When We Get Bad News: Seeking the Opportunity — Slaying the Tragedy

Having Bipolar Disorder is hard enough. From day to day, from moment to moment, we are always adjusting, monitoring. Am I getting manic? Is this depression creeping in? Should I talk to my doctor about a medication change? We are constantly trying to find that perfect balance. And those of us who have done our homework know that “that perfect balance” is ever-changing. An enigma. We often wonder if it even exists.

Next, enter into the equation something everyone gets from time to time: Bad News. Now, along with balancing day to day stresses and emotions, we are faced with something especially dark. Bad News happens. It’s unavoidable. We can’t run from it. We can’t hide under our bed and let it pass. Bad News does not discriminate. It finds us all.

People with Bipolar Disorder have an unusually keen sensitivity to emotions, so when Bad News finds us, it can either spell T-R-A-G-E-D-Y or O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y. I choose the latter.

I do not pretend to know about anyone’s experiences but my own. And I do not pretend to be an expert on Bipolar Disorders. I can only speak from my own perspective and share what has worked for me because I’ve been faced with some mighty bad news as of late. If you’re familiar with my story, you might be nodding your head right now. And yet, somehow, I’m still here. Whenever Bad News punches me in the gut somehow I can take it. Bad News has kicked me down repeatedly. I’ve been beaten to a metaphorically bloody pulp, but yet, somehow, I am still standing.

Every day I make a conscious choice to see opportunity in tragic times. Some days it is easier than others. I won’t lie. There are days that Bad News swings its sword with vengeance and I just want to run for cover. But most of the time, I find the strength to slay it. Perhaps it’s tilting at windmills, but when Bad News knocks, positive thinking is our best defense.

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