually, I think I actually do know that I have a particular interest in researching topics in mental health.  For some reason though, I am a little hesitant to do a big paper on mental illness.

It’s a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, I should be comfortable by now to ‘out’ myself as having a mental disorder. But on the other hand, I guess I’m not as comfortable as I’d like to believe I am. It’s such an odd thing; I’ve been writing this journal for about 9 months now. You’d think I would get over whatever worries I have about revealing my bipolar disorder to others. What I’ve revealed to myself is that I still have my own prejudice about it.

I have a lot more to say about all of this, but I probably should be using all my energy toward figuring out what topic I’ll be spending the next year researching (..and some spent on watching golf and football).

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2 Comments to “hatching a master(s) plan”

  1. You say you “should” be comfortable by now with outing yourself, but truth is, it is really, really hard to get truly comfortable with that. I’ve been telling myself that for ages, and there are all kinds of reasons why I should be. Many people know about my problems now, what’s one more? Everyone is a little bit broken, why am I so special that I have to hide it more than anyone else?

    What it comes down to, for me anyways, is that there IS something unique about my experience. Sure, everyone has problems, but not everyone sees a shrink and a therapist and a handful of pills a day for it. And as ‘enlightened’ as my views may be with regards to mental illness, I can’t assume the same is true for others. There IS risk in coming out, every single time you do so, even if it is small. And it’s never going to be completely comfortable–it is revealing something about yourself that, while on one level is straightforward and medical, on another level cuts to the core of who you are. And most people aren’t accustomed to sharing such a deep part of themselves with others, at least in most circumstances.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that I think it won’t ever be completely comfortable or easy to be out about this. Easier, more comfortable, sure, but NO ONE is so perfectly self-assured that exposing that kind of vulnerability won’t be difficult at least at times. The question, then, isn’t whether it’s comfortable–it’s whether it’s worth it.

  2. Keely, thank you so much for your comments. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote, and I am asking myself if it’s worth it. The research I’m thinking about doing has to do with college mental health systems, and I’m starting to think it would be worth being able to fill that gap in research. Thanks again.

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