I’m sure you’ve heard me say, or seen me write, that I’m Bipolar. Well today I want to tell you that I’m not Bipolar — I simply HAVE Bipolar II Disorder.
Please join me in stopping defining yourself as your illness. I am Juliana, a writer, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend…and oh, by the way, I happen to have a mood disorder; just as you are Jim, Suzy , or Brittany, who besides many abilities and relationships, also struggles with a mood, anxiety, or thought disorder.
You see, it matters what we say to ourselves, and consequently, to the world. If I only define myself as my illness, I narrow my world immensely. I might buy in to many persons’ stereotypes as to what someone with my disorder is able or not able to do.
For example, from the time I was diagnosed, I have not lost even one IQ point. Strange, huh? I’m just as intellectually “intact” as I’ve always been, but from the reactions of some people when they hear of my diagnosis, you might think I’ve become dimwitted, childish, or even hard-of-hearing.
My point today is that, while fully owning the fact that you have a mental illness, and are receiving treatment for said illness, YOU ARE NOT YOUR ILLNESS. You are “fearfully & wonderfully made.”
We are so much more than that one aspect of our being. Let us celebrate all aspects, as we would delight in the multiple facets of a beautiful diamond– because, indeed, we are all priceless jewels. Don’t ever forget that.