What do you like most about Bipolar?
This was a difficult one. My ease simply comes from acceptance; knowing that I can’t change these things and not to fight it. The idea that there is good in my illness, no matter how minor, was absurd.
But I always was optimistic, and I refuse to change now.
For the last week I have searched hard for something good to say, and I took to google to start brainstorming. The result was unanimous. The only good thing about Bipolar was the creative gene that ran so rampant alongside it.
Well… As just about the most uncreative person I know, there are some issues there. I like to sketch sometimes but I merely copy what I can see – it is an exercise of my mind, and not the creative talents of someone who sees endless possibilities. I have an eye for design in my fashion and baking, but my mind merely matches colour and shape within defined boundaries and lacks the skill to create new.
So that’s a bit of a bust.
But I knew there had to be a silver lining, so I kept on in my journey to find it. I had to think outside the box now, and as I said before that is a little bit difficult for me. And I discovered that the silver lining isn’t one big thing that makes it sort of ok, it’s the little things.
So here is my list of the little things that make it ok.
1. I was able to get special consideration at university, as a note from my psychiatrist allowed me extensions on any of my assignments.
2. I am eligible for the Youth Disability Supplement, in which the government grants me extra money to live.
3. If I hadn’t become ill, I wouldn’t have left an abusive ex-boyfriend, and wouldn’t have met my wonderful current one.
4. I had to mature early to manage this illness.
5. I used to drink far too little water, but Lithium now has me drinking 4L a day!
6. It has humbled me
7. It puts me in a great position to advocate for mental health awareness
8. I’ve adopted it as a part of my identity, something that makes me unique from my friends
9. It has helped me understand why I acted the way I did during the worst parts of my life, and that I don’t have to carry the burden of guilt any longer.
And most importantly…
10. It has brought me closer to my father. While I love my dad more than I can say, we had little going on in our personal lives that really connected us. Since inheriting his illness, he is now the only other person who really understands what it’s like. While others care, the responses I get from my dad who has shared this pain are on a whole different level. I have realised how alike I am to this man I consider so wonderful, and I feel closer to him now than I ever had before.
Sometimes things can be so tough, you feel like there can’t possibly be a silver lining. But there always is. Look for yours.