Bipolar Disorder is a lifelong illness, it’s something that will always be with me and being a positive person by nature, I always try to look at the positive side of things when I feel able. I’m not saying by any means that I enjoy having this illness, there are so many severe negatives that come with it and it makes life so much harder, but I have found some positive aspects in amongst my struggles.
1. It has made me stronger
I feel that the truly horrendous times I have been through, the struggles and the difficult periods, have made me a stronger person. I have had to learn to deal with what life throws at me when it comes to my mental health and my physical health. I have had to learn to just get on with things, to do my best to keep moving forward and function in the best way I can. I definitely feel that I have a deep internal strength that keeps me going.
2. Being more appreciative
There are so many hard things I deal with on a daily basis, so many things that this illness makes difficult that I feel I appreciate the good times that much more. I savour those times when I am stable, when I am able to smile and giggle and enjoy the present. I take the good days and make the absolute most of them because I don’t know how long it will last. Even on bad days, I take note of the small joys that I can find, such as hearing from a friend, having a piece of cake, cuddling with my dogs. I appreciate these small things that bring me comfort and happiness.
3. Being more empathetic
Since I know what it is to struggle and how difficult life can be, I feel I have become more empathetic with other people. You never know what anyone is going through, what their experiences have been or what they are dealing with, and I think I appreciate this on a deeper level because I know how hard it can be to just function. It’s so vital to just be kind to others, to be there for others when we can and to try to understand that life is difficult for so many of us. I feel like my experiences over the years have truly opened my eyes to this.
4. Being more creative
There is research out there that suggests that those of us with Bipolar Disorder tend to have a more creative or artistic side to us. I’m not sure whether this is the case for everyone, but I have found that I can throw myself into crafts, into writing, into my blogs and poetry and these are things that I feel truly passionate about and that come naturally to me. Whether this stems from my Bipolar Disorder or just from my own personality, I take it as a positive thing.
5. Finding others who really understand
The friends that I have found who struggle with their mental health and their physical health, both online and in my day to day life, I have developed deep bonds with because we really understand what the other is going through. We can connect on a level that isn’t always possible with other people, because they understand my experiences and my feelings and I feel I can truly be myself with them. This is something that I am extremely grateful for.
I am not by any means saying that this disorder or any mental illness is a positive thing, but there are lights that I found among the darkness and I feel that appreciating these more positive aspects is something worthwhile.
I’d love to hear if any of you find any positive sides when it comes to your mental illness and what they are.