To the Little Girl Who Just Got Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder
I know these times might be a bit confusing, and maybe even a little painful, but I want to give you some advice that has helped me through the years.
1. It’s OK to feel your emotions. It’s OK to be happy, sad or mad. Bipolar disorder makes your emotions very strong at times, so remember: Emotions are good; letting them control you is not. When you’re angry, don’t act in anger. When you’re sad, don’t base your plans on those emotions.
2. Crying is not something to be ashamed of. You should never have to feel like you need to hide your emotions. Bipolar can oftentimes make that impossible, so remember that crying can be therapeutic. Embrace it, but do not stay there. Have a good cry, then watch a funny movie or take a hot bath. Do something for you to help you feel better.
3. It’s important to remember that the bad days won’t last forever. I know that sounds cliché and it probably doesn’t feel that way during the hard days of your bipolar, but I really do think it’s true. Try to find at least one thing each day that you’re thankful for. It can help brighten your perspective.
4. Don’t ever stop dreaming! Mania should not force you to fear dreaming too big. Your dreams will guide you through life, giving you your passions, guiding your decisions and leading you to find the joy in every day. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming; just be aware of your emotional state and when in doubt, write it down and come back to it when you’re feeling more stable.
5. There is no shame in asking for help, no matter what bipolar state you are in. Admitting that you can’t do it all on your own is healthy. It’s something you should learn to do sooner rather than later. Your mental and physical health will thank you.
6. Know that there are people around you who love you, care for you and will be there for you in your hardest of times. The depression might lie to you and try to convince you that you’re on your own, but you cannot believe this. You will know who these people are because they will support you through the good and bad and will have your back no matter what.
7. Your failures don’t define you. We do not learn without failure. Being manic can sometimes cause more failures than we would like, but you have to accept the failure, learn from it, pick yourself up and continue on. No matter what happens or what people say, you are not a failure. Everyone makes mistakes, even the most successful people.
8. Boundaries are healthy. They might be hard to create, but you will grow to appreciate them in both your manic and depressive states and especially once you’re older. You will find that boundaries will make your life easier, healthier and more fruitful.
9. And lastly, never be ashamed of who you are. You are amazing; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t hide your “weirdness;” it’s unique. Don’t hide your quirks; it is part of what makes you you. Do not be ashamed of your bipolar disorder — it does not define you. You are special. Don’t deprive the world from how incredible you are!
Hold these truths close to your heart, live life to the fullest and love lots.
Someone who has been there
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