I am trying something new. It’s called Words to Live By Wednesdays. It is my intention that each week I will write a post inspired by words that cause me to pause.
Words are often powerful. Sometimes something so simple, like a strung-together collection of humble words can actually plant a seed of change in the heart of someone who desperately needs to read them. I never underestimate those perfectly-timed collisions of inspiration. So I share these nuggets of goodness, that have collided with me in one way or another, in the hopes that you might have a few helpful collisions of your own.
I wanted to start with this quote first because it makes me think about the people in my life who have loved me through crises and recovery from bipolar episodes. At times the terrain was downright treacherous and yet they were steadfast in their love and support for me. There were definitely many moments (and still continue to be) where I wasn’t very lovable. And yet I still feel their love.
For those of us who live with mental illness, we know the importance of having stable relationships in order to get and stay healthy. We all need a rock to moor our meandering sailboat to when we are weary. This means of course that our rock doesn’t always get the best of us. In fact, they often get our worst.
My rock is my husband. I owe my current health and wellness to him. Both times I was taken to the hospital in mental distress, he took me by himself, alone. He was courageous and truthful. He was kind and gentle. He showed super-human patience with me. And he believed whole-heartedly in my ability to recover.
But the hospital, as traumatizing as it can be when someone is in mental distress, was just a cake-walk compared to the years of recovery time we have spent together living in the trenches with bipolar disorder. My husband has broken down at points and found himself exasperated with me. Who wouldn’t? But throughout it all he has remained solid. Not just for me, but for our children.
I just don’t think it’s possible to love him more.
And next I think of my children. They are my light, guiding me steadily out of the darkness. Being healthy for them is the motivation that keeps me committed to my path of recovery. I stay on my medications and struggle with the side-effects of weight gain, irritability and mornings from hell, because if I don’t I risk upsetting the balance that makes them feel safe. Being a stable, loving and nurturing mother is my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. My heart runneth over with love and pride for my munchkins.
My Inner Circle
I am blessed to have dear family and friends that encircle me with love and pick me up whenever I fall down. Some of them have journeyed with me to my darkest place and loved me unconditionally regardless. Sincere thanks from the depth of my soul for that (you know who you are). Others know only the ‘recovered’ version of me, and yet don’t even blink an eye when I ‘come out’ and announce “I have bipolar”. All of them are precious and oh-so important to me. What would I do without my inner circle?
My Cheering Squad
And finally I want to acknowledge the wide net of support that has been cast by this blog and by taking my story public. I have been so touched by the stories you have shared with me and the reassurance you have given me for talking about this often not talked about subject. I couldn’t be more grateful for all of you cheerers out there. Thank you.
If this quote (above) causes you to pause, consider taking a moment to tell someone thanks for loving you, ugly bits and all.