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You Always Have A Choice

choices ladySometimes with bipolar disorder, things can seem black and white. Depression. Mania. Mood swings. Or maybe they just seem black and it’s hard to find the white – the light. I know how this feels. This week was tough, but I distracted myself. Bought myself a whole milk latte before therapy. Went clothing shopping armed with coupons. Ate some pretzel bites. Treated myself to a coke. Got a free sample at Bath & Body Works. Scheduled a much-needed haircut. Had coffee with my best Virginian friend and got the cutest Valentine’s Day card from her and her 5-year-old. (It was a little late because we’ve both been out of town for a couple of weeks).

Anyway, I had a choice. Lay in bed and wallow in self-pity or get up, get showered, and get out there and live. Part of me was fueled by anger, but most of me was hurting. But you know what, all those little things – the coke- etc, made me feel better and worthy and special. We are talking about a damn coke here, but those tiny sweet bubbles dancing on my tongue made a difference.

Sometimes when I get depressed I deal with suicidal ideation. That means I become obsessed with the thought of killing myself. I have no concrete plan. I am not “a danger to myself.” They are┬ámorbid obsessive thoughts. And when I get like that, as hard as it may sometimes be, I know I have a choice. I can choose life. I can choose whether or not to self-harm. Everything is a choice. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

There are always options. There are always choices. There is always hope.


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

You Always Have A Choice

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2015). You Always Have A Choice. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Mar 2015
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