I turned 40 this week, and it has been a big deal for me. Not because I turned the big 4-0, but because I made it this far in life and a couple of times in my 30s, there was a chance not making it to this age.
I’m sure for many of us who live with bipolar and serious illnesses, reaching certain ages is a big deal because of all the struggles we go through living with our illnesses. Sometimes even low self-esteem and self-hatred makes the journey even tougher. When I turned 26, I wept because as a college student, I vowed to take my life at age 25 if I didn’t get my sh*t together (whatever that truly meant at that age). So, turning 26 was huge for me.
A few years later, I turned 30 and was devastated. My life was pretty much in shambles and I had no life skills to put it together. I felt so depressed I thought life was not worth living at all. A brief online chat with someone with paranoid schizophrenia changed my views, and a few months later I made the necessary changes to save my life, basically. Those changes were the best decisions I ever made, and I’m forever grateful that I made them.
There were still bumps in the road, though. Bipolar 1 disorder can be difficult and the world is filled with cruel, evil people who have no issue with destroying you as much as they can, or want. Those were dark times again for me. But I made it out. Crawling, wounded, emotionally battered, but I came out alive.
And hear I am, age 40 and still here. I’m grateful I am still here. I thank God everyday for being there for me and I credit the Lord for guiding me when I didn’t realize I needed it. I also am glad, though, that I didn’t give up and kept on going.
That’s why I got this tattoo right below my wrist. The semi colon means continuing to go on despite wanting to stop. And “hope” means more than just being hopeful; it stands for “hold on, pain ends”.
I also bought a picture off Etsy of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. There’s always hope and you will always rise again. Not dancing and singing, and most likely wounded and devastated, but you will emerge from whatever or whoever tried to destroy you. And someday, you’ll spread your wings and fly again, triumphantly.
Thank you for reading, and cheers 🥂 #BipolarDisorder #SuicideIdeation #BipolarDepression #MajorDepression #IfYouFeelHopeless #CheerMeOn #dontgiveup #Surviving