I’m sitting here in my car at my daughters cheer practice and a commercial comes on about Bipolar 1 depression and a clinical trial that may be helpful. I won’t call because I feel like for the most part I am under control. However, the fact that I even entertain the thought is something that bothers me.
I spent the first 6 months after my diagnosis saying “wow you mean this feeling or that reaction is actually normal”. See I spent years trying to make myself different, or talk differently, or feel differently. I would make myself sick wondering why those around me wanted me to change so badly. I spent most of my teens and twenties fighting anyone who wanted me to do something differently no matter the reason. I couldn’t understand why me being different was so bad or why(so it seemed) I was supposed to change when those around me so obviously had no intention of doing so and whatever they did was ok. Being a teenager sucks. It’s hrs and confusing. While I can’t say I knew I was bipolar back then I did know that I was different and I constantly felt like there is something wrong with me. I was 17 when one of the teen leaders for our youth group took me out to lunch before a mission trip to ask me to have a good attitude and make sure everyone had a good time. That’s probably not the exact words but that the gist. Or it’s what I heard. It was a painful conversation and it was even more painful in a way when my newly prescribed anti depressant actually made me able to be different. What do you say to people who think you just decided to change your attitude and be nice? The answer is there isn’t an answer. In order to explain you also have to let a large group of people into the inner part of who you are and expose yourself in a way that most adults can’t do, much less a 17 year old. I remember crying more than once because all of my choices sucked and I was pregnant on top of it. It was not a good or fun time in my life.
As an adult I try to be that person that someone needs should they need someone. I can’t count how many discussions I have had about mental illness BEFORE I was even diagnosed. The biggest place in my heart is for people who struggle, and feel alone, and only really want someone to listen and care. I love that I can do this in a way that reaches people and makes them feel a little less alone.
The sad part for me is that while I live my life doing and being that I sit in my car pondering joining a drug/clinical trial for people who are Bipolar. I sit her and wonder if there are things I feel and do that still aren’t normal. But because I have been where I’ve been I think I’m better. And I am in many ways. I can see real ways that I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. But I also worry if I could be even better. It’s a very strange feeling as you are trying to figure out what is normal inside your head and what isn’t. It’s not like a broken arm, get an X-ray, and then a cast. All better eventually. When I start to struggle or get very emotional I always wonder if I am too far outside of normal. But I also have those times when I think “I’m probably not reacting enough”. Ugh! It hurts my brain!!
Ultimately, I only want to love the people in my life and change the world for the better from time to time. I’m sure there will be more times when I think, and worry, think some more about things I don’t know how to control or fix. But as I look in my rear view mirror sitting in my car at the most beautiful sunset, I know this. I know my family loves me! I know God is with me and leading me, and I know that when its all over I will be more grateful for my lessons than regrets.
Be blessed today!! Feel free to leave feedback or contact me.