The challenge was bullets flying from the outside and strategically resolving the pain of each one on the inside. Desperate for time to contemplate fragments tearing through my soul, I became frustrated. The frustration in reading each labeled bullet instigated my anger; labels such as addiction, lies, detox, police, arrests, to name a few. With each bullet, my heart grew numb. My mind erased one canvas after another, leaving a blank nothing.
“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes tremendous balls. Not unlike a tour in Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issues medals along with the steady stream of medication.”Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking
I know life as a woman with bipolar. I have spent years to know myself intimately. Many people refuse to take the time to do this. Being unsure of who you are may lead to dissatisfaction in other relationships. That old saying of know yourself has meaning and deserves attention and respect. I did what was necessary to accomplish knowing myself.
Tonight, sitting alone with a chick flick playing, I feel a need to move with caution. Mental illness has a way of stinging you. Stung often, I have doubts. Throughout personal reflection, things evolve. I appreciate this while others remain confused.
Some days I focus on the internal bullets; other days I am busy taking hits from the external ones. Strapping on a bulletproof vest is common. To survive the pain others cause requires the willingness to surrender and take the hit. Surrender is accepting that you cannot change others, but you can change yourself. It is the ability to forgive on your terms. Hoisting that white flag requires courage and strength you need to acquaint.
I have surrendered, and refuse to offer my mind as a hostage to others. A life living in bondage to another’s actions, words, and blatant lack of concern is no life at all. I may struggle at times and fall back, but I will regain my ground. Years of getting to know myself resulted in confidence in my ability to approach, enter, and exit these difficult situations-bullets and all. Aware that I am a woman with bipolar disorder, I am aware of the warrior I am through the battle.
I have no fear of moving forward, though I have no idea where this road leads. I will take one step at a time similar to the rest of the world.