Positively Changing My Own World

By Allison Clemmons

I have been very excited about sharing my recent remission story with the world. I have bipolar disorder, PTSD, and ADHD. I have struggled all of my life to some degree. Traumatic events involving my family a few years ago sent me into a tailspin, and for over a year, I experienced an intense psychotic mania which left me living on the street. Some days I believed I could never recover. I was in and out of hospitals, and on and off my medications which didn’t help. Since I was not well and homeless, I also have not had a job for nearly a year and a half. Things are so different now, and the most important aspect of my recovery has been my change of attitude.

Something wonderful happened to me last year. I finally saw the door open, and I set off on my journey down the road to recovery. In recent months, I have accomplished things that the old negative me would have never even fathomed. I met the man of my dreams, who I married last week. I moved out-of-state, over 600 miles away from my home. I have become a mental health advocate and suicide prevention volunteer, and last week, I landed my first job since 2015. I am also working on my first novel. Even to those not battling disorders as I do, these things would all seem huge, and incredibly stressful. Especially when they all occurred over the course of less than a year. Just like everyone, I have bad days, and even weeks sometimes, but I have managed all of these things and more, and I am excited about now being able to live the life I never thought possible.

There is a lot to be said for finally finding and sticking to a medication regimen that works for me. It is also important that I have a loving support system in my family, who without, I would never have made it out of the darkness in which I felt imprisoned. Eating right, trying to get some exercise daily (even if it is only cleaning the house a bit), and sticking to my sleep schedule as much as possible—all these things contribute to my stability that eluded me for so long. However, the one thing that presupposes all these things is my determination and newly found positive attitude. I have always considered myself a realist, and I still do. But things are different for me now because I now have hope.

A few weeks ago, I read a thread of comments online related to the post of a young lady about how positivity has changed her life of living and managing bipolar disorder. She was essentially attacked for her enthusiasm. Most people were struck by her comments as intending we can just will this disorder away if we try harder, which is not what she intended at all. What she meant to convey, just as I am now, is that learning to look at ourselves, our disorders, and the rest of the world with a “can-do” attitude can only serve to help us on our respective journeys, and I believe that goes for everyone. We take each setback as just that—a setback, and not the end of the line. I try to see them as learning experiences even. It is a shame that it took horrible tragedy for me to learn this lesson. But, in the end, terminating our relationships with negativity can only serve us all well, and if we are lucky, it could help lead to a life we all deserve to live. A life filled with much happiness.

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