The more I attend groups at this place name COVA, the more I discover about my true self. I learn about my personality, my strengths, weaknesses, what I have to give to others, etc. The most important thing I have learned is to love me, to realize that I am someone special, even if it is just to me. I am the one person I should seek to please because I am the one person who I can never get away from. Out of all the people in my life, I need to have my own approval in regards to decisions I make and things I do. I need to be happy with me.
I know I live with bipolar disorder (manic-depression) everyday,how can I forget, but there is more to me than the symptoms of bipolar. There is more to me than the unplanned behavior that comes front and center in my life when it chooses for me to be manic or depressed. I have learned to accept that the people in my life have not yet realized that I do things differently when manic or depressed. The way I act, feel, respond, think, etc, changes when I am manic or depressed. What normally is logical is now illogical to me and vice- verse. When in an episode no one can tell me different. I challenge what they say when I am manic and ignore them when I am depressed because I do not want to talk, I also do not want to hear. One thing I wish people would realize is that when I act in rage, it is not a fore-thought that I will respond to situations in that manner. Rage is something that I do not call upon, it calls upon me.
Here I am continuing to gather tools to help me cope with rage and other symptoms. I am proud of me for taking the steps to continue to live mentally well with bipolar. I am not trying to boast or brag (about what), but I am learning to recognize the good in me and the fact that I am persistent in learning to handle my illness and not have the illness dictate how I live.
As I walk around this place, I feel good about myself. My confidence and self-esteem has increased. Most importantly, I have found purpose for my life and it makes me realize and accept that I am even more special with the bipolar disorder.
Having bipolar disorder has brought me to this place to learn about me. I learn about my personality and what makes me tick when manic and depression are not front and center. I learn how to handle not only my bipolar illness but my other medical issues as well. Being in the program, going to groups, talking to everyone here including staff people has all happened because I decided I want to go back to work and needed help preparing to do so.
When I first came to COVA, I thought I would learn skills like Microsoft Office, or some other job oriented skill. What has been more valuable is getting coping tools so that when I get a job and symptoms or triggers come, I will have tolls in my arsenal to stop them or lessen the effects of them. I had never had that before so when a hiccup or bump in the road came across my employment path, I would just stop. The symptoms were so bad and I had no support person to talk with and I would give up. I felt I had no choice. If I had support people like I have met here, things would have been different.
This shift in my life has made me believe my purpose is to help others on their journey to living mentally healthy (their journey called Recovery). I am going to be attending a training class called Certified Peer Specialist. The most important thing they look for in this type of job is experience, life experience. I want to take all the good, bad and ugly that has happened in my life and I have overcome, and use it to encourage/ help someone get to their point of self sufficency, joy and pride in self and living mentally and phycially healthy. I want someone to hear about me or see me and realize, that their life can change and they can have their hopes and dreams realized, even with a mental illness.
I think having a mental illness brings us to places in life we normally would not go. We change careers to accomodate the symptoms, we surrond ourself with people who undertand and therefore can be a support for us or a cheerleader, “you can and you will do it”. Do what? Get past where you are now and get to a better place. I will be there to help you. That is my purpose, to share of me so that someone else will not only see themself as they are (suffering with mental illness, or drugs or alcohol) but as what they can be (conquerors and champanions of their life).
People are surprised when I tell them I did cocaine and crack and was a heavy boozer and pill popper. I am always told I do not look like it. When we learn to manage our mental illness and our our illness of drugs and alcohol, we do not look like what we went through. We become heroes to ourself and we look and feel marvelous. My purpose is to help others become their hero and to feel marvelous.
I am writing this in the library with phones ringing and children crying, I hope this post makes sense to those who read it. Comments are always delightfully welcomed.
love to all
pb aka peanut butter