Elisa Nosek DBSA Ambassador

Many Thanks to My DBSA Ambassador Network

Everyone ends up asking me if Damsel is really my name. The answer can come from Shakespeare: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (Juliet, Romeo and Juliet act 2; scene 2) Yes, I'm enough of a geek to have known that from memory.

The truth is that my birth name doesn't fit me near as well as being named Damsel by my friends years ago. So, yes. Damsel really is my name.

As for who Damsel truly is, I'm not quite sure what to tell you. I'm a tea addict, a music addict(melodic metal for the most part), a seamstress, the middle sister, a beginning vlogger.

Oh, and I have a mental illness. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in January of 2011, after struggling with it for most of my life. Manic depression. It sounded like it wasn't too serious, until I started learning more about it. The more I learned, the more my behavior in the past made sense. All the snap judgments, the overspending, the being completely unable to crawl out of my dark bedroom and function like I knew I had done before.. Explained in these scientific texts. The more I learned, the more I lost. People learned that I had this disorder, and friendships were severed.

I decided that I want to break through the barriers that people have built. I want to show that while I have a mental illness, it doesn't mean that I am less than human. I've gone through school and suffered through math class, same as everyone else. I eat the same vegetarian diet as any other vegetarian. Yet even family treats me differently, and this must stop. It's as ridiculous as treating a cancer patient differently for having cancer, or a diabetic for having the inability to process sugar properly.

I plan to use my video blogs to help educate the world about the truth of living with bipolar disorder. I want to make it something as real for everyone else as it is for those of us struggling to get through life. It needs to become something that people can relate to before the stigma and jokes will end. Through this work, I hope to ease the struggle with mental illness for future generations.

Help me tear down these walls.

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