To all my fellow warriors out there, remember always that no one has the right to define your path to wellness.
I really like her metaphor about the life-preserver and how we shouldn’t be fussing about the shape or color of it. We should just be willing to grab on to it with all we’ve got and hold on. We have enough on our plate to deal with, so if it works then it is good enough and to hell with what anyone else thinks.
And if we happen to accidentally kick the assholes in the face that are telling us not to use the life-preserver for whatever reason as we are swimming out of the storm, we can “tell them to stop the bleeding in the warm breeze outside” – although I’m not entirely sure that’s a responsible thing to say. >.< But I understand the point.
We don’t use sunshine to cure cancer, heal broken bones, or manage diabetes. Research today is showing that severe mental illnesses are in fact genetic brain disorders, so why are we telling these people to use sunshine to cure that?
I was born with Bipolar genes. The symptoms manifested early in childhood, came to a head in my teens, and I was finally diagnosed in adulthood. In my near 40 years of life, sunshine has not undone what has been written those genes. Being outside helps, but doesn’t cure. I wish it could because I’m seriously not a fan of medications. In fact if I hadn’t found Topamax, which also prevents my migraines, I’m not sure I would be compliant with anything right now. I was really on the ropes and at my wit’s end by the time I hit this med. Honestly, I was ready to throw in the towel and quit. But the chronic migraines stopped and my mood evened out. I went from 5 pain-free days a month from severe migraines to having maybe one mild to moderate migraine every other month. Studies indicate that Bipolar mood episodes are connected to migraines and it just so happens I’m also having fewer episodes. When I do have them, they feel less severe as well. This one med has really saved my life. It’s not perfect, and nothing ever is, but I feel like I have reclaimed a big piece of my life back.
I will always have a storm in my mind, but at least now it no longer rages all the time and also I have a life boat and a lantern to weather it. And to hell with anyone who says it’s wrong to have that.
It’s my hope that everyone else still lost at sea will be able to find their life-preserver (whatever it make look like) and find their way home.