Amidst the storm surrounding my diagnosis, my grandpa said, “realistic expectations” to everyone. I didn’t know what it meant but tried to follow that advice anyways, and later I understood. It is an important concept to have when one is going through hard times, and when one needs to grow and get his or her act together. Other parts of the storm included difficult relationship problems, work, school, interests, taking care of myself, figuring out this bipolar problem, and moving on. Realistic expectations are healthy expectations. Not great expectations or low expectations. If you have one of those, you may end up dying instead of growing.
When I mention a growth spurt, I don’t mean the nine inches I grew in eighth grade. I’m talking about my life’s current season, growing from within and seizing every opportunity to branch out. Bipolar put my life on hold for seven years from age 17 to 24. The vital truths I learned then were that I am not my illness but have it, and becoming familiar with my “strain” of bipolar. During the following three years since age 24, I found myself.
Reflecting on the past four months, I now realize I inadvertently decided to make some life changes. Such changes were impossible for me before, until I learned that change comes from within. In order to make new friends and form new relationships, I must silently call out to people from within. When I did, people came, both new faces and people I’ve known for a while, and I followed my intuitions.
Writing became a much higher priority, as my inner desire is to speak out about bipolar, mental illness, and share my experiences. Much of this is in keeping journals and keeping this blog when I can. Meditation taught me I have more control over my body, and I can lose weight because I want to. I’ve now lost over 30 pounds in 2 1/2 months! My career opportunities may be expanding as well, as I desire to have greater responsibility for my life.
With all of this being said, I mentioned in a recent post that I’m planning on telling my parents I’m not a Christian. That was my idea, and I know it to be the wrong thing to do. Why? It’s out of context. I don’t want to ruin this growth by nipping it in the bud before it blooms. I’m enjoying the season, every day of it, and I shall see it through. No one knows how my parents will react, and I’m still dependent on them financially. Also, it would cause them and my extended family great pain to hear this news. Anguish would be wrought upon me in dealing with their feelings myself. I cannot stress enough how deep the Christian convictions run in my family. As much as I want to come clean with my faith to everyone, now is not the right time or place.
To those who are suffering right now from bipolar, I feel your pain. I encourage you to press on and never do it alone. I hope this might be some encouragement for you in that there is hope of not only becoming a normally functioning human being, but that your trials indeed turn to gold. Your pain is the price you pay to be extraordinary later on. I assure you it’s worth the cost.
Thank you, everyone who has read part of my blog, and especially to those who have followed or given feedback and support! I appreciate it. Seize the day!