Living Bipolar Strong


Bipolar can be such a devastating illness. It can be a difficult monster to defeat. It is deceptively beautiful at times. Thoughts come so fast that they overwhelm you. Emotions are so beautiful you are moved to tears. Creativity abounds and you’re filled with confidence.

But soon, everything begins to move so frenetically. You’re trapped within this plane of existence, trapped within the madness. You come up for air but the rip tide overwhelms you. Your mind burns so bright that it bursts and all you are left with are the pieces and shambles of your life in its destruction.

Waking from this dream feels a bit as if you are Rumpelstiltskin. While you were in some crazed state, life happened and in the meantime all the people you have known and love have left. Life as you knew it is over. And what you thought was glorious and divine was actually insanity. Darkness disguised as light. A seedy drug binge. A tawdry affair. Grandiosity. A belief you’d be a world-famous President one day.

Some mistakes can be repaired. Others can’t.

Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, you had lost any sense of up from down, North from South. But now that you are rotating around the same plane of reality as the rest of the world and you see your life and reality for what it is. You understand the sorrows and all the heartbreak. You fall into the worst of depressions. During this time you walk through what feels like the valley of the shadow of death. Each day you wake up wanting to die. Your body is here, but your spirit is somewhere else, struggling to stay aflame.

It takes strength to rebuild, to put one foot in front of the other each day. It takes strength to look at yourself in the mirror when the mistakes you’ve made have caused yourself and others so much pain. It takes courage to continue living when all you want to do is die. It takes resilience to come back from that low point, to continue hoping, believing.

Bipolar Strong is a recognition of this fact — of the incredible strength, courage, and resilience it takes to live with this illness. In many ways bipolar can be the greatest gift or curse — to not only survive, but to thrive with it, as so many of us do each day. We continue to hope. We continue to persevere. We continue to move forward even through all the pain. We know that in all the messiness of life, there is beauty. There is love. There is grace. We can accept these things and offer them to others. We can grow in them, and grow in spirit. We continue hoping and believing. We thrive.

We know there is a part of us that is separate from our bipolar. Although it is an undeniable part of us, it does not define us. We are not our worst mistakes. And yet nor are we only our gifts. We are all so much more complex than that. There is a beauty in our scars, in our pain and also our delights. We are darkness and light. We know joy but we also know sorrow. We live deeply and yet also fully. We struggle and yet we also overcome.