Well here we are once again: World Bipolar Day. This is a strange day for me. It is a day to mourn loss and celebrate victories however small. Geez, what I have put this body of mine through. Nearly killing myself on more than one occasion. Self-harming myself until my wrist is now a tangle of scars. Pushing people out of my life simply by being sick. Wasting so much time. So damn much time to depression and hospitalizations and appointments. Life is a hell of a lot harder with this illness than my life was before it came along to not only visit, but to stay.

All that being said, I love who I am today. I am the bomb today. 🙂 No, really. I have this new outlook on life when I am feeling “normal.” (When I am depressed viewing my life through the same glasses isn’t as easy). I see what a badass I am. I can see all that I have dealt with in this mental illness and how I have conquered so many things that have come my way. For example, I don’t self harm anymore. It isn’t easy. I had to take steps to make it happen. I gave all my sharp objects away to my family. If I have nothing to hurt myself with, well then, I can’t. I also got a fabulously beautiful tattoo to cover my wrist and hand scars. Who would want to ruin that? That is the beautiful part of being beautifully bipolar. I’ve started (FINALLY!) to learn that I deserve to be gentle with myself, if nothing else, at least physically.

I have also learned compassion, a compassion that I never had before I had a couple of break-downs. Sometimes life choices are beyond us. Now I know that everyone is dealing with their own shit – whatever that may be. I am not the only one. I can’t expect the world to revolve around me. I have to be there to support the people I love and care about as well. And in this vein of compassion, I now accept love and affection I may not have been able to, kinda because I had to because I needed it to survive. It built me back up. It made me beautiful again.

Psych wards aren’t always as bad as I, or others, make them out to be. I have met some of the most interesting people “on the inside.” There is actually a guy I still talk to  – years later – from a facility in Tennessee. We just clicked and spent as much time together in there as we could. I have always found one person I related to the most and made a friends with him or her. You aren’t alone in there. You are surrounded by people who understand what the crazy feels like.

I’ve managed to take all this nonsense, this illness I am forced to deal with every day, and make a career out of it. I have become an expert. I have been interviewed for magazines, websites, and podcasts. I get paid to write about our illness and to share my experiences. And now I am coming out with a book, “There Comes a Light: A Memoir of Mental Illness.” I worked diligently on it, spent a lot on self-publishing and it should be coming out by the end of spring, I will be sure that you, dear reader, will be one of the first to hear how you can get your hands on a copy.

So know that being beautifully bipolar isn’t a death sentence, life sentence? Sure, but you can make the most of it. Accept love. Give love. Self love.