Do you know the story of Nicole Madison Lovell?
If you haven’t heard about her, especially her story, then it’s important I shed some light. I was actually thinking about NOT writing about her awful story, but felt we all can learn something from what happened. I often sit around pitying myself because I’ve had to learn to live with bipolar, and this has interfered with my perception of reality. I mean, in the end, I’m very lucky to be alive, healthy (when you find a balance), and have loved ones around me. Most of all, I’ve been able to live life the way I want because over the course of 16 years, I’ve been able to understand bipolar and how to control it.
In the dark cloud of pitying myself, I sometimes forget how others have suffered more, and how they were able to get back on their feet. Nothing is more convincing than the recent story of Nicole Madison Lovell. Now here’s a 13-year old girl who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. Here’s a definition from Cancer.org:
“Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes just lymphoma) is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system.”
Nicole spent 6 months in a coma and had a 1% chance of survival, but she beat the odds and lived. She did struggle while growing up as others made fun of her, which is the normal drill in Grade 7 simply because you’re dealing with so many immature kids. However, here is where the story takes an awful turn.
The day I started this blog, I had promised to be completely transparent about my thoughts and feelings, especially if they effected my emotions. I guess I’m writing to reach out for some emotional support because over the years, I’ve developed a sensitivity for people battling any kind of illness. This sensitivity is rooted deep within me because I’ve had to grow up living with bipolar. I know how hard it can be when you’re singled out or feel like you have a long battle ahead.
No matter how hard the battle has been, I’m alive to express my thoughts, but I can’t say the same for Nicole. She was abducted on January 27th, 2016, and her body was found late Saturday afternoon January 30th, 2016.
image by: wjhl.com
She had been stabbed to death, and two teenagers have been charged with her murder.
It’s hard on me emotionally because when reading her story, Nicole had already battled throughout her entire life. Now that she was ready to try and live a normal life, it gets taken away by the people she trusted. Nicole had struggled socially so would surf online in chat groups. She had met one of the accused online.
So far, this is all the information that was made available.
Here are some of the thoughts going through my mind,
Never take life for granted because NO matter what, we are very lucky to be alive. I’ve been trying to incorporate this philosophy into my daily life, however, it’s news like this that pushes rewind on my progress. I felt living with bipolar gave me a VIP pass for self-pity, but failed to realize some people truly have it worse. For example, Nicole battled with a more serious illness, fought it, beat it, then lost her life in a way we all can. I just feel, bipolar or not, illness truly doesn’t matter at the end of the day. The same rules that apply to others still apply to us, too.
I’m very lucky to have the people I have in my life. For most of my life, especially in the early stages of my diagnosis, I would easily take them for granted. The smallest thing would throw my mood off, and I would fight for days with them. Now that I have some control, it’s these same people who continue to support me going forward. I can trust them with my life, and depend on them when I need to get something done. Nicole Lovell had trouble making friends so she turned to online chatting to fill that gap. For a while, she felt safe and the gap was filled, by the same person who now stands accused of taking her life. Nicole was only 13 years old with her whole life ahead of her.
I guess the time I spent misunderstanding my family and friends I wish I spent appreciating them for what they have done for me. I’m alive now so will transform what I can to appreciate who I have. I say this with complete transparency because many of my fights were because of my vicious mood swings.
It’s something I’m NOT happy with, but know there’s always time for change, which is why over the last few years, I try and take whatever I can with a grain of salt. What do I mean? I always take a step back before taking one forward. I work hard at understanding my triggers so I can diffuse them before they happen. All of this has helped me build stronger relationships, allowing me to live a more fulfilled life.
Here’s something else…
An 18-year-old stole the life of a 13-year-old girl who just wanted to be accepted. There are some real assholes out there so all of us should feel blessed we are lucky to know the people we do. It’s that simple!
After reading about the story, I want to do great for people. I want to help others like Nicole who found it hard to fit in. It doesn’t matter if you’re bipolar or not, everyone deserves to live free, and happy.
I’m actually writing this post to ask all of you to start thinking of ways you can help others around you. I want all of you to start transforming yourself right now by learning how to deal with your disorder. It’s time to find effective tools that will help you get back on your feet so you can help others change the quality of their lives.
It’s only when you take the first step of action that you change the direction of your life.
Here are a few things to help you move in the right direction.
- It’s important to love the people around you so instead of fighting, causing more tension in your life, it’s time to find ways to better improve those relationships. Re-evaluate why you have had problems with friends, family, and intimate relationships in the past. You really have to dissect those emotions to find what the root cause is. I’ve noticed it’s usually one thing that triggers everything else.
- Do one thing right now that makes you feel good. If you’re part of a group or community where you chat with others living with bipolar, then go help someone. Read through a common problem you have lived with, and provide support to someone who is living with that EXACT same problem.
- Appreciate how lucky you are to be alive. I know we often feel we are at a disadvantage because we have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, however, we are lucky to wake up every morning ready to make a change.
You know something?
Every day when you wake up, you have the power to change someone’s life. It’s true, I’ve lived with bipolar since 2000, and have been able to help friends in so many ways.
One way I have been able to motivate myself is by following my passion. I love to blog so have “4” blogs that I’ve started over the course of 7 years. I’ve started this one to connect with others who live with bipolar, and want to make a change within themselves and others. I’m using this blog as a portal to communicate what I’ve learned to make me a better person, and live my dreams.
Finding effective tools to keep you on track can be very hard, but the only way you’re going to find what works is by looking. I’ve dedicated myself to reading 10 self-help books for 2016 because I’ve learned a lot reading them over the years.
For example, I’ve noticed that defining my expectations has taken me a long way. It’s pushed me in the right direction, forcing me to make changes in the way I eat, who I socialize with, the way I work, and the way I communicate with others.
It’s truly about finding what works, but in the meantime, I hope the story of Nicole Madison Lovell has shown all of us how lucky we are to be where we are, no matter what struggles we have to live with.