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3 Reasons My Birthday With Bipolar Is Extra Special This Year

April 10, 2019. I am 22 today.

I cannot say enough about how well my 21st year of life went and how much I grew. Those who know me personally will agree with this statement as they read these words: I have changed so much. These changes have been positive, and for the first time in many years, my mental health is very much stable. Not only this, but I am extremely confident in the person I am becoming. I am truly happy, I have found purpose, and it is because of the many realizations I have made lately. After countless years of battling mental illness, you see the world differently. I have so many things to be thankful for as I celebrate another year on Earth, and I am thankful for my opportunity to share these thoughts through my writing.

I have always been a person who enjoyed their birthday, but this year is extra special as I look at life through new lenses.

So, today, on my 22nd birthday, this is what I am celebrating:

1. I have truly discovered myself and found purpose.

If you were hanging out around 18, 19 or 20-year-old Meg, you know she was a very lost soul. I spent much of my time trying to find a purpose through numerous outlets, and none of them ever fulfilled me. I was convinced that, if I learned how to love other materialistic items and people, I would eventually love myself; boy, was I wrong. I probably wasted a ton of time, but I don’t regret anything as it all led up to this amazing year I just had. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

I found many passions in the last year. Whether it is blogging, helping to tackle homelessness or pretending to be a wine connoisseur, I have found all of these things that genuinely make me smile. I feel like, for once in my life, I know who I am and what I like. I am no longer drawing interests based off of those around me; these are my passions and they are oh so real.

I feel like I now have a purpose. This purpose is advocating for others who are marginalized and have not yet found a voice. I used to be this person who was too scared to speak up for what they believed in. I used to struggle to tell people about my bipolar disorder, and now it is smeared across all my social media. I am so happy that today, 22-year-old me is the truest form of Megan Caveney Rowe.

2. I have found happiness in the smallest things.

After years in the dark, where all you could think about was dying, finding the light and discovering life is a big deal. When you find this light, I swear it is the best feeling on Earth. I have been bathing in this light for the last year, and oh my, it has been amazing. After staring death in the eyes, you see things so differently, and suddenly the smallest things bring you the utmost happiness.

I am thankful for the sound of the birds when I wake up in the morning on a spring day. I am in awe of how beautiful the sun looks when it rises and falls, especially in the North. I love the feeling of a crisp breeze blowing through my hair. I love the sound of rain pouring down on my roof as I fall asleep on a gloomy day. I love the way cupcakes taste when they literally melt in your mouth. I love the way my baby sister’s face looks when she smiles, and I love the sound of my mom’s voice when she whispers goodnight. I love how much fun my friends are, and I get a kick out of my daily trip to Starbucks for coffee. Life is so beautiful, I am so blessed and I look forward to experiencing these small things for so many years to come.

3. I am still here.

If I told you that choosing life was an easy feat, I would be telling you the greatest lie. There have been many days I was very ready to throw in the towel and end everything, but I didn’t. Today, I am celebrating 22 years on this earth. Not all 22 years have been hard, but the last few years in the dark are enough for me to say I am beyond proud of myself. I made the difficult but ever-rewarding decision to live, and today that is what I am celebrating. I am celebrating still being on Earth and having the opportunity to celebrate with all of you.

So today, on April 10, I am saying happy birthday to me; when it is your turn, a big happy birthday to you. I am not celebrating bipolar disorder today, but I am celebrating how I have conquered 22 years on Earth as a human with bipolar disorder.

Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash