The Plus I read an article (click here) yesterday that lifted my spirits and hope significantly.
Although suffering from a mood disorder like Bipolar can be excruciating, even when being managed by medication & therapies, those who suffer from it have awesome traits & qualities to them that the illness seems to enhance rather than diminish. At least according to this study anyway.
I mean, do I think I'm less of a person now that I know what I've been and am suffering from? Well, if I'm to be totally honest, I was starting to think so. Starting to believe that despite what God or anyone else said, this illness made me ugly and undesirable. I mean, I'm just coming off of a break-up with someone who saw me at my worst for 2 years. I've seen myself at my worst for 2, 2 1/2 half years. And I think, when you get a diagnosis & you start researching & looking back at how you've been behaving....clarity & understanding come, but so do the party crashers Guilt & Shame. And they play your life on a big huge, sky-sized projector in your mind, stirring up your emotions and telling you how awful you are. And you start to believe it because....well....look at you. They say hindsight is 20/20 but OUCH. Really?
So like I said, I've been feeling some type of way about myself the past weeks. Trying to keep a stiff upper lip and smile through the tears & fears, but hating myself on the inside, hating that I felt like this is what will be defining my life. But then I read about this study that essentially said, "Hey, being bipolar ain't so bad-you actually have some rad traits", and that allowed God to break through the fog I've been in, grab my face in His hands and say, "SEE?! I told you. Do you have to learn to deal with and manage this? Yes. But girl, I still made you. I still love you. And NOTHING can separate you from My love. Not a circumstance, a mistake you've made, and definitely not being bipolar. I know it's hard, but lean on me, take your meds, go to therapy, and stop letting this define you. Not like this. It doesn't have to. Take it, and use it for something positive. You may struggle with this, but you are not this."
(and just in case you're wondering, yes, God really does talk to me like this. I don't know how He finds a way to edge in between my racing thoughts sometimes but He does. And when I can quiet my mind long enough to listen? Man.)
Reading that article for me was a plus. I needed to read it. To remind myself of who A'Driane is. Not just bipolar A'Driane. But A'Driane in all her totality. The beautiful and the ugly.
Speaking of the ugly, that brings me to The Minus.
The article talks about how Bipolar folks tend to be highly creative individuals. For me, this is heartwarming because not only do I write, but I've always wanted to be a dancer. And to a degree I am. I'm not technically trained, but I am planning on taking some classes so I can become a dance movement therapist....but I'll touch more on that in another post. Anyway, when I hear music, especially a song that speaks to me, or chords & melodies that move me, I see movement, I see choreography. I can't always replicate the moves I see in my mind, but I try. And then there are times when I watch a video of a dance and it nails whatever I'm dealing with right on the head. When I saw the following video a couple of seasons back, I was moved by it because for me, it represented my struggle with depression. Now, watching it again today, it's a vivid representation of the relationship a sufferer has with any kind of disorder. If I could choreograph a piece that visually captured how it feels to be depressed & suffer from being Bipolar, especially a rapid cycling version of it, this would be it.
The article I mentioned & linked to at the beginning of the post was posted on a Facebook page called Lithium & Lamictal. Feel free to "like" it and read the owners blog as well.