I am brave. You’ve told me so, but I also know it deep down in that part of my heart where hope also lives.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I was not brave. I was scared. I was depressed. I thought my life was over. I thought it was an end.
Turns out it was just a new beginning.
I had a photo shoot this past weekend for a headshot for This is My Brave the show (more to come about that). The photographer Julie Fischer McCarter of Shoot Photo Inc. remarked how confident I was with my admission of bipolar disorder. I assured her I wasn’t always so brave. It took me a long time to find my brave.
You see, it is okay to not be okay with it. It isn’t fair. I agree. It’s not. It is a chronic condition – a never-ending condition. It takes so much work and energy to find wellness. The ups and downs aren’t just ups and downs, they are violent clashes of emotion.
So how did I become brave? How did I become beautifully bipolar? Time. It took time. It took testing the waters – telling family and good friends. Then admitting it in my personal blog, ElainaJ.com. To be honest, a few people ran, but more stayed, more people used the word “brave.”
For me being brave is getting through the day. It is going to my appointments and sitting in tiny waiting rooms with people in handcuffs. It is telling people I wrote a memoir about living with mental illness because I have bipolar disorder and OCD and anxiety disorder. Being brave is believing in myself. I am a warrior.
(To order your own BRAVE bracelet go HERE.)