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The Vast Difference 24 Hours Can Make With My Bipolar Disorder

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Beautiful morning ushers my eyes open. Sun shining bright. Heater running full blast to keep me warm and safe. Not to mention the big, strong man sleeping next to me. My husband holds me near, keeping monsters away. The depression of yesterday crept long into the night. The little clock reads 7:57. We slept in and it felt so good. Rest. Restoration was much needed. Yesterday was a rough day, but now a new day dawns.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

Well, I missed the dawn. But I embrace it just the same. We listened for the coffee to brew. The signal to officially wake. The last spit of water and air was heard, and we jumped up as if it were Christmas morning. Energy filled my body and a smile graced my face. A real, honest to goodness smile. I love the man I share my life with! He makes me laugh, allows me to cry. Talks me through the darkness and the light. I feel blessed to have such a loving soul to hold hands with. We raced to the coffee pot. One grabbing creamer, one grabbing mugs. It’s not too often gratitude comes into my mind of its own accord, but this moment was an exception.

Warm coffee made its way to my belly. Perfect. He played my favorite record of late, Chris Stapleton, “The Traveller.” His gravely voice just reaches into me. We looked at pictures from our two-day excursion to the beach. Memories were made, and we were reliving them. Each push of the button reminded us of another moment in time. Surfers. Sea Lions. Waves. Portraits. The vast open space of the Pacific Ocean. Beauty. Our TV transported us back in time as I captured the journey with the click of technology. I could almost smell the ocean air. Feel the pebbles on my feet. Feel the sun warming my face. Behold the magic of water.

Steam was spiraling from my coffee, cats sleeping on the couch, music coming from the corner of the room. Couldn’t be more perfect. Hard to believe yesterday I had thoughts of suicide. Just yesterday, I wanted to give up. I felt I had no more fight in me. No more resilience. No more energy to carry on. Less than 24 hours has passed, and I feel like a new person. It’s amazing. I tend to curse bipolar disorder. It has caused so much chaos and havoc on my life. But today, it allows me to be grateful for the change in mood. For the time spent with my best friend home and away. For the little things like favorite records, hot cups of coffee, kitties on couches.

When you are lost in an inner world of voices and visuals, or steeped in a depression so low you can taste  the ground, or racing thoughts carry you from room to room, or agitation wraps itself around your body and mind, genuine smiles and appreciation are hard to come by. I am no stranger to sudden changes in mood. But I am not going to stand in my own way this morning. I am going to let the day unfold as it will. Worry will not keep me from visiting a friend later. Fear will not keep me from expressing myself. I promise myself to take hold and enjoy the grace that has been given to me, if only for today.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

Originally published: December 28, 2016
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