Letters to the Editor

Chihuly: Mental health issues don't define him

Re: “Chihuly illness revelation merits praise,” (Editorial, TNT, 6/6).

Here’a big salute to Dale and Leslie Chihuly for their eloquent and honest sharing of how they deal with a disease that in most cases is highly treatable and manageable — mental illness, or in the latest, more neutral vernacular, behavioral disorder.

It’s another great example of how people can live with a serious disease like bi-polar disorder and yet not have have it define their lives. As one bi-polar put it, “I have it, but it doesn’t have me.”

The Chihulys speaking out about an active and productive person losing the fuel to maintain interest and find joy should only help others who suffer needlessly to seek help.

An easy, cost-free way to begin in Pierce County is to attend a NAMI potluck on the third Wednesday of every month (6-8 p.m.) at TACID center next to Tacoma Community College. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org. Pierce County NAMI members are brimming with compassion and understanding.

Think of all the art and the joy we’ve derived from it that might not have been if Dale Chihuly’s illness hadn’t been recognized and treated.