Photo taken in 2015, a year post-hospitalization
I snapped a pic to remember this shirt when I bought it on a fishing trip with my dad. I was still having a hard time getting my self esteem back, but I was at a tipping point. I wanted to make my life happier. In addition to the welcomed support of my friends, family and doctor, I recognized that my personal outlook would shape my future. This shirt represented that. .
It’s now two years later and I’m in a much better place. Mentally stable, happy, focused. Instead of using my days to heal and wrangle the trauma I am free to work, enjoy, play. Managing my bipolar disorder is a part of my routine, but it’s just one facet of my life, which is mostly filled with the people and activities I enjoy. .
So what is my outlook? I see life through a long term lens. I think it takes time to build an ideal situation. I remember sitting up in bed while I was still living at my parents’ house. I looked around my childhood room and decided that even though I was exhausted, sad, and genuinely frightened for my future, I would make a few small improvements every day until I liked sleeping there. I picked up a few clothes, threw away items I had hung on my walls that were meaningless now. In the next few days I began cleaning out my bathroom. With each passing day, I felt a little happier. I just chipped away at it. .
I still do just chip away. With everything. Sometimes that means doing nothing. Resting for the sake of my health. Other days when I have a demanding schedule it means putting on a little extra lipstick and kicking ass while I move through my long list of tasks and meetings. Regardless of what life throws at me, I have a fundamental belief in myself. I believe I will achieve, learn lessons, make mistakes, grow, find joy, find purpose. I believe hard times, sadness, anger, they will pass when they come. And they will come. Baby stepping towards things that are meaningful has allowed me to find things that are even more meaningful. And this will continue. Starting that journey during recovery made me feel awesome then and has paid off by making me feel more awesome now.