First, let me start off by saying this –
This is an entry from my own personal journal. When I was diagnosed with bipolar years back, I created a journal to help me manage it. One way to help manage bipolar was to write all the awesome things about living with bipolar, and how the diagnosis can be a positive thing and/or an asset. By sharing my thoughts about why bipolar can be an asset, I’m in no way lowering the seriousness of bipolar disorder. Living with a mental illness can be very tough; I know because I was diagnosed with bipolar 17+ years ago, in 2000. I hope by sharing my thoughts, you’ll be able to understand how bipolar doesn’t have to be a limitation, but an asset to improving your life and conquering your goals. 🙂
(And thanks for reading my entry.)
There are days where I feel I’m at a disadvantage because I’m bipolar. There’s nothing I can do about it either, so I need to learn how to manage it the best way I can. Throughout several months, I’ve been trying to stay positive and never look back. In other words, what’s done is done, and there’s nothing I can do about it now, so my bipolar diagnosis is a part of me. I wish it was as easy as turning off a switch and I would be cured, but I believe things happen for a reason – even being diagnosed with bipolar.
If you read my other posts, you know how I manage bipolar by staying positive. I always look at why things happen, and how there’s a deeper meaning in everything, and eventually what’s tough right now will somehow benefit me in the long term. I feel even being diagnosed with bipolar has brought out positive changes in my life. I know for some of you it’s hard to grasp that idea, so I’ve put together this series to help you understand what’s awesome about being bipolar. I’m speaking from my own point of view, but I’m sure many of you will be able to relate.
Awesome #1 – Fear Doesn’t Hold Me Back Anymore, I Embrace Fear
Fear held me back from doing things. Fear made me emotional, and kept my true personality hidden because I was afraid of what others would think about me if they knew I was bipolar.
When I first was diagnosed with bipolar in 2000, I was scared and didn’t know what to expect. Hundreds of thoughts ran through my mind like:
- Will I have friends?
- Will I finish school?
- How will I handle tough situations?
- How will this affect my personal relationships with people?
- How long will I have to take medication?
- Can I afford the medication?
- Will I die early?
- And the list goes on…
But, throughout the years I started to learn a lot about myself and how the human mind works. For example, my most valuable lesson is that your mind can learn and adapt to different situations as you train it over time. The mind can adapt to accepting fear, but you need to learn how to live with fear and stop pushing it away because only then will it start to work for you. In other words, learn to embrace fear and accept it as being a part of you.
It’s safe to say I no longer fear living with bipolar.
I’m unafraid because I’m able to reflect and understand how bipolar didn’t slow me down, and the fear I had was only a mental state; I’m able to bring that lesson into everything I do now. As I started to progress through life conquering small goals, my sense of fear started to disappear. The fear of having to live with bipolar doesn’t have to slow me down, and I can still live a normal life and enjoy doing the things I love to do.
Here’s the thing, many people start off believing exactly like I did—that bipolar is the scariest thing in the world, and there’s nothing scarier than being diagnosed and having to live with bipolar disorder; this was my mentality. And the thought of having to tackle life while living with bipolar slowed me down a lot because I was scared that I wasn’t good enough to work, have friends or even start a business. But, when I decided to push forward and not fear being bipolar, but embrace it, I made positive changes.
Here’s what’s awesome about being bipolar:
Fear no longer holds me back in anything I do. I think about how I would be different if I never had bipolar—maybe lazier, negative, and not appreciative of the smaller things in life. I ask myself if I would be fearless like I am right now?
It’s because of being bipolar that I’m able to tackle fear head on. And living with bipolar was the only driving force pushing me to accept fear by letting it work for me, not against me. I truly believe if I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar, I would still have fear holding me back. You often hear people talk about how a major life-changing event, like losing a loved one or surviving a major car accident, made them appreciate life more by living it to the fullest. I feel the same way, because having to live with bipolar has made me fearless and forces me to conquer things that are holding me back in life.
Let’s all thank bipolar disorder for making us fearless human beings. Let’s thank bipolar for pushing us to conquer the things we fear in life. Fear is a strong emotion and, when on your side, can help you excel in all aspects of your life. But, you need that one trigger to force you to tame the fear in you, and for me it was being diagnosed with bipolar…now that’s awesome!
How about you?
Have you noticed how bipolar has made you fearless? Has it forced you to find ways to conquer fear?