We all have to ride the waves of life… the ups and downs of normal events and then the ups and downs that accompany a severe storm. Nobody is immune to this.
Sometimes when I am talking to somebody and I mention being bipolar, they feel the need to brush it aside like it is nothing by saying, “everyone is bipolar, we all have ups and downs.” While I want to poke them in the eye for throwing us all into the same hand basket, there is some truth to it.
Yes, we all have the blues from time to time, especially when something bad is going on in our lives. Everyone does experience some form of mania and depression in their lighter forms. So what separates those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder from the rest of the population? (Using the word ‘normal’ very loosely here.)
When depression and mania affects our living standards, we have a problem. When you can’t work because you have been crying every single day, there is a problem. When you are so manic that you decide to up and quit your job to become a writer, yet you have no writing experience, nor do you have money saved to be able to do so… there is a problem. When you can’t get out of bed for days… when you are flirting with suicidal ideation… there is a problem. I could go on and on with examples for you, but I think you get the point.
Can you see the difference between normal, and mentally ill? Yes, we all experience these things, but for most people, it doesn’t last week after week, month after month, year after year. For those of us battling Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression), life can be affected in such a detrimental way, held captive by huge mood swings.
To those riding those stormy waves, I promise you that the storm will one day pass, and the waves become more gentle, or perhaps even welcomed. For those I call “normal”, ride your waves too, and if it ever becomes too rough, I am here to inspire you to get back up on that board and ride…
I am always here to help inspire, and remind that things do get better. If I can… I KNOW others can too.