To my bipolar disorder,
I wish I could say that it was love at first sight, but you crept into my life with no warning. In January of last year, you wrestled with me and showed me that I needed to slow down. You gave me a severe manic attack with psychosis and you took me to the hospital where I had to spend over two weeks wondering what went wrong. At the time, I was angry with you. I wanted you to leave and allow me to live the life that I had before you came. I now realize that your presence was the greatest act of love that God could have shown me.
When you came, I was terrified. I wanted to know if I would ever be the same again. You presented yourself as an unwelcome guest, snooping around my mind like a cat burglar. I knew you were there all along, but I ignored you. I refused to get the adequate help that I needed because I didn’t want to acknowledge that you were real. In my teenage years, you tried to introduce yourself to me through constant mood swings and extreme emotions. I attributed it to hormones and puberty but you remained constant in your mission to introduce yourself to me.
After my college graduation, you decided that it was the right time to make yourself known. I was a mess when you came. With no warning, you changed my life for the better. After I got back on my feet and started undergoing my treatment plan, you were there waiting for me to get better. Through all of the pain, denial, stress, and late nights of wondering where life went wrong, you stayed with me and never let me go.
You allowed me to learn something new about myself. You invigorated a sense of advocacy within me. You helped me realize that I can use this pain to help people who are going through the same process. You helped me find community when I thought I didn’t have anyone who understood what I was going through. You helped me deepen the bonds that I had with close friends who had their own experiences with you. In hindsight, you enriched my life in a way that no one else could. I always wondered why God allowed us to meet. It seemed like an unfortunate circumstance in the beginning but now I’m learning that my life wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t show up.
Rough Edges wouldn’t exist if you weren’t here. My community wouldn’t grow if you weren’t here. My relationship with God wouldn’t be what it is now if you didn’t come into my life. For all these things, I am eternally grateful to you because you made it happen. I can have hope knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life. Thank you for showing me that I have a greater purpose. Although you seemed like a stumbling block, you are now my greatest asset. Thank you so much for teaching me that there’s more to life than my diagnosis. Thanks for teaching me that my story is valuable and that my life has meaning.
This letter was inspired by bipolar coach Michel Le Roux and the Bipolar Support club. In honor of World Bipolar Day, you can submit a letter as well! If you have or been affected by bipolar disorder, you can submit a love letter to the following website by March 30th: https://bipolarsupport.club/love-letter/
If you want to hear the audio version of this letter, visit my podcast link here.