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4 Presents My Bipolar Disorder Left Under My Christmas Tree

As the holidays approach, I made a list of four presents my bipolar disorder left under the Christmas tree:

The ability to feel more and be more emotional

My bipolar disorder gave me the power to get to know my emotions better. It has allowed me to explore them. People’s emotions usually change in a matter of seconds or minutes. When you have bipolar disorder your emotions may stay for a while. I get to explore the many emotions and get to know them. When other people are feeling lonely this emotion sometimes goes away as soon as loved ones show you they are with you. But I get to know this emotion called lonely. I get to stay in its apartment in a building called depression. I get to talk and know him because it doesn’t matter how many people are around me, telling me and showing me they love me. I am still staying in lonely’s apartment. Even though this sounds like a bad thing it’s actually not for me. I get to know all emotions from head to toe. I have learned how to deal and handle them since I usually stay in their houses for a while. Having this gift makes me empathize more with people. Since I know all of these emotions so well, I help people and teach them easier ways to deal with them.

It has shown me that life is a roller coaster ride.

I usually describe bipolar disorder as a roller coaster. Sometimes you are at the peak of the roller coaster where energy overflows your body. But when you get to the peak you know it’s eventually time to come down. It goes way below ground level into a deep black hole where the cart usually stops working and you have to wait for it to begin working again. When it begins working it sometimes stops at a ground level where you are stable but you know the ride will start again. This roller coaster has shown me that life has its ups and downs. With bipolar disorder the definitions of “ups” and “downs” are altered. I have learned how to deal with the roller coaster in my life, which I usually call my “Bipolar Adventure,” because it really is an adventure where you ride your emotions and get to know your true self.

It has shown me the true meaning of being strong.

My bipolar disorder has made me go through hell. I like to relate the going through hell part with this quote:

“The Devil whispered in my ear,
You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.
Today I whispered in the Devil’s ear  
‘I am the storm.’” 

I see the devil as my depression telling me I am not strong enough to overpower him. And by saying I am the storm, I’m saying I’m the one in control of my brain and he doesn’t have power over me anymore. This has shown me that the strongest people are not those who fight battles in front of us but the ones who fight battles we know nothing about. I fight bipolar disorder every single day, and it has made me the strongest person I know.

4. And last but not least: It has shown me I should love myself just the way I am.

Bipolar disorder showed me that I need to learn how to become besties with it because whether I like it or not, my illness will always be there. I learned to embrace it and in some ways love it. This is a lesson I will always value because it’s helped me learn how to love my flaws. They are part of who I am. I love myself, and I am proud of the person I’ve become thanks to my illness.

I am really grateful my bipolar disorder left these four presents under my Christmas tree. People with mental illnesses sometimes are so focused on the negative things they have gone through that they forget to look around and see all the life lessons and presents their illnesses may have given them. I encourage you to go check under your Christmas tree, too. I’m grateful my illness gave me these presents because they have made me the awesome human being I am today.

Happy Holidays!

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Thinkstock photo by View Apart