I Chose to Own my Own Life.
I don’t always wake up cheerful. Often I wake up reminding myself that everyone has bad days. I ask for patience from myself, so that I can have the time I need to get ahead of my problems for the day. The real truth is that I spend more days depressed than I ever do manic, even though the world often looks at those of us with Bipolar Disorder as if we are two sides of a coin.
I’ll admit that I often look at myself the same way.
It’s common for me to say that I feel as though my husband has two wives with me. Manic Katie is generally the life of the party, happy and warm; outgoing and fun. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for me to fill with everything I want to do. I feel capable of anything and often look at myself in a much more flattering lens than I do otherwise.
My other side is much less agreeable. When I feel the cold chill of depression everything changes. I have no love for the woman in the mirror, my clothing hanging like a sack or clinging desperately in an attempt to stay put. My hair never looks as glossy; my skin always seems so dull. It isn’t necessarily a feeling of sadness, as people often picture depression. For me, it feels like swimming in ice water. Your body aches at first, but then after the slight irritation fades from your aching muscles – then I feel nothing at all. There is no warmth, and I can’t connect with people around me.
I hadn’t considered that I had any say in the matter of my emotions. As long as I can remember I spent my time catching up to the precarious situations created by my emotions. I explained that I couldn’t help it, and that this is who I was. I pushed people away to prevent myself from hurting them.
This week I had the most wonderfully uplifting experience. It was my birthday on Monday, and in the spirit of having a fantastic week – I made the decision that I wanted to feel that way as long as possible. I set out to remind myself to choose to be fully happy every day. I had negative events happen over the course of the week – people who spoke without thinking. I managed to just keep on moving forward, choosing my path of happiness over any obstacle that came up to drive me off of it.
I made this week the happiest I have been in years. I chose my happiness, and I made the space in my life to allow it. I know that I can’t live a balanced life without both the good, and the bad – but I am going to give myself that power every day.
The time for being a good girl, a girl who throws her own thoughts, feelings and desires to the wind in order to preserve those of others – that time is gone. I know that my path in life is to help as many people as possible, and I know that I will do everything in my power to do so. More than that, I know that my happiness is something I deserve, and I alone allow.
Happiness given to you by others will eventually slip from your fingers like grains of loose sand. When you create and nurture your own happiness, it spills from within you like the brightest light. This light seeps out into the world around you. It’s never selfish to nurture your happiness, as it only serves as a way to learn how to better spread that joy in the world.