I am Pulling for You
There is no doubt that those of us who have survived, and even continued to function in society with a severe mental illness, are strong people.
Some of us call ourselves warriors. Personally, I prefer not to cast myself in that light.
But one thing that I know to the core of my being is that I am a perseverer, as I have carried on through indescribable spiritual, emotional, psychological, and, at times, physical agony. And through seemingly hopeless situations. Like the fictitious Biblical figure Job, I have maintained faith and resilience in the face of horrific circumstances.
Continuing to be a functional member of society while afflicted at various times and to to varying degrees with the obsessions, compulsions, severe anxiety, mania, delusions, paranoia, addictions, distorted thinking, racing thoughts, intrusive thoughts, torturous ruminations, isolation, suicidal ideations, self harming, impulsivity, and all the chaos that ensued as a result of having Bipolar Disorder has been a Herculean task.
Yet while I take some credit, I owe much of it to my faith in the Higher Power of my understanding, an amazing wife, some amazing therapists, two 12 Step Fellowships and some dear friends in those Fellowships, medication, a bevy of healthy coping skills acquired over the years, and, as I am discovering in Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” a consistent sense of purpose that kept me going through all of my personal hells.
If you are suffering from a mental illness and having to fight to go to work, care for your family, be there for your friends, and “act ‘normal’ while battling unimaginable pain,” I feel you, I love you, and I am pulling for you.
One day at a time. By the grace of God.