Author: Rosebuds and Thorns
Through my experience with Bipolar Disorder, I have learned many things. To tell someone newly diagnosed with bipolar everything I have learned would take more pages than one could bear to read. So, I will focus on three things: time, strength, and identity.
Time. It takes a lot of time to find the right medication. I went through more medications than I can count on two hands before finding the right one, and going through all those took a lot of time. In the time before finding what was right for me, I thought that I would never find the right medication. If you ever feel the same way, don’t be discouraged. You will find what works for you. You just have to be patient and give it time.
Strength. Bipolar makes you feel weak and helpless. It makes you feel like a leaf blowing in the wind, forced to go wherever the wind may blow. But you are stronger than you think. You are not a leaf, but a tree. And the winds may blow, but remember: you are not a leaf subject the wind’s whim, but a tree simply weathering a storm. A tree that will still be standing when the wind calms, and rest assured it will eventually calm. You are stronger than your illness.
Identity. Just as I said you are stronger than your illness, you must also remember that you are more than your illness: your illness does not define you and it is not your identity. You are not a bipolar person, but someone who has a diagnosis of bipolar. Your identity is so much more than that one small part of you. I know that at many points I felt that I was nothing more than a bipolar person. That this was such a large part of me that it had become my identity. I now realize that while it was a large part of my life then, it did not make me who I was. What did make me who I was was my personality, interests, relationships, passions, and more. My love of animals. My place as a student, daughter, and sister. My love of learning. My ability to talk to anyone about anything. All of these things are what made me who I was and who I am today. When you feel like your bipolar is all you are, take a step back and list the things that make you unique. What are your interests? What is your personality like? What is it about you that makes you you?
Think about these things when you are struggling. It may take time, but you will recover. Your illness may try to control you, but you are stronger than your illness and you have power. And most importantly, you are so much more than your illness. Your diagnosis, however scary it may feel, only takes up as much space in your identity as you allow it. Remember, your illness, no matter how big it feels in your life, is not what makes you you. You are a unique and strong individual with your own identity that your illness has no place in.
Rosebuds and Thorns