At this point, it is no surpise for me to tell you that I’m bipolar. I’m open about my diagnosis because it is just a much a part of who I am as the color of my eyes. Would I choose to be bipolar if I had the option? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean being bipolar hasn’t shaped my life. I’ve learned three important lessons in my life that I attribute to my bipolar.
I’ve learned to be more considerate of other people. I lived a life for twenty years where I thought it was normal for people to be sad and angry. I thought suicidal thoughts were commonplace, and that everyone had them. Little did I know, it was my bipolar mind taking control. What you’re going through doesn’t equal what other people go through, and I had to find that out. I learned that you had to be more understanding of other people’s lives and problems because they could be on a whole other level than my problems. I learned to be understanding and to lend an open ear to anybody who is struggling.
I used to want things to happen the moment I thought they should. I believed that if I needed something done, it should get done. Slowly, I realized that wasn’t the case, though. I learned that the best things in life come to those who wait, no matter how hard it is to wait. My mind constantly wanted to see results and progress immediately and never wanted to wait. The anticipation was worse than any actual disappointment I would be faced with. I had to discover that life didn’t happen like that. No matter how hard things got for me, things would always get better. I just had to stay strong and give it a difference.
3. Mental Health Advocacy
I learned how much it meant to others to become a mental health advocate. I looked around me after my diagnosis and start recognizing signs of mental illness in other people. The only problem was they were too scared to talk about it, especially men. Being bipolar taught me it isn’t weak to speak out and to express your feelings. This is something that I have tried to help other men understand. None of us should have to suffer alone.