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My Worst Mania Bipolar Depression Cycle

I want to show

her now that one day she is going to be able to say “I am happy. Life is

good.”

I came back to visit the forums recently, and I saw all my old posts still

here, the history of what was probably my worst  mania bipolar depression

cycle ten years ago. It started in my teens and I was only correctly

diagnosed then, at 47, while incorrect treatment had worsened my condition

through the years. Two suicide attempts, countless medication trials and

hospitalizations, two failed marriages and numerous years lost to being

non-functional.

 

 

I sit now and read through my desperately unhappy posts, and enormous

compassion arises in my heart, for the ‘me’ I was, back then. I want to

reach back and hug her so tight; hold her and just listen, with soft eyes

and open ears and understanding, every time she despairs and cries out that

she cannot hold on any longer. Stroke her hair and wipe her tears.

Most of all, I want to show her video clips of the future. I want to show

her now that one day she is going to be able to say “I am happy. Life is

good.” I want to show her how much she will laugh one day and how much fun

and goodwill and meaning she will find in the world. How interesting her

life will become, how it’s never too late for so many things. Show her she

will find a purpose for her life and be able to live out this purpose,

every day. Tell her how, one day, her heart will regularly overflow with

gratitude for everything she has and she will cry tears of joy and wonder.

I want to tell her not to think she has to be cured, to be happy. That her

bipolar will not go away; it will always be something she has to manage,

that others don’t have to even think about. But, significantly, the

management will become second nature, to the extent she will often forget,

for months on end, that she even has it.

 

The self-care will become routine.

The daily medication could be a reminder, but she will cease to think of it

as such, or when she does, she will see it as a daily affirmation of

victory. She will still cycle, but the out swings will be milder, manageable

and will remind her she is vibrantly alive and able to feel very deeply

across the entire mood spectrum. She will learn to contain the out swings.

She will be stronger in the broken places. Importantly, through her pain,

she will have softened and be very attuned to others feeling like she did,

and be able to reach out to them in empathy.

If only I could reach back to her and show her all this, and how all her

holding on, and hanging in, through the awful, endless days and nights and

months and years, would be so richly rewarded, one day. If only I’d known

back then, that the future would be so good, it would have been so much

easier to bear.

Think of this as a message from your future self, too.

With love,

Karen

PS. Pay it forward. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.