Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic illness, depression, mental health, motherhood

Bipolar and My Middle Name

Nicole means Victory for the People. I remember sitting on a green upholstered church pew when I was little and reading that on a bookmark that I owned. I’d twist the burgundy tassel top around my fingers and imagine myself helping people that needed help. I never realized that victory was meant for me, too.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Bipolar Disorder

To date I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder three times.

I have lived in denial for about two years and have avoided being medicated like the plague. I couldn’t reconcile that I was being diagnosed with the same illness that my father had, even though he had bipolar type 1 and I have been diagnosed with bipolar type 2. If you’re curious about the difference between the two types, I encourage you to read about it here.

Over time, the depressive episodes have gotten worse and lasted longer. The hypo-manic episodes have surfaced as severe anxiety and paranoia. Just this week, I hit rock bottom and realized that my misery outweighed my actual fear of going on medication. I saw the psychiatrist on Wednesday and began medication immediately.

I’ve lost too many precious days with my family to postpone treatment any longer.

I’m ready to redefine my normal and to discover facets of the “real” me again.

Victory Redefined

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

All those years ago when I was imagining myself being a helper, healer, and victor for those in need on a church pew in East Tennessee, I think I had it all wrong. I’m learning that victory isn’t always what we imagine.

Maybe I’m not running into a physical battle like I imagined as a kid. I’m not advocating for justice in a courtroom or championing for the rights of the oppressed.

I’m advocating for myself and because I’m doing that, I am fighting along some of the bravest people I’ll ever know. That’s you, by the way!

I believe victory isn’t about what you accomplish, but instead how you persist.

My middle name is Nicole.

I hope I can help you you acknowledge the victories you have every day.

Keep going. xx

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