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Finding My Purpose in the New Year in the Face of Bipolar Disorder

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All over the internet are advice articles on how to start your new year, how to lose weight, how to find your soulmate. I have chosen not to read most of these. Not because I already know how to do these things or because I’m already married. I have made the decision to sit down and truly think about my life. I often, well always, think I lack a purpose. I used to have faith in a higher power when I first got sober. I held onto it for quite a while. But, slowly lost it and haven’t really tried to grasp onto it again. It does cross my mind from time to time. It’s not that I don’t believe, I just haven’t reached up to pull it into my life. Is “pull” the wrong word? It doesn’t feel right. Maybe more like accept it into my life. Ah, acceptance. Such a challenge to me. Why do I fight it?

• What is Bipolar disorder?

I feel like I’m in desperate need of guidance. I have lost my way, lost touch with myself, lost the meaning of life. I’m reading books, trolling the internet, asking others. Looking outside myself. Surely there is an instruction manual. There is something eating away at me. I don’t know what it is. It’s causing great discomfort in mind, body and soul. I wonder if it’s my fault. I wonder if I’m not trying hard enough. I wonder if it’s designed to question my place on this earth.

I’ve said before I want to live, not merely exist. Always in survival mode with bipolar disorder. Always waiting for the demons to return. Sleeping so I don’t cry. Hiding out at the park to isolate. Shutting down. It’s not all the time but a majority of the time. Enough to really bring into question: what am I doing here? What is my purpose? Do I deserve a seat at the table? Do I bring anything to this world?

I tried this exercise. Took a blank page and wrote at the top in big bold letters: My True Purpose. I was supposed to write as many things that came to mind. Big, small, silly, serious. Anything. Could take two minutes, could take an hour. Here is what I came up with:

My purpose: to believe in myself and my worth, give myself to others while allowing peace and abundance to enter my life. To give up looking for answers and just be.

I don’t know if this takes big shoes or little shoes to adopt. But it felt right. And yes, part of it made me cry. I do think it may take the presence of a higher power to guide me. The letting go of needing answers will be a challenge for me. It’s ironic since I never seem to find those burning answers.

I am at a place where I really need to find peace. I lay down and surrender. I feel like I’m dying. I’m tired. Continuously grappling with symptoms and feeling the ground move beneath my feet. I simply crave stability.

I’ve never been very good at asking for help.

But here I am. I’m willing to do the work. Look inward. Please help me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicideprevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Thinkstock photo by Anastasia_Aleksieieva

Originally published: January 8, 2016
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