When Bipolar Disorder Feels Like Being Lost at Sea


Imagine being lost at sea in a tiny little raft with nothing but the vast ocean surrounding you. You’re floating along seemingly alone, stranded and powerless. You are completely at the mercy of Mother Nature with a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. You learn to ride each wave as it comes at you, but what you really want is to stand on firm, dry land just like everyone else.

You learn to be brave because there are sharks out there that prey on your vulnerability. You learn to weather the fiercest of storms. You learn your deepest fear is one day you’re going to not only drown but you will want to. You learn how to be strong, how to be tough and how to be resourceful, and how to manage.

You also witness miracles and such beauty, it escapes imagination. You develop an open heart and mind. You become a piece of art: fluid, magical, tenacious and breathtakingly captivating.

You are weathered, tired and your entire body hurts and is sore. There is a thirst inside of you that you don’t think will ever be quenched. Your scars are so deep that they will never heal. You’re alive, fighting and hungry. You acquire an appetite for a life filled with purpose, for happiness. This is your life, our lives, a life living with bipolar disorder.

It isn’t some joke. It isn’t some cliché. It isn’t a choice. It isn’t an excuse. It just is.

It doesn’t make anyone less of a person, and it isn’t something to apologize for either. It is an illness. We didn’t “catch it” from living a bad lifestyle or making poor choices. Bipolar does not define your character as a person or you as an individual. I am not bipolar. I have bipolar. There is a big difference. Never forget you are not alone.

“I didn’t choose the bipolar life. The bipolar life chose me.”

Peace, love and happiness to all.

– M.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Bipolar Disorder

Woman measuring waistline

5 Ways Bipolar Disorder Distorts My Body Image

Bipolar disorder makes my life difficult in different ways. My mania and depression both affect my relationships, my ability to work and my life as a mother. My sometimes unstable moods also affect my self-esteem and make it difficult to see myself in a realistic way. My bipolar disorder distorts my body image in five [...]
Illustration of colorful pills

A Conversation Between a Pharmacist and Someone Who Needs Her Psych Meds

Once in a while, I forget to tell my psychiatrist I’m low on my medication. My shrink is cautious and protective of his patients, so he rarely issues refills. I have to be mindful of this, since many of my former therapists in the past had the less responsible practice of leaving one, two, even 10 refills [...]
Detail of the english word "depression" and its meaning

My Personal Bipolar Disorder Glossary

Often times, the experience of bipolar disorder gets condensed into DSM jargon and a few brief, unemotional paragraphs in psychology textbooks. As a result, the disorder becomes a collection of somewhat inaccessible, detached medical jargon. We are so used to the phrases “mania” and “depression.” We may be able to recite a textbook definition of the two, but [...]
Hospital staff rushing around the interior of a hospital hallway

5 Important Takeaways From a Week of Two Mental Health Crises

Last week, I wasn’t doing well at all. I cried out for help. I cried loudly and no one heard me. I was in a mixed state (both manic and depressed at the same time). This happens to me frequently with my bipolar disorder. I managed to get through that first, hellish night, but I [...]