by Jon Farrow
You suffer in silence out of constant fear of being persecuted. You bury your pain into the deepest obscure corners of your heart for fear of being labeled as crazy or insane. You try to fake it, to be strong, to be normal, all the while carrying this misunderstood weight on your chest.
Living with Bipolar Disorder can feel like driving a car and suddenly the steering wheel falls off. You can feel in control for days, weeks, or months at a time. Then suddenly you loose your steering and fall into the cavernous hole of depression.
When you crash down into the hole of depression, there is no light, the air is thin, and hope is as scarce as water in a desert. Your heart becomes a sponge that seems to absorb every negative thought, feeling, or regret you have ever had. You try your best to climb out of the hole, but no matter how hard you try, you always seem to lose your grip. It seems as if you will never get out of the hole you were thrown into without a choice.
I know what it’s like to be down in that hole of despair
I know what it’s like to put on a mask, to hide the darkest parts of your heart and mind because you feel like you have to in order to be accepted. The mistake I have constantly made is not telling anyone. I have spent the majority of my life depending on myself. A support system was a very foreign concept to me. To this day, I still have trouble with trusting people.
The way out of that hole is to open up, to let others in, to trust those to be the ladder you need to climb out. You have to hear the words of love from those around you. The offerings of love will drown out the lies being whispered to you inside your head. In those dark moments, I know how hard it is to remember what the light looks like. I know how easy it is to let the voices win and make you feel like you don’t matter.
If you only take one thing away from what I have written let it be this: As hard as it is to see in your lowest moment, your life is the anchor to all of those whose life you touch. If you ceased to exist there would be an undeniable absence in this world. You are the sun in someone’s galaxy. If your soul suddenly stopped shining, the light would go out in the lives of all who love you.
Your life is a part of what keeps others living. You are as precious as a rare stone. You are as strong as the oldest and tallest oak tree. You stand even when the storms of life blow you in every direction.
I know all these things without even knowing you. I know because if you live with Bipolar Disorder or have ever dealt with depression and you’re reading this. It means you have already overcome many storms. Do not doubt your strength.
Let others in when you are weak. Never forget that your life has value and most importantly, never forget you are loved.