Hey! Hey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you over there. The one with bipolar disorder. The one that constantly looks down on themselves and wishes they were someone else. The one that wonders what happened in their life to deserve this wretched beast of an illness. I’m talking to the one that thinks about dying more than living, and who struggles some days even to get out of bed. I am talking to you guys over there as well, family and friends, who care for and about all of us. I’m talking to the ones who are facing hospitalization even as we speak. Yep, I’m talking to you, too.
I want you to remember what I am about to tell you. I want you to think about this when you are so caught up in that hamster wheel you just can’t make it stop. Or when you’re so beneath the darkness, you feel like the light might burn your retinas if it appeared.
You are a rock star!
Yes, you are! And don’t argue with me. Listen, I know what you’re saying, “What? I’m not a rock star. I suck, I don’t have anything to show for my life, I don’t even have a girlfriend (or boyfriend). I have no money. My father/mother/brother/sister/entire world hates me!” Nope. I’m not hearing it. Because, you see, I know what you have seen. I know that you’ve seen the edges of the earth. I know you’ve gone through hell and somehow, someway, were able to scrape off the remnants of that last episode or breakdown to come back. You’ve seen and felt the deepest and darkest of the underneath of everything. Or perhaps you’ve seen the highest of the high and had many a conversation with God or been him yourself. I’m talking to you over there, the one who worked 80 or more hours a week thanks to mania and made your company a success. And also to the one that rode it into the ground. That’s right, I’m talking to all of you. The lost, the mighty, the sullen and poor. The meek, the bewildered and the ones on top, too. I’m talking to all of you. My people, my brethren in the trenches.
I know that some days you feel like you just can’t handle another person telling you to just “be happy,” and maybe there are some of you that are still trying to grapple with the diagnosis. I feel you, but you are a rock star. And this life you were given? This struggle and unpredictability? This pain? The isolation, the creativity? Do you know what it means? It means you are alive! You are breathing! You’re here! You have no idea how brave you are because you get up and put one foot in front of the other when every cell in your body is telling you “screw it, just give up.” Not you though. You don’t give up because you know the sunshine you felt on your face this morning is what’s real. You crave another moment of the sand in your toes, for the way you felt when you looked into your child’s eyes. You know what matters is not the intrusive, ruminating thoughts you had all day; not the voice telling you how no one likes you or that you’ll never be able to accomplish anything. Nope. Not you. You are loved. You are wanted. Your life means something. You have a purpose: to teach others, to inspire, to motivate. Because of this God forsaken illness, your life carries with it endless possibility to help someone else.
Because you know just what it takes to survive and you do it every day. You do it despite the illness, not because of it. You live because you know that you can’t miss what might happen later or tomorrow. You live because you know that despite all the chaos and mess, despite all the anger and suffering, life is damn beautiful. You are a survivor, and that makes you a real life, honest-to-God rock star!
So you keep on moving, my friend, and keep making it happen. But get to it, your fans are waiting for you!
Read more from Virginia at her personal bipolar blog, as well as her motherhood blog. Read her other IBPF posts here.