I promised myself that I wouldn’t write again. It was a decision made from a place of fear and not a place of conviction.
I am what they refer to as high-functioning. I went through most of 2017 convinced that I was doing well. I was eating right, exercising and actually getting some sleep. However, what I failed to realize is that I had been running from my fears. See the strange thing about fear is that it can propel you into your destiny or drag you away from your dreams.
Come October 2017, fear dragged me by the ankles and drowned me in a lake of false perceptions. I was sacred! For the first time in a long time I found my façade cracking. I had managed to hide the pain that came with mental illness, but my body was getting tired. My medication was balancing my hormones by killing my body and I could no longer pull of “being okay”. I was a high-functioning individual that was no longer functioning.
I found myself in dark spaced filled with sorrow and dangerous thoughts. I would cry at anything and everything because I had lost hope in myself. My bipolar had convinced me that I was in competition with everyone else and I was coming in second. It’s voice got so loud that I began to believe it. I slowly gave up everything I loved: yoga, food, writing.
But here I am…
Bipolar tried me but it didn’t win. I’m battered and bruised but I made it. And I think the following things helped me get to this point:
- I asked for help: As soon as the suicidal thoughts began, I immediately called my psychologist. Death can be so tempting but life is always worth living.
- I allowed myself to relax: This is very tricky for many people. We live in a society that tells us that we are less than if we are not productive. We often find ourselves working on tasks that do not enjoy to please people we don’t even know. Why not take that same energy and use it on something you actually enjoy?
- I engaged purposefully: Mental illness is very good at imposing loneliness and makes being around those you love very hard. This loneliness is somehow magnified during the festive season. Although it was really challenging, I stayed in the company of those I love. Whether it was moments of laughter or moments of deep sorrow, I made sure I was in the presence of those I love.
- I ate without fear: Although I love food, I have a very complex relationship with it. It makes me anxious, which makes me eat less every day. However in the past few weeks I have allowed myself to eat one “prohibited” food item per day without exercising immediately afterwards. I would have chips, chocolate and bread?
So, as you read this, know that all the little things you do have a cumulative effect. Congratulate yourself for getting out of bed. Smile when you show up at work even though you hadn’t slept all night. Take pride in the fact that although you fight your mind every day, you are here!
You is smart. You is kind. You is important. – The Help