The Struggle and Triumph is Real: Anxiety + Bipolar Disorder

They say everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. I am about to make my battles public. The struggle is real for me, but not always readily apparent to everyone else. I struggle with bipolar disorder and anxiety, but my coping mechanisms are stellar. I have spent many years practicing and cultivating my coping skills for both. My disposition is such that I am inclined to worry. However, my childhood only amplified both my worries and predisposition for bipolar disorder. Growing up, my mother had very real hardships with bipolar disorder. As a result, a heavy dose of PTSD was added to my childhood and development. In my early 30s, I was diagnosed with  bipolar disorder. Why am I sharing this very private and vulnerable information with you?

Because vulnerability breeds strength, courage, love, and hope. 
I never saw my mood disorder coming. Bipolar disorder is like holding a live grenade, but you are ineptly unable to throw it away. Exploding-fluctuating emotions that I am utterly, maddeningly, aware of. The noise inside is deafening and time itself feels suspended. Ironically, life is like that. We all have moments when tragedy strikes home to our emotions, but for myself it can happen at regular intervals. How do we handle these harrowing life challenges?

The best way I’ve found to manage challenges is to face them head on. Face your fears.
There is no room for procrastination. You must take a hard look at yourself while prioritizing self care. During times of duress, it is vital to have a team of loving people at your side. My husband and soul mate plays a pivotal role. Words are severely inadequate to express the love and support he provides.

Jiu Jitsu is another part of that team and within this community boasts some of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. Jiu Jitsu is my happy place. You will always see me on the mats grinning from ear to ear. Jiu Jitsu helps me to find my center, the portion of myself that is truly “me”.

Friendship is a cornerstone for my team. I have the most-loving people surrounding me. They get me to “lighten up” and laugh more. They push me to grow and to be better. I am immensely grateful for all the incredible people in my life, which includes my support in spirit. I have wanted to write this post previously, but my anxiety has always stopped its progression. People may judge me or feel sorry for me, but I will not let these things hold back this post any longer.

Today, I do not let anxiety or fear run my life. I feel them, but then I move forward. I do not quit. 
Know that through your failures, you will learn to extract the key learning points to improve yourself or your situation. Failure is not the end, it is the beginning. Your struggles need not define you. You define yourself. Choose the bravery and courage to be your definition. Above all, use your struggles to inspire and lift others from the depths. Be a beacon to guide others back to themselves.

I am better as a result of my struggles. You can be too. 


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