Author: Jeffrey Johanishing
That’s right! You’re darn tootin’. We are, I am and you certainly are, Awesome! Why? Well, I’ll explain.
I sincerely believe that people with bipolar disorder are extremely impressive, inspire great admiration and, truly, evoke a sense of awe. They should, anyway. The underlying trouble is that so many pessimistic stereotypes exist which are casually propagated by others and lurk even amongst ourselves. When I was diagnosed, I admit, I had never heard much about what bipolar disorder really is. So, on my journey of self-exploration, I inevitably stumbled across those all-too-prevalent signifiers that paint our conditions with a broad and brittle brush.
I considered: “Am I that unstable? Am I a hazard for the public? Would I become a bad partner, friend and employee? Am I doomed to meet tragedy?” I was saddened as I considered that, if these thoughts plagued me then, they may also be tormenting the bipolar community at large.
Luckily though, I found answers to my questions with “No way! That’s all just fear, insecurity and ignorance talking.” And the more I learned about bipolar disorder and about the great people who have lived with it; I began to consider a new stereotype or, at least, a new slogan. It is so clear to me that our community should embrace, celebrate and unite with the fact that “We Are Awesome!”
We get up in the morning, regardless of how incapacitated we may be, and tackle a new day with courage. Conflicts are sure to arise, yet we control our agitation to ensure favorable outcomes for all involved. Adrenaline surges through us without provocation, still we take the reins on our behavior and focus on the pressing tasks at hand. We live our lives, as everyone else does. We too are running the marathon of life.
Our disorders, though, are as invisible boulders on our backs that burden our strides. Yet, we are expected to run the course on par with everyone else without incidence. It’s not fair. But, guess what? We do! We do it quite well, actually. And we lead successful lives because we have strength, we have resilience and we have ever-growing courage.
If the world could only appreciate these traits, I believe that a new stereotype would emerge to be head-and-shoulders greater than all the rest. I believe, if any stereotype is worthy to exist for us, it would be that “We Are Awesome!”
So, my community members, recognize your own awesomeness. No need to show anything off. Just live your life well. Remember the obstacles you have faced. Know that you surmounted your most daunting perils. Let your strength, your resilience and your courage bind and unite you to your community with its open arms. And, finally, realize that you are an incredibly important part of a massive group of Awesome people!
Happy World Bipolar Day Everyone 😀