This is a continuation from the last post:
I believe it is possible to turn my bipolar traits to my advantage. I don’t believe it is to my advantage to be ‘healed’ and made ‘normal’. I have never known anything different from swinging on my own swing, leading me to the high and the low places. The fact that it is considered disordered, has been decided by other people who didn’t consult me.
That is why I like Tom Wootton’s approach so much: getting your bipolar in order and using your bipolar in order to your advantage. Go check out his website!!
In some quirky way I am actually starting to like the fact that I am able to experience higher highs and lower lows. All because I am learning how to deal with my bipolar traits and am experiencing that living life to my fullest is still possible. Ánd not the least, because I am learning to accept ME the way I am. It is OK to be ME. This is still in process, I haste to add, but WOW the little accepting I’ve managed to do already makes a huge difference!
With the trip to Ukraine my experience has widened and I am much more positive that I can function and fulfil the dreams I have. Maybe not in the same way as before, but does that really matter? I know I will have to really take care of myself. But is that really a bad thing? I know I can not do things on the spur of the moment as I can not do any thru-the-night traveling anymore. But hey, I can live with that, it will only take a little more planning. I will have to adapt the way I used to live life, but I don’t see it as such a burden anymore. It is becoming much more like a challenge that I know with the help of others I can achieve.
In Holland we have a saying: “every house has its cross to bear”. If this is my cross, I’ll bear it; sometimes gladly, sometimes with grunts. Does that matter? Maybe I will finally learn that being on the way is just as important as achieving the goal, now that I am forced to think carefully about how to travel! :)
Does this mean that I don’t struggle with ‘having bipolar disorder’? Heck, no! Of course I have suffered from it a great deal. But I have chosen to not allow my past, present or future sufferings decide how I am to live my life today.
Will there be times when I hate that my brain functions the way it does? Of course! I know it can play havoc with plans I make. Will there be times when I will feel sick of it all? Sure! But I don’t want it to define who I am or will be. Thankfully, there is so much more than this so-called disease.
Will I chuck my meds because I don’t consider myself sick? HECK NO! That would be the most stupid thing to do. I will continue to work out ways with my support network to function to the best of my ability. This includes meds, maybe for always, maybe not. For me, that is not the issue. The issue is my quality of life and fulfilling my dreams. If that takes doctors, meds, support network, etc. so be it.
But just as I disliked greatly to be considered a victim of sexual abuse, I dislike greatly to be considered suffering from a (mental) disease or disorder. I am a survivor of sexual abuse, it doesn’t define who I am either. It only tells you what I have experienced. Just as having Bipolar Traits tells you that I experience higher highs and lower lows. But that doesn’t necessarily make me sick by default.
Of course, when I was still suffering from Bipolar Disorder, I couldn’t see beyond the crisis I was in. Which is completely normal. BUT, I don’t need to stay there, in crisis, nor ‘in remission’ being afraid for the next possible episode and/or crisis. As Tom Wootton and many others have shown, there is still a whole life out there to be discovered. At the moment, I am eager to explore!!!
I don’t pretend to know anything about your Bipolar Disorder. At best I can relate. And I want to, very much so. Because I do believe we can be there for each other, we can learn from one another and last but not least encourage one another. In any case, that is my desire. What is yours?