I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Bipolar and how it owns me

on June 17, 2013

They say you are not your illness, but that’s hard to swallow when it affects pretty much every aspect of your life and day to day goings on. i just went for a walk around the lake with my friend, we did two laps and chatted away. it’s amazing how when i’m down, things like that seem impossible, just going to the grocery store for milk and bread seems like an insurmountable task, it’s in those moments i feel completely owned by my illness.

When i’m down, it’s only when i push myself and do the ‘normal’ things like coffee with a friend or dinner out with people or whatever it may be, that i get glimpses of happiness and peace. It gets easy to make excuses for myself, and there are the times that i am literally so low all i can do is just breathe and function on a very basic level, but then there’s the rest of the time, which is most of the down time, where i do have SOME control over what i do and im learning it’s only when we push ourselves that we gain any rewards from life, it’s only when stepping outside our comfort zone are we met with untold happiness.

A few weeks ago i would never have imagined that i would even acknowledge the sexual abuse that took place when i was aged between 7-9, let alone publish a poem about it AND do a reading of said poem, and it was painful to do, but in publishing it and putting it out there for all the world to see, i took the power back, i took the power back from all the negativity that breeds when holding such secrets inside.

People who don’t have a mental illness often get frustrated with us that do, they think we can just snap out of it, CHOOSE to be happy instead of sad, etc – well, sometimes, we truly can’t, but maybe sometimes we have more control over our mood or our actions than we’re allowing ourselves to believe? Just maybe, we are the ones responsible and we are the ones that have to own our own happiness. I had come to accept that I am bipolar, therefore i’m just going to feel shit a lot of the time, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that, not for a good portion of the time.

I’m hoping that the next time i’m truly down and if i appear to be stuck and feeling sorry for myself, someone reminds me of this post. I’ve been pushing myself since i started writing again and the rewards have been amazing, if i knew how empowering this would be i would have done it years ago, and shining a light on my issues instead of hiding them away or smoking pot to numb myself has proven so beneficial, i DO have some power over my own life, and it’s such a great feeling.


9 responses to “Bipolar and how it owns me

  1. Jaime says:

    This is awesome. Thank you for sharing! Mental illness is something that we feel we need to hide, and I’m sick of feeling misunderstood or like I’m less than someone else because I’m sick. This post is inspiring to me, maybe I can be more honest with myself and the people in my life about my own mental illness and feel better for it.

    • mckarlie says:

      Wow Jaime that’s so lovely to hear. I think we all hide at least pieces of ourselves, I know I tend to gauge the person and try to figure out how much of my ‘crazy’ they can handle. But here on wordpress I’ve found somewhere i can be totally free and open, it’s so liberating. You should share your story, I’d love to read it 🙂

  2. escurio0990 says:

    I completely understand how you feel… I have an incurable nerve disease and it’s so hard to accept that phrase, but you have to stay positive!!! You have the disease, it will NEVER have you. Keep fighting and stay as strong as you can. That’s all you can do. Just be the badass you are 🙂

    • mckarlie says:

      Aww you’re a doll! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement I really do. Do you get a lot of pain from your condition? I have a bad back and ongoing pain can be such a bitch, really brings you down sometimes.

      • escurio0990 says:

        I do get a lot of pain. It’s not fun. Weather affects it as well. Thankfully, it’s not as bad as it used to be because I got an SCS implanted (also known as a neurostimulator) so that helps me to manage the pain.

      • mckarlie says:

        Good on you for staying strong chicka, I have spondylolithesis and I would get angry when the pain prevented me from every day life. You’re quite the badass yourself, keep at it 🙂

      • escurio0990 says:

        Thanks 😀 same to you!

  3. timbush222 says:

    Keep pushing and staying true to yourself. Those are the best bets sometimes. Just keep pushing and do your daily routine. Getting a routine sometimes helps. Just having a loose sort of structure helps me a great deal to know what to focus on rather than reiterating all the nonsense in my head..

    • mckarlie says:

      Yeah it can be so easy to get stuck in your own rut when you have a mental illness, we can sometimes lean on it a little too much and use it as an excuse. of course sometimes it genuinely disables us, but sometimes we just have to suck it up and push ourselves. having a regular sleep routine has helped me a great deal 🙂

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