Here's a photo of me with my friend Randy while on a boy scout camp at Strawberry reservoir (Randy is standing at the front of the boat). Randy was a boy scout leader and I was his assistant. As we worked together for nearly 5 years, he came to understand how my mental illness affected my life. He never criticized, called me to repentance, or tried to "fix" me. For example, when we went on camps, he didn't say anything but words of understanding and care about me not getting up early in the morning with the rest of the group. He just doubled up his work load and got it taken care of. His words toward me and about me were always complimentary and uplifting. Because he treated me that way, I was happy to offer as much help as I could to him; as I was able. Though my functioning wasn't perfect, in the kind environment he cultivated, together, we helped a lot of boys achieve many scouting awards and have wonderful experiences.
To Say or Not to Say?
People often wonder what they should and shouldn't say to people who suffer with mental illness. Here are my thoughts:
Let’s start with what NOT to say.
Ok, now let me write some things to BE CAREFUL SAYING.
Ok. Let’s get positive and talk about what TO SAY to someone with bipolar disorder.