Living with bipolar disorder, there is a fine line between amazing and awful and because of our unique brain chemistry, we must learn to walk it well. Better than others. We must master the art of resilience for this is golden in a life skewed by mental illness. We are forced to learn how to rise better and more often than the rest. We still feel a need to thrive just like everyone else but there are times when we must focus on mere survival instead.
Does this make us weak? No. Truly quite the contrary. We fight battles that the rest of the world knows nothing about and this often means waking up to fight the same demons that left us so tired from the night before. Its bravery and strength at its finest.
I love to explain this with two words… beautifully broken. The truth is, however, that we are not “broken” at all.
We are simply different. We are strong by default because our strength is what keeps us alive. Living with the pain and uncertainty of what tomorrow will look like in silence is no easy feat. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.
You are a soldier. You are a warrior. We have the same emotions as everyone else but we feel them more deeply and with a passion that can be unmatched by the “normal”. Our roaring emotions can feel unstoppable and sometimes so can we. It’s scary to quickly turn into something that you’re not when everything turns to grey.
It’s a battle we must win over and over again or the consequences could be fatal. An emotional baseline is faint and every emotion can feel like an illusion. Stability becomes a luxury that we long for and one that most people take for granted.
Our negative emotions can be overwhelmingly debilitating but we are special because on the other end of the spectrum, we are capable of loving harder, laughing louder, and having more confidence that many are incapable of. This makes a bipolar brain unique in the very best way. Like emotional super heros, we are blessed and cursed all at the same time and it’s so confusing.
We need not be ashamed and sometimes this mean removing toxic people from our lives that make us feel that way. It is heartbreaking when the ones that we love so deeply don’t understand us no matter how hard we try to explain it but we must remember this.. trying to explain what a life is like for us with an illness that nobody can see is like trying explain color to a blind person.
It’s a disease not a decision and something that must be lived to fully grasp this seemingly invisible condition. It can be the loneliest feeling in the world. We must learn early in life to except the fact that there is no such thing as perfect. We must learn not to compare our life to the pictures that people have painted for us of theirs. Like an amazing work of art only some will be able to appreciate the beauty in what lies within us. We must learn to enjoy the good times to their fullest because just knowing that we can feel that way again can be the only comfort when we are drowning. It becomes a life raft that we won’t find elsewhere.
Often forced to learn the hard way that a life spent waiting for the next episode is no life at all. They say that life only gives its hardest battles to its toughest soldiers and apparently, life believes that you are a bad ass … and life is absolutely right!
-JAMIE G. #MENTALHEALTHVB