Recently, my therapist has me working on a project: I have to find myself to discover what I should do as a career choice. Of course, she ends it with “it’s the journey, not the end result.”
Sounds like fun to me…maybe.
Last night I started by writing down my beliefs. I realized that I fundamentally believe many different things, but one belief I discovered really helps me cope with managing being bipolar.
My Belief: We all serve a purpose (or many) no matter how small. God gives you obstacles in life to learn from, so that you can use that knowledge towards your main purpose in life. Our choices ultimately lead to a purpose or destiny in our life, but what we choose will dictate how easy or difficult our life will be on our path of life.
So, I wrote this all down last night, but today I question whether it is right. I always do that to myself. Of course, it is just my belief! I’m not even sure it is right, but I started forming this belief right after I was first diagnosed. It really helped me face my diagnosis and make amends with God. I was so angry with him at first and even questioned my faith.
I kept thinking why would this bad thing happen to me, who is basically a good person? Through the years, I have found that my struggles with bipolar disorder must have some purpose.
I know college years and my years as a teacher made me struggle so much with the disorder. I even struggled with wanting to tell my students, their parents, and my colleagues that I manage my bipolar disorder everyday, but I never did. My colleagues and the administration didn’t even know I was bipolar. The possible repercussions like lawsuits scared the crap out of me. I made the choice to stand by and not tell my students who needed someone to talk to. They needed to talk to an adult who knew what they were going through and was there for them. Even give them proof that they can have a normal life and have a mental illness.
I was there for them, but not. It literally pained me to stand by and watch those students be treated like less important than other students. So much so, that I had a mixed episode and had to take a month off of work to return back to a stable level. I’ll never forget the day I returned to work to help the subs in the middle of my leave. One such student who was severly depressed and trying to finish her senior year was so hurt about my leave of absence that she said, “Why did you leave me when I needed you the most?” I lied and told her it was severe stomach ulcers and left the class to literally brake down in the teacher’s lounge, and then I left. I regret not telling her the truth every day, but could I tell her? What happened to her after she graduated?
Now that I’m not teaching, I really want to do something to help those students I saw suffer from depression and bipolar disorder. The school system is so corrupt when it comes to helping students with mental disorders and protection from bullying. I don’t know how to go about doing so, but I think speaking out against the stigma and bullying is one of my many purposes in my life.