Friday, 27 February 2015

Tale of Two Labels.(apologies to Dickens).

It was the best of labels, it was the worst of label, it was the label of compassion, it was the label of shame.

A few weeks ago I read an online article all about what it means to be a talkative introvert. I was so amazed at this information as I had often said that even though I talked a lot - well okay I sometimes talk very much indeed, I also saw myself as an introvert.

Whenever I would tell people this they would laugh and laugh and shake their heads in disbelief. This article seemed to be describing me and I felt comfortable with nearly all but 2 of the 28 descriptions. I embraced the term and shared it on Facebook and with my family and friends, now backed up by the online reference material!

A friend told me that she thought I would be the last person to willingly embrace another label when I had been in denial for over twenty years trying to disown a medical label. To me Talkative Introvert was not a soul crushing label but a freeing, friendly term that explained who I was.

At 16 when I was first given the manic/depressive label which turned into bipolar label many years later. I did not embrace the manic/depressive label at all as I found it suffocating, judgmental,restrictive,uncaring and when it morphed into bipolar I felt it was heavy, awkward and in no way described who I was.

Today while I don't fully embrace the label bipolar - whatever that means, I do acknowledge it and am no longer in denial.

Labels I have said are for Jam jars so why am I so ready to acquire another label - which I feel is a term and not really a label!!

Talkative Introvert is a quirky, welcoming, fun term. I can't imagine any parents to be saying, they hope their child isn't a talkative introvert. I think I would be comfortable in any social situation being proud to say I am a Talkative Introvert.

Many people are grateful after years of misdiagnosis and confusion they finally have an explanation for their behaviour. They are relieved to have a label and do not find it restricting. Maybe the willingness to embrace one term or another is more about the individual and the society in which they live than about the term itself.

When we start to define ourselves by a label we give our ourselves or others give us, it can start to affect how we behave and maybe limit our choices.

So what now - I will always be wary of labels but they can be fun - maybe I am a Talkative Moodswinger!!

As Oscar Wilde said 'Be yourself everyone else is taken.'

It was best of labels it was the worst of labels.

Leah
A Moodscope member.