Author: Melissa Anderson

Can we just take a moment out of our busy lives to congratulate ourselves? Bipolar disorder can be a beast. We are either living with it or supporting someone who does, and that deserves some recognition. Every day that we get up and face the day is a success. I applaud you!

I think sometimes we get too down on ourselves. Maybe it’s just me, but I beat myself up for feeling low or struggling to feel happy. I ridicule myself for having a bad attitude or being pessimistic. I call myself lazy when I can’t muster the energy to do the laundry or clean the bathroom. I tell myself I’m a bad mom when I don’t interact with my kids the way I wish I could. I’m hard on myself. I’m mean to myself.

The truth is, I live with a relentless disorder that seems to never let up. Even when I’m stable, I still struggle with depression. I find that my norm lies in some mild form of depression, so that’s where I am most of the time. That can be pretty taxing to fight through every day, day after day. But you know what? I do it. I get up every day and I live my life. It may not be the life I envisioned for myself. I may not laugh as much as I wish I did. I may not appreciate sunny days as much as I would like to, but I’m still living my life. I’m not wasting away in my bed under the covers, though some days that’s exactly what I would love to do. No. I push through the depression and I prevail. I don’t let bipolar disorder win. And for that, I may just deserve a pat on the back.

And you. Maybe you push yourself to go to work every day. Or maybe it’s school that you work hard to get through. Maybe you’re like me and you have to wade through depression every day. Or perhaps you tend toward mania, and you have to rein yourself in and keep a tight grip on your actions. Maybe it’s your spouse or your child or even your best friend who lives with the disorder, and you feel the heavy weight of caring for them. Whatever your circumstance, be proud of yourself for facing each new day with bravery.

It takes enormous strength to live with bipolar disorder, and we are doing it! I don’t know about you, but I think that is cause for celebration. Let’s all raise our proverbial glasses in a toast.

To us!

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