The Trouble With Spikol

Seeing myself in the Styles section.

By Liz Spikol
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 8 | Posted May. 21, 2008

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I started to worry about being a spokesperson for mad pride specifically. I'm very open about having bipolar disorder. Everyone knows that. But am I proud to have it? Why should I be? Did I do something special to get it?

Pride is something I associate with accomplishment. I can type really fast. I'm bilingual. Am I proud to have asthma? No. Am I proud that I get migraine headaches? It's not like I've been practicing to perfect the act of lying on my bed in the dark.

The pride we feel should be in recovering from our mental illnesses and living fulfilling lives, and then having the courage to speak out. I'm proud to live honestly. I'm proud to struggle each day with an illness and win every battle against it. I'm proud to serve as a role model for others who haven't come as far on the journey. I'm proud that I've survived.

I hope that message will be marketable enough so that Liz Spikol will still be Liz Spikol for a while longer, because it's been kind of fun being a different person. But if not, that's okay too. Shania is really a stupid name.

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8
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1. Margit Moorehead said... on May 21, 2008 at 04:54AM

“This does not make you famous. Sorry. I can't believe you wrote a column about being featured in the NY Times. That's really, really ridiculous. There are far more important issues to write about, other than your own publicity.”

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2. Really Sad said... on May 21, 2008 at 05:32AM

“Shameless self promotion. Really shameless.”

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3. S. Kelly said... on May 21, 2008 at 05:35AM

“This is less about bipolar disorder and more about getting press. I'm disappointed. I've always found light at the end of the tunnel in your stories. I hope you don't get sidetracked. I hope you don't really think of this as fame. There's a responsibility. Please remember that, Liz Spikol.”

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4. buzz friedmann said... on May 21, 2008 at 05:40AM

“couragous despite the lighthearted approach the truth is that fame is fleeting while your daily fight lasts a lifetime”

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5. marelda parish said... on May 21, 2008 at 05:01PM

“Oh Liz, that's a beautiful piece. I scrolled down after reading the article to check out comments, an I am confounded by some of the expressed opinions. I think this piece is excellent, witty, profound. I want to read more. Thank you. Your second to last paragraph? i am putting a copy of it in my prayerbook.”

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6. Mary said... on May 21, 2008 at 09:11PM

“Lighten up people, yes Liz writes quite well about her mental illness and is often strong and inspiring. She is also silly and lighthearted about many things, sometimes writing an entire column about a trip or cool thing in the city. That is what makes her writing so great. Tough and compelling at times, and light and laugh out loud funny others. And it's the NEW YORK TIMES people!!!!! Good for you Liz, you deserved it years ago for the fantastic writing and if I was in the NYT, I'd be screaming it from the rooftops.”

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7. noelle said... on May 22, 2008 at 08:16AM

“gosh what a bunch of sourpusses. liz, i was ecstatic to see you in the NEW YORK TIMES! my co-workers were praising the piece and wondering who was this new "it" girl for mental illness and i was like, "duh, she writes for philly weekly. i read her every week." good for you and poo to the haters.”

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8. Philly Chit Chat said... on Jun 3, 2008 at 08:28AM

“I agree what a bunch of sourpusses, I guess they never got their 15 minutes. I saw the article a few weeks back and was very excited for you. I have no idea why some Philadelphians are so negative on others accomplishments. I thought it was incredibly brave of you to go public, thanks.”


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