How I Accepted My Diagnosis of Bipolar 2 Disorder
Tuesday, February 27 2018 Hannah Blum
Accepting my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder was not easy. When I left the mental hospital, I planned on hiding it from those around me and moving forward without looking back. However, the further I got down the road to living what society labels as a "normal" life, I felt like I was losing a part of myself. I realized that bipolar disorder is a part of who I am, and in this blog post I share how I accepted my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder.
How I Arrived at Accepting My Bipolar 2 Diagnosis
I accepted my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder when I shut off all the noise around me. When I stopped waiting for those around me, including my doctors, to give me the green light to live an authentic life as a person with bipolar disorder.
I got involved in the mental health community, established connections, made friends with people who also had bipolar disorder. They all inspired me to embrace my mind. I realized it was not only society that held stigmatized beliefs, but me as well.
One important realization that helped me accept my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder was learning to trust myself. When you live with a mental health condition, you always question yourself, and the majority of the time you should not. Even when we are in a crowd full of people and making them laugh, we still leave beating ourselves down for no reason. We believe that everything we say or do is wrong.
I realized that by other people's standards, it is impossible for me to be right. If I am too vibrant, I am hypomanic. If I am too sad, I am depressed. If I make one mistake, I am heading for disaster. This way of living is exhausting
People are going to judge you whether you have a mental health condition or not. I accept my diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and more importantly, I embrace it. I define happiness in my way. And just because it may not be how others define it, it doesn't make me wrong.
Bipolar Disorder is a Part of Who I Am
Bipolar disorder is a part of who I am. As much as I blame it for my struggle, I also acknowledge that's it's led to my successes in life. I could not imagine a life without emotional depth, rapid thoughts, ups and downs. As difficult as it may be at times, those are the pieces that make me whole.
I do not deny the dark side of it, the extreme depressive episodes and hypomania that sometimes can cause me to make poor choices. However, I also do not deny the bright side of it. I would not live without bipolar disorder because it is what is familiar to me. Learning to work with it, instead of against it, has allowed me to accept my diagnosis and the role it plays in my success as well as my struggle.