I could probably list a dozen things that make me resilient. After analyzing each of them, I realized they are not actually what makes me resilient, rather they are Safetynet I have built to help maintain my resilience.
The number one thing that helps me is accepting and understanding that I live with a mental health condition. Before, I was so fearful that bipolar disorder would define me. I was fearful I would become one of those people you see in movies and that there was no other course for me, my story was written. Ultimately it allowed my mental health condition to control me; it consumed me.
The moment I saw it as piece of me I began to live with it. My mental health condition became smaller and as I educated myself and went through treatment I became much more aware and less fearful. I learned that I was able to take some control over my mental condition. Being consistent with treatment, removing alcohol and other unhealthy coping strategies from my life, and starting to talk with some trusted friends who became my safety net allowed me to take ownership of my mental health condition. I am able to recognize signs and symptoms of when I need more support, plus I have people around me who are able to identify when I’m struggling. Although I still get frustrated when my support people question how I am doing, I know it comes from a loving place and ultimately can take a deep breath and realize that they are right. I still have terrible days, and I still have uncomfortable moments but I know there’s light on the other side of darkness.
What makes me resilient, is education and acceptance. I am a work in progress. I have been actively receiving treatment for my mental health condition since 2003, I began accepting my mental health condition in 2006 and have decided to lead a happy healthy life living with bipolar disorder. I am fully confident in my abilities and no longer live in fear because fear is a liar.
I no longer resent living with bipolar disorder. I have been able to share so much because of what I have lived through and want to use my experiences to bring hope to others.