This blog post is inspired by a comment I received. The question was posed – how do we continue to keep on going when we know that inevitably we will fall victim to our episodes. I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder, my episodes of mania, depression, or mixed states can last hours, days, weeks, months. I never know how long my old friend Depression is going to hang around. I never know how high my mania will take me, what danger it will tempt me into. I can’t know. That’s the nature of the beast.
So how do I stay beautifully bipolar?
I take it a day at a time. No, I wasn’t clever enough to come up with this simple solution on my own, my therapist taught it to me. All I have to worry about is today. What can I control today? What can I avoid? What can I do? Do not let the possibilities of the future scare you.
More than once, I have considered ending it all. I am not the strongest, you should know that. I write this blog and for the most part I am able to put on my ruby red slippers, but sometimes I feel so much like the lion. It is easier to feel that the flip of a switch into the ultimate darkness. But that is not the way it works, dear reader, you are hear for a reason. I can not tell you what or why, but you are here and that is enough for me. And maybe it is a something that has not even happened yet. That is the exciting part.
The future is too complicated. Yes, there will be episodes and symptoms. I have absolutely no doubt about that, but I am not prepared to live my life waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’ve done that. I have spent years doing that. Playing the what of if game. It does no good. It ruins today. Because, dear reader, you will have to face our episodes again and again. Check in with your support squad. Sometimes we feel like no one loves us or can’t or will not, but there are people who will. When things get too yucky for you to deal with, call 1(800) 273-8255. That is the national suicide hotline. They will listen any time, day or night. Someone cares.
I know bipolar disorder is overwhelming. I know it can be all consuming. But I promise you it is easier if you take it a day at a time. Forget about tomorrow. Forget about how you will feel next week or next month or in five years. Live for today. Do the best you can do today, even if all that means is managing a shower and a bowl of cereal. Maybe it means applying of the job of your dreams. Whatever the case – today. That’s it. That is all you have to get through.