Learn to Live Again

Last week, I posted about my struggles with suicidal ideation and my decision to say goodbye to social media for a while. I do, however, want to keep my blog updated, as it is an outlet for me to express myself and share my experiences.

Over the past couple of years, I have made many notes of thoughts spinning around in my head. I usually speak into my phone when this occurs, simply because I can’t write as quickly as the thoughts come. So I’ll add these to future blog posts.

Perhaps these posts will shed some light on how the mind works for someone who not only has bipolar disorder but also has experienced grief and years of trauma. Maybe someone will read my writings and see they aren’t alone. Or perhaps it will help a person understand the thought process of a loved one who is struggling with mental health or a mental illness. If any of these posts can help someone else, that’d be wonderful. Regardless, it will be therapeutic for me and hopefully, it will remind me of any progress I have made… especially on those dark days when I struggle with giving up.

Image Credit: Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

As far as where I am today, I am taking things an hour at a time. I downloaded an app my psychiatrist recommended to track my moods. I have an appointment with him next week. I also set up an appointment with a therapist; I will meet with her near the end of the month. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been in therapy. I’m hoping I will connect better with this new therapist, and we can make much more progress.

I am a shell of the person I used to be. I have developed a worst-case-scenario mindset. I’m fearful and reserved, awkward and unsure. I avoid most social situations, preferring to stay home and hide. I don’t like talking to people now, because I have changed so much, it’s hard for me to connect with anyone.

Not saying I was always sunshine and rainbows, but I used to be fantastically outgoing. I was upbeat, happy, welcoming, and the all-around life of the party. I was fun and fearless, filled with laughter and light. I used to love traveling, and writing was my greatest passion. It would be a heartfelt relief to become myself again.

2008 – Lil Man and I at his preschool graduation

However, I am aware that trauma, grief, and difficult experiences have made an astounding impact on me. While I can’t be the woman I used to be, I’m hoping I can at least pull some of those bright aspects of myself to the forefront and incorporate them with the wisdom I have gained.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the notes I’ll be sharing with you in future posts. Just a heads up, those thoughts may not always make sense. Sometimes, my mind lets outrageous thoughts run rampant. Other times, the notes I share will be contemplations I have had during this long journey.

I wish this could be quick and easy. Unfortunately, I already know, some days it’s going to be damn hard to keep my head up. That’s part of the process of learning to live with bipolar disorder while working through trauma and grief. It’s going to be messy and painful and difficult. I know there will be times I feel like I’m getting worse before I get better. But the only way out is through, and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. It’s time to kick the Darkness in the teeth and learn to live again.

Image Credit: Darren Lawrence on Unsplash

Thanks for reading. ~AJW

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