Photo by Paul Simpson

Do you ever hear the voices inside your head ask yourself, “What is wrong with me?”

I do. All the time. Especially when I am overwhelmed with tasks, duties, obligations and deadlines. I find myself stuck in a perpetual loop of procrastination-based activities. I Facebook. I Pinterest. I do anything that gives me immediate gratification like answering every email the millisecond it beeps on my computer. I find myself sitting and staring at the laptop hoping for more email. And I sit there and think, yet again, “What is wrong with me?”

I do everything and nothing. Take meds, vitamins, drink coffee and get enough sunlight. But still, I can’t seem to read a book chapter, write a blog post, design a lesson plan for class – anything that requires any kind of cognitive concentration. What do you do when you find yourself doing nothing? What are the voices inside your head saying to you?

It Is What It Is

I’ve thought long and hard about what is wrong with me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, really, there’s nothing wrong with me; nothing wrong about me either. I have to remind myself that I have a brain disorder. I don’t think like other people. I can’t. It’s not that I don’t want to, that I’m not trying “hard enough”. Because I’ve been there too. Feeling somehow I’m not enough. Not smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough.

But the cold, hard truth is…I am what I am and it is what it is. There is nothing wrong with me and nothing wrong with you. We have a disorder; an illness if you will. And we’re not like other people. Other people don’t have obsessive loops of self-talk playing in their minds 24/7. So, when I say there is nothing wrong with us, what I mean is, that we are not bad, or sub-par, or lacking in any way. We just are different. We think and act differently depending on where we are in the cycle of bipolar-ness.

This is a hard fact to come to terms with because we want to be able to do what other people do; to carry on with our normal, everyday lives. But we can’t. Because even though there’s nothing wrong with us, we aren’t normal. One of my favorite movie quotes is from Practical Magic when the aunt says, ” My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.”

This, Too, Shall Pass

I am courageous. Because I refuse to hide myself away and whisper about bipolar. No. I am not normal, but there is nothing wrong with me! The hardest thing about having bipolar disorder is self-acceptance. But isn’t that true about a lot of things we have going for us? Somehow, I have got to be kinder to myself when the negative self-talk begins. It will pass. And I will be able to read and write again.

There Is Nothing Wrong With You

What are the things you struggle with? What negative self-talk do you hear? And what kindness can you show yourself today? Because remember: there is nothing wrong with you.