What defines you?

quote: What defines us is how well we rise after falling

By Anon

About seven months ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Although this came as a shock, I had known that something had not been right for a while. I had suffered from deep dark depressions  for years which were followed by periods where I was unable to sleep for days. Although the diagnosis was scary, it did come as some sort of relief. Finally I had a name for what was wrong with me.

But I doubted the diagnosis, how could I, a normal 26-year-old who experienced a few highs and lows be diagnosed with something ‘crazy’ people had. I thought of all the celebrities  who had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, Britney Spears and Kerry Katona were two names that came to mind. But how could my Doctor compare me with two celebrities who had clearly gone off the rails?

Since then I’ve been unable to come to terms with the diagnosis. Until yesterday I hadn’t spoken to anyone about it, mainly because the diagnosis scared me, but also because I didn’t want anyone to think differently of me.

But yesterday I was in a conversation with someone when for some reason I dropped my bombshell. We were talking about life and the obstacles that it throws at us, and suddenly before I knew it I mentioned that I had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I couldn’t believe that I had divulged such a private detail about myself. Especially something that I was so ashamed about.

But I guess it happened for a reason.

As it turns out my ‘secret’ wasn’t such a bombshell after all. In fact the person I was with was completely understanding, and had experienced their own highs and lows.

I guess the moral of the story is that I was so busy keeping my secret that it was in fact eating me up. Sure, I don’t have to tell everyone that I have Bipolar disorder- as it’s none of their business. But that doesn’t mean that I have to let it burn a hole inside of me either.

I’ve realised that it doesn’t matter if I have ups or downs, that is not what  defines me. What matters is that I pick myself up after each fall.

That in itself is liberating.

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6 thoughts on “What defines you?

  1. Hi,

    I like your story. I was diagnosed with Bipolar in August 2008. I was sectioned, instead of been admitted voluntarily, which led to a long road to recovery!

    Be careful who you tell. For example in a voluntary job I regret telling my boss anything. Interviews came up & I was never called for them. The question then is what happens when your mood goes high? i suppose it depends on the circumstances. Maybe take time off & hope it doesnt last too long. Sensory deprivation might help eg you might want to listen to dance music but dont feed the high, as attractive as that might be 🙂

    Last Tuesday I went for a metaphysical healing session with Mary Helen Hensley. She is also my chiropractor & has really helped my back in the past. She is an American and has written books.

    I told her my life felt like it was spiralling out of control but that the bipolar wasnt bothering me. Sometimes it is easy to hide behind a label and use it as an excuse when things are not right.

    She worked on my energy field with various devices & we talked about problem issues. Regarding been sectioned she asked a simple question ‘do I want to live the rest of my life feeling angry or do I want to live the rest of my life?’

    5 days later, while Im not perfect, I feel so much more grounded and balanced. Im also reading a book on Cancer, as a friend has it, and realise how I need to make big changes. Im getting into meditation & reading ‘Feeling Good’ by David D. Burns which teaches me Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

    Regarding medication, i now take as little as possible. The healing session is helping me give up alcohol. All I can taste as the chemicals & pesticides, as we are sold crap. I do hope to have the odd glass of good quality wine.

    I do take some Seroquel to help with the lows but if I work on other aspects of my life maybe I wont need it. I feel my short term memory is failing, so changes will be good.

    I feel I could write a book 🙂
    Don’t come off or reduce meds unless under doctors advice.

    Feel free to email me.
    Regards,

    Anne

    1. Thanks for your comment Anne.
      I’ve found that meditation and mindfulness really helps me keep my moods balanced. I’m glad you are finding ways to make things work for you. Thanks for sharing your story and its empowering to know that there are others out there who are also struggling but who are winning the fight.
      Please keep checking out the blog, and spread the word to anyone else who might be interested. Stay well,

    2. Hi Anne
      I rapid cycle constantly despite being on various medications but I am relieved to hear I am not the only one having problems with short term memory, mine is terrible.

      Hi Anon
      I know what getting the diagnosis is like, despite working with people who suffered mental health problems, I had never personally come across bi polar till I was diagnosed myself. There are different types, some more treatable than others but mine is the pretty bad one mixed with some other elemenets I guess too. I meditate with music like Anne but like she says, sometimes music can swing moods too much. Meditation and recognising triggers that make things worse help. The important thing to remember is that no matter how bad things ever get, it is only in that moment and eventually it will pass. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. I have never been hospitalised but that is due to good support from my family and friends. I hope you have support and a listening ear. Everyone has mood swings, ours are just more pronounced. Your not alone and it does not mean your crazy ❤

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