“One of the happiest moments ever, is when you find the courage; to finally let go – of what you cannot change.” –Back Towards Light
When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 24 years ago, which now seems like a lifetime ago and essentially was a different and changed lifetime ago, I could not accept my diagnosis.
I was a beautiful 29 year old Special Education teacher with two adorable and perfect children, I was married, owned my own home with a garage and a beautiful yard, had an awesome dog and owned two cars. You know the story, the life I dreamed of and the life I worked hard to have.
I was happy with the life I had until my bipolar tsunami hit hard and destroyed it all. I slowly began to lose everything I had. I lost my career as my symptoms soon became too severe for me to work anymore. I lost my marriage because my husband could not handle my illness and basically threw me away with my illness. He was not supportive. He tried to take my children away from me numerous times, but it never happened but he continued to make my life more miserable and difficult for me as I had to fight all the time to keep my children. My ex-husband even got my home that I bought. Nothing was ever the same for me again.
I could not have this bipolar disorder label and I refused to accept it for a long time.
I know I was not feeling well and something was wrong with me, but it could not be a mental illness and it could not be bipolar disorder. I did not want to have it, so I fought it every step of the way.
Back then it was never really talked about. At least I never heard about it. I didn’t know what it was. Even though I didn’t accept it, I started reading and researching everything I could about it. This was way before computers and the internet, so Barnes and Noble became my second home. I loved going there and I went there all the time, bringing my young children, buying them children’s books and buying myself every book I could about bipolar disorder so I could learn about bipolar disorder and understand what they were trying to tell me was happening to me and what this illness was.
Even though I was reading and researching about bipolar disorder and trying to learn everything about it, I could not accept that I had bipolar disorder. I did not want it. I did not have it.
When I was first diagnosed with bipolar, I was not a good patient at all. I fought everything they told me. I couldn’t have this. I was told I would never be the same again and I would always have my ups and downs. Well, I didn’t want to have these ups and downs and I did not like feeling the way I was feeling. I was living in pain and I wanted it to just go away. I couldn’t accept my new life.
I could not learn how to get better or to live successfully with something I did not have. I had to accept my diagnosis of bipolar and I wouldn’t.
My old life was recently snatched away from me. My diagnosis was very new and fresh to me and I could still smell and taste how I used to be and I wanted that person and my life back. I tried to get it back. It seemed to be in arms reach, but I could never quite grasp it ever again.
I couldn’t stand the pain and the new medications they were giving. me. They were making me feel unreal and not like who I was used to be and who I was supposed to be.
I was getting worse and I felt like I became a failure to myself, so I thought I must be a failure to everyone else as well. This is why years ago I attempted suicide a few times but God was always there and saved my life many times, protecting me from harms way.
My brain was trying to kill me, but God always said NO. NO WAY!
God saved my life many times and that is why I am still alive today.
Acceptance was the first step on my road to recovery for my bipolar disorder.
I finally accepted I had bipolar disorder and now I could finally find the right medications and treatment that would work best for me and I learned how to best cope, live and survive with my symptoms of bipolar.
I did have to grieve for a little while for the life I once had and the life I thought I was going to have. I accepted that there is always change in life and this just happened to be the change in my life and it was ok. I embraced it all.
I found Jesus and became a born again Christian and now live my fully for Jesus Crist serving the Lord as often as I can, in the best way I can and how God has called me to live my life for Him.
It was when I realized that Jesus is always with me and has always been with me that the light of my life slowly began to shimmer and glimmer and then brightly shine to me, people in my life and the world around me.
Jesus had to surfer and it is okay because I am one of the chosen ones and I have been chosen to go through the struggles I went through. Now I can be a voice for others to let them know they are not alone. I am blessed to be able to help make others aware of this painful illness and educate others about bipolar and mental illness and help reduce suicide and reduce the stigma of bipolar and all mental illness.
I am very happy to be alive and with the life God has blessed me with. My life is good. I am blessed and always have been. Praise God.
“Laugh as long as you breathe and love as long as you live.” –Jonny Depp