As children, we are always told to keep looking ahead to the future! Your future is so bright, you have the world at your feet. As adults, we find ourselves mired in the days of yester-year when things seemed so simple, and the biggest hurdle we had to overcome was whether or not we got to have our best friend spend the night.
I often find myself wondering if we had known more about Bipolar disorder, or even just depression as a whole, would I have been able to prepare myself for what lie ahead. Or would we have just done the easy thing, and swept it under the rug, comfortable in our denial of anything painful.
I see myself now at 41 years old, and I have trouble looking back at my childhood. Not because it was necessarily painful, but because I mourn for that smaller, happier, care-free version of myself. We’ve always been told that being an adult isn’t easy, and believe me when I tell you that being an adult that is Bipolar is even harder. I’m not asking for the easy way out of life, or special treatment, I am just looking for some kindness and consideration.
If babies are born into this world with everyone standing around them oohing and aahing about how “perfect” they are, why on earth do we spend the rest of our days beating them down to have complete and utter lack of self-esteem, confidence, or any idea of what they could have become, had the world not gotten to them first?
As an adult, I still long for the summer time. It reminds me of the days of no school, but you got up at 9:00 am anyway, and you didn’t care because all the other kids on the street were up too. You went outside with your agenda for the day, whether it was soccer, or slip and slide, or playing Star Wars in your friends basement. Those days were so long and blissfully happy.
Suddenly, the world became a cruel and unkind place, because you were unlike the status quo. You had a few extra pounds, and were larger than other kids your age, and because of that difference, you no longer fit into that happy go lucky, cookie cutter mold. The irony of those days is that, while you spend the rest of your life living in shame because of those differences, you would give anything to go back to the days where you were just a few pounds heavier than the other kids. What you’ve become is so much worse. Perhaps you could have lived with yourself just fine, until people started to take notice that you weren’t as thin as the captain of the cheerleaders, or you didn’t have the same expensive clothes as the popular kids.
I will always long for those days that started first thing in the morning, and didn’t end until the sun went down and the mosquitos came out. I had a happy, memorable childhood, with a few exceptions here and there. Now, I find life quite the opposite…..with a few exceptions here and there.
It’s an odd feeling looking back on your life with a sense of joy as tears roll down your cheeks. I don’t blame anyone for these negative feelings I have towards myself. I am the biggest part of the problem, quite literally. I do however, wish someone would have sat down with me when the warning signs began, and said, “Look, your life is going to be a mess….quite frankly a living hell, until you get it through your thick skull that the path you are on, is the path of least resistance, and it will NOT work for you.”
Perhaps I wouldn’t have understood it right then, but there would have been that A-HA moment in my life where those words meant everything in the world to me, and I would have just known. What to change and what I needed to do to become the me I long for today.
If I could sit down with little me, I would tell her, “You’re nuts. Don’t ever let anyone tell you anything different. You are absolutely insane, but there are people out there that will love you despite that. You are smart, even though sometimes you won’t feel that way, you are beautiful, but I’m telling you right now, all that matters is that you think you are, not anyone else in the world…..but, do yourself a favor and eat more salads and exercise more. Don’t ask, just do it. And when you find that adorable, sweet, funny, kind, and good hearted man that will sweep you off your feet in his own little way, never, never, never let him go.”
I bet I would have listened.