Yes, bad stuff happens. But, essentially, we are in control of our own lives. With each healthy meal we eat, with each workout that we do, we are shaping the future we want – a future that will make us happy. It is implicit, then, that success is completely subjective.
To me, success is having a healthy body and mind. I’d like to help others. I’d like to have financial freedom, and handle that with integrity.
Life can be confusing. Looking after ourselves, looking after others. Deciding our paths. Deciding what socks to wear. Dealing with heartbreak and loss. Having to curb our more expensive or sweet food habits. Fitting in exercise. Staying well. Loving, forgiving. And sometimes, saying no. It’s a minefield.
It is a constant path, working all that out. It really is. Thankfully as you get older, though, or as you learn more about your illness(es), it becomes easier, and you know roughly what you’re doing.
When things have got difficult, though, you find you can take solace in the small things; fresh sheets, a cup of hot chocolate. Have a look and see what lovely things are around you today.
I have bipolar. We all know that. But what I’d like to talk about is how wonderful the people around me are. I live in a building filled with people mentally and physically different from ‘normal’. They are truly and thoroughly some of the best people I have ever met. So understanding, so caring.
Don’t judge us or pity us. The only hardship we face is people that don’t care.
I am so incredibly lucky to have found myself living with a girl who is as into musicals as I am. A few weeks ago we went to see Flashdance The Musical. It was properly brilliant, and we boogied along all through the show. If you get the chance to see it while it’s touring (UK), do.
It reminded me how important good fun is – and it was really good fun.
When you have got through a day, and you look back upon it, there are usually ‘things that went well’ and ‘things that didn’t go so well’ to embrace. Usually we look with delight at the first category and horror at the second, and that is the end of it. Sometimes we might ask ourselves why the second happened, and come up with the answer that it was his or her fault. ‘If they’d only…’ and so it goes. But this is a useless way of thinking. Instead, think about how you contributed to those outcomes. Will you do the same next time? Taking responsibility for your life is the only way to move on quickly, and make for better outcomes tomorrow.
My mind was a mess as a young adult; I didn’t know who I was or what my beliefs were. People pleasing was my life skill, it was how I’d made it to adulthood. But now, in this real world I found myself in, there was a new challenge to face: being me. But what was me?
Well, I had a breakdown, and tried to look at it from every angle. I looked at reality and tried to make that absolute too. It worries me a little to this day.
But what I realised, in increments, is that it’s okay to be a little unsure. Everything you’re experiencing is ok. So long as you’re honest, at least with yourself, about it.
Honesty is the only way to de-tangle a brain. Go on, give it a go.