It is essential to know that you have the disorder, but it doesn’t have you. Don’t let it define you.
When Laura Bain was 16 years old, she started experiencing intense periods of sadness. The fact that there were no external factors that cause the lows she was experiencing was bizarre to her. In the process of trying to comprehend what was happening, she started to keep a daily chart with arrows to indicate the moods. An upward arrow for days when she was in high spirits and downward arrows for low days.
Laura noticed that for two weeks, her mood was high and then a shift to the low spirits. The transition in feelings was confusing, and she didn’t feel like she was in control of her life. During the highs, she walked tall, and everything was more natural. All her ideas, hopes, and ambition came so naturally and easily. Everything felt possible, and the world was limitless. Feeling optimistic about the world was right. The only problem came when she couldn’t go to sleep because she couldn’t stop thinking of all the things she could do with her life.
For the low times, all she wanted was safety and comfort. Everything seemed darker, and being optimistic was hard. She couldn’t see life ahead. All these felt exhausting. She tried to take back her life, so she looked for help from a professional, a counsellor at college. She was taking weekly therapy sessions to aid in understanding what was happening to her.
The weekly sessions with the counsellor helped her work through the highs and lows. She was sent to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with bipolar type II, rapid cycling. After the assessment, Laura got a few tools that helped her with the illness. She started seeing a psychiatrist and was put on medication to control the highs and lows.
The experience of seeing a psychiatrist was a little overwhelming for her. She didn’t feel comfortable enough to share with people what it was like to see a psychiatrist. Regardless of the fear to talk about her sessions, she felt like things were clearing up in her head.
Laura went on with her education and using therapy and medication to help her get through life. Now, she is a fifth-year college student studying biology. Her strides academically and personally are a far cry from what she was going through initially with the depression and mood swings.
She feels like life is good though it can be challenging to explain how she feels to people. The difficulty in telling her mood swings tends to affect relationships, but she tries to anyway. Laura believes that talking about the disorder is going to help others in some way. We are supposed to create a conducive environment for everyone, whether living with mental illness or not so that everyone has a chance to thrive for as long as they are on earth.
Living A Life You Deserve
For anyone living with bipolar, it is essential to know that you have the disorder, but it doesn’t have you. Don’t let it define you. Taking medication doesn’t mean that you are cured, but you will go through major manic and depressive episodes, and you will still come out through the other side.
Be confident in yourself and not in the delusional manic kind of way but the real sense of being okay. With medication, therapy, and a lot of support from your loved ones, you should be able to live your life as healthily as possible. Help from your loved ones is the most important thing because they can identify when you are going through mood swings, and you can’t identify it yourself. Meditation, therapy, and support groups are tools that will make your life easier.