I wish I had the stamina to help people, I want so badly to inspire other people living with this damn illness. I want to show them how to get through those hard days, to demonstrate that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and make them believe that they will be okay.
Sure, I write a blog about my struggles and attempt to offer advice where I can and I have even written a memoir about my “journey” but the chances are that nobody will ever read it because nobody will want to publish it. Because you see, people want answers, they want to see deep struggles with happy endings, phoenixes that rise up and fly, not the chicken that simply burned up and crumbled to dust.
I want to be an advocate for people like me but how can I ever be a beacon of hope when I am still trapped in thoughts, continuously reminded that when you close the final chapter of my book I am still far from “cured”, “healed” or recovered. Calling myself an advocate makes me feel like a complete hypocrite.
Catch me in the beginning of a hypomania and I can inspire you into next year with y positive attitude, ideas and boundless energy. But the law of the swings and roundabouts that governs my bipolar disorder ensures that no matter how good things are going un my mind, I will eventually be thrown back onto the floor begging for the mercy of death.
The saddest truth is that my battle is far from over, the prospect of winning the ‘War On Me’ is about as likely as the government winning the War On Drugs. Sure there are periods of normalcy between episodes, but with age and the battle for the ‘right’ medication, they seem to only have become more fleeting.
I see so many people with bipolar writing books that are heart-warming and inspirational and I want to be that person for people, yet maybe I will have to just accept there is no happy ending to my story, perhaps simply an honest “I’m doing okay at this exact moment” is the best I am going to be able to offer my readers.
My life will still be filled with up’s and down’s, the bipolar doesn’t magically disappear at the end of my final chapter. Mental illness is simply a part of my world, but it’s a world I am slowly learning to live within and thanks to the people around me, the strangers on the internet sharing their own stories that are so very similar to my own, I feel accepted and validated and far from alone, it certainly makes this strange world of mental illness easier to navigate.
*After writing (but before publishing) this post I saw a Tweet link to a post by the wonderful Sheila aka ( @paradichotomy ) who blogs brilliantly over at http://www.paralleldichotomy.com
The post is called “A Reflection On Advocacy” on the same subject matter, she wrote about it in a super inspirational way and made me feel a ton better (thank you Sheila!)