My memory doesn’t work as well these days. It’s not due to aging, I’m only in my 40’s!
However, it is due to my unintentional safety mechanism- the skilled and talented ability of forgetting.
I learned early that to survive and to carry on, I had to push my reality aside. There was no time for what I should have been allowed to feel. If I wanted to be included in the family, I played the game. And to stay safe, I conveniently began losing memories, good and bad. It just was what it was.
But as an adult, now safe, I’ve realized I’ve done this same thing. When times were rough, I would forget. Raising a blended family brought challenges I wasn’t prepared for. Having bipolar in this scenario was like living in a fun house and never knowing what was around the next corner.
There came a point where I made the decision, very personal decision, that I needed to find alternative ways to help myself. I knew I was one bipolar mess! To clean up that mess, I had to find the bridge to close the gap between my bipolar world and the rest of my world. I had to remember I had what I needed to overcome. I had to remember to not live in the realm of risky behavior, or the depressed world where I barely functioned.
I made a dedicated decision that I was going to live, and live well. I began taking prayer a whole lot more serious. I also began engaging in the things I loved when bipolar wasn’t effecting me so terribly.
I returned to church.
I began to heal a marriage that had truly broken and separated.
I wanted to reinvent the Lisa-mom. I wanted to be the mom my kids deserved!
What I found through this intentional journey was that I wasn’t building a bridge to close the gap, but I was building a bridge to the other side, away from the fear, the chaos. And when I crossed that bridge- I burned it down!
I had found a peace I never knew existed. A peace I truly had never accepted or believed in until I said ‘enough’, and took the steps necessary to heal and move forward.
I chose more for myself than mental hospitals, mental free falls, and mental distress!
I chose joy!
Of course, there are no cures for bipolar, but don’t ever believe you have to be stuck on the side of a canyon that leaves you feeling hopeless and helpless.
Begin to build your bridge! It’s possible, I promise.