I have a friend who is an expert in her field. She is respected by the community and gives presentations from her knowledge base. She is also a talented artist and sells her painted wineglasses at many gift stores in the area. She plays the piano at her church every Sunday. She travels with her husband and two kids and they hike and camp regularly. She also runs marathons.
She is a very important person in my life and lately I really hate her. I feel awful saying that and I don’t really hate her, I am just extremely jealous.
I’m not sure why I’m feeling so much jealousy all of a sudden. Maybe it’s because my life hasn’t been going so great. I just can’t seem to get my bipolar disorder under control and it’s frustrating.
I lost my job as a newspaper reporter because the stress was too much for my illness. I’ve done a few things here and there, but nothing steady or extremely fulfilling. I really miss my job and the full life I had before bipolar disorder derailed it.
I know jealousy and envy are not the best qualities. I heard a saying once: “Never compare your journey with someone else’s. Your journey is your journey not a competition.”
While I’ve been feeling this envy I’ve tried to think of my strengths. It takes a certain amount of fortitude to deal with an illness on a day to day basis, especially one as challenging as bipolar disorder. I’ve been through a lot and I’m still here. I’m working hard on my recovery every single day. I haven’t given up although there are days that I want to. And, I probably possess more coping skills than most people I know.
I try to hold onto hope that I will be well enough to work full-time again doing something that I love. At the same time, I have to learn to accept this illness, even if I have to do it over and over again.
I am not my friend who can seemingly do it all. I have my own challenges and my own strengths. And, I need to take the following quote to heart: “If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.”