“You will never be successful in helping other people with mental illness. You have bipolar.”
We will meet many people in our lives who will either tell us straight to our faces, or hint that we are incapable of being successful because we have mental illnesses which prevent us from evolving. For me, being successful means reaching my dreams, doing something that makes me proud of myself and being happy of course. Even more, if it is something I reach, I never thought it would be possible because of my mental illnesses.
I’ve been told that being ambitious is a waste because I have unstable mental illness – Bipolar and ADHD. That I’ll never be able to reach any big dreams. That got to me, not because I believed what was said to me, but because it hurt me knowing that there are people out there firmly believing that about us and even worse, there are people with mental illnesses who believe it!
“I’ve been told that being ambitious is a waste because I have what is deemed an unstable mental illness – Bipolar. Plus, I have ADHD.”
I know I will reach my dreams, regardless of how people see me. As will you! I know that if we work hard for our dreams, we will reach them not matter what others may believe. I made my dreams my goals. I started believing in myself. I became ambitious.
For 8 years, doctors and case workers told me to just accept the fact that nor I, nor my life, would get any better. At that time, I was incredibly sick. For years my bipolar was totally uncontrollable. I also had agoraphobia (anxiety in crowded places). I went through a period with a hash addiction, I treated myself really badly. I was wrongly medicated for some of the time and the rest I was over medicated. Many bad things happened to me and I guess I just let them. I did not feel that I was worth otherwise.
During those years I believed the doctors and case workers. What did I know, right!? They were the professionals, therefore, I believed them.Until one day, the head doctor of the psychiatric hospital I’d been staying at for about a month, told me that my life could get better and so could I. She gave me hope, by believing in me. I decided to believe that and I’ve kept that mindset since. For 7 years! This has been the reason that my health has improved. I have way longer stabile periods and when the depressions come sneaking back, 99% of the time I know how to stop them before they go bananas. Plus, I haven’t been manic for 2 years. I was a bit depressed for a few weeks this summer and then I went through 1 month of mild, mixed episodes, but before that I hadn’t had any long sick periods for some years. Only a few moderately depressed days here and there. That improvement in my mental illness is a huge accomplishment!
My point being, believing that I can get better and have more control over my bipolar comes from hope, dreams and making plans for my future. It comes from believing in myself, no matter what others think of me, from becoming ambitious. I have two goals; the first one is to one day soon, become so stable that I can get a (flex) job and be able to work as much as it is possible. This is my main and biggest goal which I’m fighting the hardest for. The second goal, is to within the next 10 years do public speaking. The audience being people who suffer as much with their mental health as I did 7 years ago and are being told that this is the life they will just have to accept.
“Believing that I can get better and have more control over my bipolar comes from hope, dreams and making plans for my future. It comes from believing in myself, no matter what others think of me, from becoming ambitious.”
I want to give them hope. I want to show them that since I could get this far, so can they. I want to make them believe that. I want to help them dream and set goals for their future. I want to inspire them to go for those goals and to ignore the people who tell them that they can’t. People who tell them they can’t are people who don’t believe in themselves. People who look down on mentally ill people are plain ignorant. We are not weak just because we are sensitive! They have no idea how strong we really are. The fact that we’re even alive, shows great strength.
We are warriors! You are not stuck in the situation you are in at this moment in your life. Right now, you may be standing in front of a staircase believing the people who said that your legs are too weak to walk to the top of the stairs. Your legs only feel weak because these people are subconsciously manipulating you so your legs actually feel weak. It’s all in your head – it’s NOT your mental illness!
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to get to the top of the stairs, because it won’t be. The harder it is, the more you have to work for it, but the better you and your life will get along the way, and the happier you will become when you finally get there. It will be easier for some than others. In my case, it has been hard and still is, but I’m halfway and that makes me feel proud of myself. It makes me believe in myself and my ambitions.
Having ambitions is what’s keeping me from falling down the stairs and so is my stubbornness. No way in hell will I end up standing next to those people who didn’t’ believe in me still at the bottom of the stairs and let them say “I told you so”!
I will reach my goals some day and so will you. Until then, I will enjoy even the smallest success my hard work is giving me. It’s so worth it and I will never let anyone put me down or try to take my faith away. Never! Neither should you. Ever!
“You are already aware of the problems you’re facing. So, I urge you to ask yourself “what do I do now?” It’s a big question! What is it in your life that you think you cannot accomplish? Or what is it people has said that you cannot do? Wouldn’t it feel really good to prove them wrong?”
I believe we can all grow and get better lives. You can still have ambition when you have a mental illness! ‘Ambition’ is believing in yourself and your abilities.
Imagine this: what would happen if we were all brave enough to believe in our own abilities? To be a little more ambitious? I believe that our lives would change, and then I believe the world would change!
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