I can sum up my life these past few months with one word.
There has been a lot of it actually. Though some changes have been expected for quite some time… I could have never imagined some of the new things that have changed my world. Sometimes life just has a way of surprising you, you know? When I look ahead, I see good things. Despite the challenges that may arise, there is just something about it that I can’t help but feel that whatever they are, they can be overcome.
With that being said… I had one of these this past week:
I was thrown back to reality by my friend, bipolar. He reminded me that he is still around, and will show up if I don’t take care of myself.
Me: Oh wow.. the Lithium is really working great. I feel good, I am doing good… I don’t need to worry about this, I can do it…
Bipolar: Oh really? Hahaha… I’ll show you…
A new limit because of my mental illness was shown to me last week. It is really hard when this happens. The reality of having restraints on what I can do because of my illness can hurt. Not physically but mentally. If I am being honest here, it may have even hurt my pride and ego. Ok.. yes, they were. I have been doing really well on the Lithium that I began taking last fall. And I think I began to feel like I was invincible to any and all effects of the bipolar. But not so. Bipolar threw me back into my place..showing no mercy. When this happened, not only did I hurt myself, but I hurt someone who cares about me. That is really hard for me to deal with… hurting those I care about. But I learned from it, a couple things actually. What else can you do? Make amends the best you can, and learn from it.
First: I learned I can not work a double shift at the restaurant were I work. It is a sports bar.. It is loud constantly. So many people, so much commotion. Imagine… 40+ televisions hanging on the walls… all displaying different sporting events, and the noise of all the different games shouting at once… When I started I was working dinner shifts during football season, that became a little much for me. So I switched to lunch shifts and I have been doing great there. I love it. That was until I decided to work a double shift (lunch and dinner)… like so many other people that I work with do…. But guess what? I can not do that. Nope. My brain is 100% against me doing that. Lesson learned.
Second: I learned I can not hide when I am struggling with my illness from those who care about me… not anymore. My whole life I have felt like I have had to hide my imperfections and my struggles in order to protect myself. Living in such a way that I felt like a ghost- never touching the ground so I would not burden others with the weight of me. They didn’t understand or they didn’t care… the hurt of having your pain and struggles disregarded and ignored can close off the heart faster than anything I know. And showing what I was really feeling brought anger and sadness. From a young age, I learned to keep it to myself as much as I could.
But for the past while I have been learning I don’t need to do that anymore. I realize that I need to step out of behind that last bit of wall that I use as a safety net and trust in what I feel… It is a scary thing to stand in front of someone and say here I am… all of me. The good, the bad, and the crazy. But that is what am doing. And I think I have found that safe place, mentally, because I want to do it. Does that make sense? I know it has everything to do with the fact that I have learned that there are people out there who “get” my crazy. Those who make me feel like my feelings are valid and important to them… even if they are my crazy bpd thoughts. But even more important, I feel like I am cared about not only for who I am… but because of who I am. That is the difference between loving someone despite their scars, and loving them because of their scars- these scars, have in part, made me who I am today. I have found there are those who think my scars are as beautiful as my freckles… and that is a very good feeling.
p.s. someone gave me this sweatshirt the other day.
it is absolutely my new favorite.
i love it… probably a little too much…
i wear it… probably a little too often…
but that’s not going to change…
it makes me happy.