Are you listening?
Having bipolar is a curse and a blessing. Often times I am asked, that if I could, would I choose to not have bipolar? Every time my answer is the same, no.
Sounds crazy I know, but …
There are many aspects of who I am that would surely be different if I did not have bipolar and not all of those things are worth changing. I am who I am because of some of the many gifts, yes gifts, that come with having bipolar. Lucky for me, I recognize these gifts and have chosen a path to embrace, not deny and/or make excuses for the fact I am bipolar-1. The one thing I would change about my bipolar journey, is that I wish I had never begun taking the many medications I was once prescribed. It has been more than 3-years since I ceased using all pharmaceuticals and I am personally better, healthier and more in control for it.
I have made many mistakes along the path to acceptance and management because initially that path was one of ignorance and denial followed by blame. There is no one for me to point my finger at and trust me, I have had the misfortune of having many fingers [rightfully] pointed at me over the years. Recently I was reading another writer’s reporting on a mutual subject and it hit me she could have been talking about me. In fact, many of the things she was saying about our subject were the very things people have said to or about me over the course of my life, not so much recently, but before I got my head together. It was weird reading them in the context of someone else.
We often say or hear others say, “maybe it’s you” … and maybe it really is. For me, it was. Not to say there were not plenty of things in my life that went south at no fault of my own nor within any kind of control, but it is true that at times I was my own worst enemy. Or, more truly stated, my denial was my worst enemy.
As long as I was fighting a diagnosis I was not learning about myself.
As long as I was trying to find someone to blame I was not looking at myself.
As long as I was in denial I was not helping myself.
But…in going through all that I have and making the mistakes I cannot undo, I have been forcefully faced with who and what I have been and that look in the mirror however, harsh, was the tipping point to stop making new mistakes and instead make my existing mistakes the backbone of wisdom in moving forward.