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Bipolar and Celebrating My 36th Birthday

Yesterday I turned 36 years old. Yes, that’s right, I’m on the “wrong” side of being in my mid-30s. And while I realize that, in our culture, being in your 30s is nothing to be proud of (especially if you’re a woman), I am, in fact, proud.

And here’s why.

I’m proud because I’ve been living with a serious mental illness for (at least) 16 years – and I have survived. Many of our brothers and sisters with bipolar disorder have not been so lucky and we should all celebrate for those who can’t.

Almost Dying with Bipolar Four Years Ago

Trigger warning.

I have seriously wanted to die many times in my life but the closest I ever came to death was four years ago. Four years ago I was in a very bad place, for many reasons, but one of them was that a psychiatrist had officially given up on me and denied me access to any other psychiatrist. I felt it was the end; no chance for recovery. And so, it was just a matter of time before I acted on that.

Breaking Bipolar BlogFour years ago you would have found me drugged, drunk and crawling around on my kitchen floor looking for a piece of glass sharp enough to slit my wrists. You would have then found me passed out in amongst said glass.

When I woke up from that, I had an epiphany about living. The idiotic doctor who had given up on me was wrong. I was treatable. I was saveable. I was worth it.

Living with Bipolar Disorder Now

So, you see, I very easily could have never reached my 36th birthday. And, with a suicide attempt rate of 50% in the bipolar population, so many of us could say the same thing.

So, please, celebrate your birthday. You don’t need cake or a party or presents, but what you do need is recognition that you are alive. You are alive with bipolar disorder – a serious mental illness that takes too many people. You have succeeded. You have waged war with a deadly foe every day and you have won. You’re amazing.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at the Bipolar Burble, her blog.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

18 thoughts on “Bipolar and Celebrating My 36th Birthday”

  1. It is so wonderful to see when people manage to get over this hard to live with disorder which can make our lives a living nightmare. Well done and keep up the good work, don’t give up, never!

    Live your life to the full! Take care…

  2. Happy Happy Birthday, Nathasha, cha, cha, cha! That’s how my daughter always sings it! LOL You are not only a SURVIVOR but you are a WINNER! A Winner at this game called life. It’s so complex and having Bipolar makes it no piece of cake. You are winning at 36 and you will keep winning because YOU are a winner and you are reaching out. Please keep doing so. You are a beautiful and amazing woman. I can tell by your heart. God bless you! Angela

  3. First, Happy Birthday !!!

    Second, Thank You !!!

    You hit the nail on the head. Like you I am Bipolar. Unlike you, I did attempt suicide twice. I will not go into details but will say the doctors did not think I would make it both times. I often reflect on these attempts and fear for a “third times a charm”.

    So, once again, thank you. One, for reminding me I am not alone and, two, to celebrate life. Every breath is a blessing.

    I only wish people who do not have Bipolar would come to understand that what we face is not just being “down in the dumps”. It goes much deeper than that and can literally destroy our lives. It is not that we choose the things we do. We are not in a right state of mind and perceive that we are right and the whole world is wrong, out to get us, conspiring to harm us, [place psychotic thought pattern here].

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