Bipolar Life- Are You Ready?

This morning a young lady proposed the following question (in summary):
“Why do people say you will only heal when you’re ready. What happens if you are never ready?”

Intrigued, I offered the following short answer (as it was on a Facebook post):
“I can only speak for myself..I sat in my depression until I was ready to understand how my mind worked. I sat stagnant until I was ready to move forward. I learned who I was, how things rapidly change in my mind, often creating chaos. I learned triggers, I learned to recognize the onset of mania before it gained control. I accepted this is my life, my mind, my thoughts. Only I can control my thoughts and I was ready to sacrifice my feelings in depression to regain my life. I owed myself more than what I was choosing. I was ready for healing, and decided to heal. (Thank you for this question. It’s a great reminder)

I was sincere in my thank you. She reminded me what it meant to ‘be ready’. Life is full of ready moments-college, moving into your first place, marriage, kids; or healing moments such as when alcoholics stop drinking, same for addicts. In the arena of mental health there is a moment you look up and realize you are ready to live. No other life choice revolves around intentionally living. The battle against suicide is to live. As we fight the many mental illnesses out there each one uniquely ties to living, be it versus death, or engaging in the world among life.

How do you get ready? There is no instruction sheet to this answer. You do not ‘get ready’; you just are. The revelation usually follows a long history of failed attempts. Those attempts vary and are dependant on the illness. Personally, I was ready to stop living in depression. Depression leads to mania, mania leads to critical consequences and disaster. This is routine over a 20 year span, I know it well. The cycle became exhausting and depressing in itself!

Will you ever feel ready? I believe that is up to you. We are all capable of owning our thoughts, until you accept and receive that truth, I lack confidence you will be ready. Understanding the power in your choice and the power in your own words over yourself is the first step. Accepting responsibility for you and your response to life is generally the first sign you are ready.

Admitting the fatigue in chasing after the mental illness rather than walking ahead and seeing it in the rear view mirror is a factor. It is always there, but you lead. Having faith in yourself that you can tackle this and succeed comes with each step; conquer one and you will begin to envision a potential victory in them all.

The tragedy is not about mental illness.The tragedy is our general misunderstanding of our own ability to respond. The tragedy lies in our lost hope and dreams for a future that we still navigate. The tragedy is the frustration when instant answers from doctors and counselors doesn’t provide instant answers and we give up and give in.

You are stronger than you think. You are capable and as long as you are willing to search within, you will find your ready. If you desire peace, you will find it if you look. If you desire hope, you will begin to think it. You are not the tragedy! Your illness is not the tragedy- it is a curve in the road and you are still at the wheel.

Are you ready?

One Reply to “Bipolar Life- Are You Ready?”

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