Often, when I read about ‘suffering from a bipolar disorder episode’ it is usually followed by ‘recovering’ from it. To reach the state of recovery seems to be the answer to all other states of bipolar.
My dictionary-loving mind gets to work immediately.
returning to health
Recuperation is a gradual healing (through rest) after sickness or injury. Not really applicable to bipolar disorder as such.
Healing? Sure, bring it on! Unfortunately, this is not very likely when taking the nature of bipolar disorder in to account.
Getting well – what does thát mean? I am doing pretty well during my hypomania, me thinks…
In order to return to health, you must have had health in the first place. Not sure about that one either.
Another term I come across in literature is ‘in remission’, meaning:
- an abatement in intensity or degree (as in the manifestations of a disease)
The associated meaning to me is the danger or threat of the manifestations to return. Do you really want to live in fear?
To me, those are not just words, but an understanding of bipolar disorder and the goals you have. If you think it is only possible to reach a state of recovery or remission, that is as far as you will get.
“The only thing that does not change, is change itself.”
Leo Veness (source)
As Leo Veness, you know one thing for sure, your mood IS going to change, sooner or later. So, being ‘in recovery’ or ‘in remission’ is always, always going to be temporarily. Which is good and bad news. Good, because you eventually battle or swing your way back to it. Bad, because there is the fear of ‘falling back’.
When first being diagnosed I felt I needed to re-evaluate my life. What are my goals? What do I want to achieve in life? Does bipolar disorder change my original view of and goal in life? And if so, how do I adapt?
Each of you has to answer these questions in order to become comfortable with who you are. And who you are happens to include bipolar disorder. But it certainly is not all. There is a whole lot more to you.
In my re-evaluation I had to change how to achieve my goals. Also, a huge dose of patience has been added to the time frame. It isn’t always easy to accept my bipolar traits. At times they stand in the way of living life. But that does not change what I want out of life, nor what I am aiming for.
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Dr. Seuss (source)
Each day my goal is to accept who I am. Including the mood I am in. It doesn’t matter to me if that state is called ‘in recovery’, ’in remission’, hypomania, depressed or mixed.
My answer to whatever bipolar disorder state I happen to be in, is to live my life with all that I am and can be at that moment.
It is not easy. Acceptance of yourself, your shortcomings, even your strong points, is hard work. But it makes all the difference in life!
What is your answer?
Picture used with permission from artist Nessa Smith