Sunday, March 17, 2013
There are times I see the world in black and white, other times I see it in full, vivid technicolor. There are blessings, and curses, that are attached to me as a person living with a disorder too often misunderstood, and feared, by the world in general.
What I've come to understand in the last few years, the years that I've grown enormously as a person, as well as dropped the ball time and time again, letting down not only those around me, but myself as well, is that no matter what affliction I've inherited I have to realize that I have to take full responsibility for those times, as well as the times others have intentionally, or not, given me a little nudge, into that hellish depth of darkness and demons.
I can't always control what happens in my life, or what others choose to do that affect me, but I am trying to ensure I accept responsibility for my reactions in those times. It's not always easy, or evident, to me at the time what I need to do, but it is something I work toward on a daily basis, and truthfully, I still kind of suck at it.
Even though there have been times that, purely by the luck of the draw, bipolar has controlled my abilities to see things clearly, and has been the cause of choices I made, I can't place sole blame on it.
It's my responsibility to keep myself in check. It's my responsibility to control something that all too often tries to control me. I made a firm decision, many years ago, not to play the victim card. I also made the choice to share my journey with the world, to come out of the shadows and take control of my life, and hopefully allow people to see that, while sometimes I do struggle, I'm really no different than they are.
Someone said to me the other day that I'm happy, outgoing and friendly with people that "don't matter" in my world, those outside the circle of the family core, and that I rarely allow people, those so called unimportant people, to see me when I'm at my worst.
I chose to try not to let bipolar be the puppet master, not to control my life and not to be a crutch on which to blame my failures. I made a choice to attempt to break the stigma, and attempt to take control of something I had no choice in being afflicted with. I don't always succeed, but I try.
I try not to allow the times I experience the dark realities of the disorder to be seen by others that "don't matter." Those are the times I've learned to rely on a very select group of people to lean on. That group does not include the entiriety of family, but is made up of people I trust to know that it's a momentary glitch in time and not the sum total of who I am.
I do believe that it is my responsibility to be outgoing, to be friendly, to smile, to attempt to understand that which I don't, and to respect those around me in this world we all occupy. The truth is that those people that "don't matter," really do matter. If I only help one person see that labels are not always something to be feared, I've accomplished what I set out to do. If I can encourage others that are afflicted, as I am, that they can take control of their lives, that they can be accepted, that they can lead a productive life, then I've done so much more than I set out to do.
I don't always succeed, I don't always reach my goal, I don't always make the right choice, but I can say with confidence that I try, and I will continue to do so.