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When Bipolar Disorder Feels Like Being Lost at Sea

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Imagine being lost at sea in a tiny little raft with nothing but the vast ocean surrounding you. You’re floating along seemingly alone, stranded and powerless. You are completely at the mercy of Mother Nature with a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. You learn to ride each wave as it comes at you, but what you really want is to stand on firm, dry land just like everyone else.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

You learn to be brave because there are sharks out there that prey on your vulnerability. You learn to weather the fiercest of storms. You learn your deepest fear is one day you’re going to not only drown but you will want to. You learn how to be strong, how to be tough and how to be resourceful, and how to manage.

You also witness miracles and such beauty, it escapes imagination. You develop an open heart and mind. You become a piece of art: fluid, magical, tenacious and breathtakingly captivating.

You are weathered, tired and your entire body hurts and is sore. There is a thirst inside of you that you don’t think will ever be quenched. Your scars are so deep that they will never heal. You’re alive, fighting and hungry. You acquire an appetite for a life filled with purpose, for happiness. This is your life, our lives, a life living with bipolar disorder.

It isn’t some joke. It isn’t some cliché. It isn’t a choice. It isn’t an excuse. It just is.

It doesn’t make anyone less of a person, and it isn’t something to apologize for either. It is an illness. We didn’t “catch it” from living a bad lifestyle or making poor choices. Bipolar does not define your character as a person or you as an individual. I am not bipolar. I have bipolar. There is a big difference. Never forget you are not alone.

“I didn’t choose the bipolar life. The bipolar life chose me.”

Peace, love and happiness to all.

– M.

Originally published: June 30, 2016
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