I was having a discussion with a friend the other day. From day one of our friendship she has been very open about her diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. I have never once questioned her about it. It has been about 2 years now and we were discussing her possibly writing a guest post for me. Which I guess she did… but for this post, she wants to remain anonymous. I will respect her wishes.
So we were discussing topics and I asked her… Since she was starting a personal growth journey. Why doesn’t she write about her experiences, fears, and questions as a newbie? Because she had told me once she didn’t know where to start.
Her response was this:
So my mental health or inside thoughts are very different I find than most. Every day is a struggle to be consistent with who I want to be or should be. It’s hard for me to say I’m on a growth journey. As every single day when I wake up I could be different. Ugh I don’t know how to explain it… Almost multiple personalities because of hormones? I think I just butchered that explanation lmao
My response to her was that I thought it was a fantastic topic and asked her if she wanted to write about it. I would post it because I think it is important for all to see. That even if you have been diagnosed with a disorder personal growth could be possible. If it is something you want to do.
Bipolar Disorder and Personal Growth
It’s been almost 11 years now since I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A lot has changed in that time, including how I view my personal growth. It’s not just a straight path – it twists and turns, sometimes going uphill and sometimes down. This is because my bipolar disorder affects my personal growth in different ways depending on the state I am in.
I’ve learned that just because I’m in a different emotional state. That doesn’t mean I’ve failed or have to start from scratch. This is a daily obstacle course. My journey is just like my emotions and I have learned that it is ok to have bad days. It’s okay that my personal growth journey looks different than others. So what are the different states? And how do they affect my personal growth?
When I am in a manic state, I am full of energy and ideas. My thoughts come fast and furious and it is hard for me to focus on just one thing. I have verbal diarrhea and want to take on the world. In this manic state, I am superwoman! This can be both good and bad for my personal growth. On the one hand, I am able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time. It gives me outrageous courage and keeps me from procrastinating. On the other hand, I can get carried away and bite off more than I can chew. I also tend to make impulsive decisions in a manic state. Which is not always ideal for personal growth or my bank account.
When I am depressed, I have no motivation and feel like I’m not worthy of positive things. Everything seems pointless and bleak. I may not even see the point in journaling or doing any personal growth work because what’s the point? It all feels futile. In this state, it is hard for me to see any progress. Not seeing the progress I have made can make me get discouraged very easily.
If I’m depressed I know that it doesn’t last forever and that I just need to ride it out. After the wave, I can continue on with who I am becoming. I’ve learned that my personal growth journey is just as unique as I am. Personal growth has been huge for me, and stabilizing my moods takes work and isn’t fixed with one little thing.
A mixed state is a combination of manic and depressed states. I may have spurts of energy and motivation followed by periods of low motivation. My thoughts may be racing one minute and then dragging the next, laughing, crying, and exhausted. This can be difficult as it causes a lot of anxiety.
Despite the challenges that come with having bipolar disorder. I have found that it has also made me more resilient and adaptable. Having to learn to go with the flow and not be so attached to outcomes has been a challenge. As well as staying open-minded. I’ve learned it’s not always starting over for me but a continuation. It’s me pulling myself up and out of these states to keep moving forward.
Finding the balance with bipolar disorder
For me, it included a therapist that connected with me. Seeking out Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psychiatrist, and finding the right medications. Since my diagnosis my meds had to be switched a tweaked so many times, I lost count. (But when you find the right combo you know!) Finding a good support system, and believing in myself. Some of these don’t seem THAT important, but… they are worth it. These are just a few of the MAJOR things I did for myself.
This will look different for everyone. I have noticed as I discovered more about myself and more about bipolar… The more I have grown into a person I can finally say I’m proud of.
If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, you are not alone! Reach out to a therapist or local support group for help and guidance. And be gentle with yourself. Your personal growth journey is just as valid as anyone else’s, even if it looks different.
Personal Growth and Bipolar Disorder
It is really admirable for my friend to share her experience. I have said it before and will say it again that personal growth is not one size fits all. What works for one may not work for another. She may not see the physical progress like some of us can because each day looks different for her… but the fact that she is self-aware and knows that in some way shape or form she is making some kind of progress is a beautiful mindset to have.
It may be hard to see the big picture when you are the one working on personal growth and have a diagnosed disorder… but just making the conscious effort to work on yourself and find what works for you in your situation is deserving of a lot of credit. Not just from others, but from yourself.
The biggest accomplishment for yourself and your journey is to know you want better for yourself and that you are taking the time (however long it may take) to find what is right for you. Personal growth is not done in a day or week… personal growth is something you work on from now until the end of time.
Is it possible?
So to answer the question of this blog post… Bipolar Disorder and Personal Growth: Is it possible? I say yes absolutely. It is possible it may not be the “traditional” path everyone else takes, but with some extra work on your part… It can be achieved. Taking care of yourself and your needs is personal growth. Ignoring what neigh sayers say about your disorder is growth. Not being ashamed of who you are and what you are going through is also a form of personal growth.
I would love for anyone else inspired by my friend’s story to reach out if you would love to share yours. I am always open to sharing what personal growth looks like for others. Email me at [email protected] or leave a comment.
Until next time, have a great day! Remember you are a badass!