Bipolar Life, The Journal #53, A Past That Lingers

I’ve spent near half my life as a diagnosed woman with bipolar. The months leading up to that new reality are never far from my memory, no matter how ugly they were. There was a height of mania I’ve never reached since, and the lowest depression I had ever experienced up to that point. I coasted from one to the other before I’d wake up in a hospital with no freedom to leave.

Life seems to be speeding by. Back then, I thought I had a lifetime ahead to heal and recover. I blink, and it feels like yesterday. Time has been tangling itself in a web of confusion lately. But numbers don’t lie. It wasn’t yesterday; it was a couple of decades ago.

I sit here tonight, pondering where I’m at now. I worked so hard to function, smile, and live this ‘normal’ life. I craved belonging. Not to belong to a group, but to belong to something more than mental illness, shame, sadness, and fear.

I managed to matter and belong. If not to people, to myself. I worked to force my mind to accept my position as a believer in Jesus Christ. I rallied against the voices and the doubt, against the devil himself. It is my greatest accomplishment to date.

One thing I would wish for is release. The gift of letting go. I find it much easier said than done. I forgave myself for the damage I imposed on others, but the consequences of my actions live on. Therefore, I observe the impact I made all these years later. I carry the truth deep in my spirit. I know God forgave me, I think loved ones forgave me, but still, there it sits.

How do we let go? Am I the only one who rekindles the embers of fading memories, then starts at step one again? Bipolar changed me in ways I hate; Satan uses it against me. I know where these thoughts come from and how to fight. I am just tired of the same fight. I would love the opportunity to lay it down one last time, for good.

I am unaware of how to move forward. For now, I keep fighting, like always. If the day comes when the reminder of my sinful past no longer haunts me, I will be thankful. I accept that it may be when I reach heaven. That is the gift; I know where I am going, and my past doesn’t go with me.

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