Recently, I have been thinking, “What if bipolar disorder had a cure?” and questioning if I would want to be cured. After weeks of thinking about it, I finally have an answer, and it would be no. No, I would not want to be cured of bipolar disorder. You may be baffled and questioning my answer. I was too, but here’s why.
I would not choose to be cured because being diagnosed with bipolar has changed my life dramatically, both positively and negatively. The negative effects did have consequences such as losing friends, making lots of enemies, and spending my entire life savings in one weekend. However, without those negatives, I wouldn’t have had the positives. The positive effects of bipolar disorder have truly helped me, and without experiencing extreme highs and lows, I wouldn’t have gained this type of courage.
The extreme shifts in mood played havoc in my relationships, and I was left confused. Everyone around me seemed to be walking on eggshells or talking negatively about me. These experiences gave me the courage to reach out and admit I needed help. Unfortunately, I only asked for help while feeling depressed and I went misdiagnosed for a few months. I eventually experienced a manic episode which helped me get the correct diagnosis.
Today, I am medicated with five different medications and I still experience hypomanic episodes and milder depressive episodes, but I wouldn’t change that for anything. Yes, I battle these extreme changes in mood, but experiencing these hardships has taught me a lot about myself, my strength, and how to channel it.
My depressive episodes taught me it is OK to not be OK. I always thought I didn’t feel any emotions because I grew up in a household constantly under strain and I never truly felt safe. I would fake a smile or pretend to be happy and that was a way of life for me. Even as an adult, I pretend I am happy because I do not want to face allowing myself to truly feel emotions. I have always been mean to myself, and whenever I feel sad or worthless, I feel powerless and that is a terrifying feeling. Depressive episodes leave me feeling worthless and numb. Feeling like that is not OK, and bipolar disorder has taught me that.
Nevertheless, there are manic episodes where I am flying so high, I feel I am truly invincible. I have limitless energy, tasks to complete, and social desires. I feel as if I could conquer the world, so alive! But this comes at a high price; the voices in my head can steer me the wrong way. They lie to me, they lure me in. I could become agitated and extremely irritable. Without these experiences, though, I wouldn’t have learned I was feeling emotions more intensely than the average person. I would never have realized how truly sensitive I am.
I was diagnosed with bipolar I shortly after unlocking all my demons and it may be all-consuming, but it has helped me get to where I am now. I can confidently say I battle with bipolar, I am a suicide attempt survivor who has multiple anxiety disorders. I battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from multiple sexual assaults as a young girl and as a teenager, and I tend to self-harm. I have a severe fear of gaining weight and during manic episodes, I have binge-purge cycles. But bipolar disorder has taught me to speak up and use my voice. It has helped me figure out so much about myself and why I am a strong person. In dark times, when I am feeling suicidal, I try to remember I am strong.
I may be a large psychological mess, but bipolar disorder has become a part of who I am, and without it, I would be lost. I have come to accept and love my bipolar disorder, and I could never have that taken away.
So, now I ask you, if there was a cure for bipolar disorder, would you go for it?
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