This anonymous inspirational story just goes to show that inspiration can be found anywhere, and - usually, anyway - there is probably somebody out there worse off than you.
The story is about the life of a person who has Bipolar Affective Disorder and what it means to them to be bipolar - the good and the bad, as it were.
I guess the story could be summed up by this inspirational quote from Josh Billings:
"Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
(STORY THEME: LIFE)
I have no pretence of being trodden down or having a difficult lot in life since everyone regardless of his or her circumstances, economic and social status and intellect faces challenge.
Everyone's life is a work in progress and whether we are consciously aware of it or not we're always learning, erroneously, benignly or otherwise.
I've met people with dreadful lives. Some are still paying the price for an abusive childhood. Others are faced with or affected by terminal illness. I can honestly reflect on those people's experience and, without in any way intending to be demeaning, be grateful that I haven't been presented with such challenges -because compared to what I deal with mentally and emotionally they seem quite overwhelming.
When I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Affective Disorder I was rather thrilled. That's a weird reaction but then again I truly am a weird person. If you don't believe that a person with a mental illness is strange, odd or bizarre then you either aren't mentally ill yourself or have never lived with someone who is.
Believe me when I say I'm different and for that I am eternally grateful.
It's a tough journey. I take my meds. I go to my psychiatrist and my group therapy without fail. I lean on my family and friends for emotional support. I have had to pull up stakes and return home to the nest to recuperate from a mental breakdown from time to time. I've been hospitalized in psychiatric institutions. These things aren't pleasant. At the time I am going through a crisis I am seriously suicidal and I can think of nothing easier than death. Those are the bad, dark times and the perilous parts of a bipolar journey.
But then there's the wonderful things about having bipolar affective disorder!
I read a recent 20-year study by some scientific institution or another that made a genetic connection between bipolar affective disorder and artistic and literary brilliance. There are apparently a staggering number of artists, authors, actors and musicians who have, or at least strongly exhibit, the symptoms of bipolar affective disorder whether on a grand scale with severe mood swings, known as phase I or the more moderate yet noticeably dysfunctional phase II (me).
I happen to be very creative as it were. I'm a very good amateur visual artist. I can't compete with the big boys and girls but I don't have to in order to enjoy my gifts. They make me happy and are a wonderful outlet for some of my stressors.
I can play classical piano. I was trained through the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with a wonderful teacher named Thelma Atkinson. I have my parents to thank for years of monies invested and listening to their thankless child whining about another "boring practice". I use that gift in the community now and I am quite proud of it.
I am a published author and I don't mean self-published, either. My second novel will be released some time this year and I especially look forward to this one because after I read it over I realized that quite unintentionally I wove some of my own life story and experiences into it. And someone thought it was good enough to publish.
I don't know how inspirational I am but I know I'm inspired by the gift of bipolar affective disorder. I don't know where it will take me next and isn't that half the fun?
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