I saw this child in the grocery store the other day with his mother. Now, this kid couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5. Usually, kids that age are tugging on their Mama’s sleeve, wanting this or that, screaming or yelling, and causing general havoc to everyone around them.
What made this child different was that he was just walking down each aisle looking at everything like he was amazed, like everything was brand new to him – like he was seeing everything for the very first time!
When I go to the grocery store, I just go in and get what I need, and leave, don’t you? I’ve been there so many times, that it’s just a chore for me. How could anyone possibly find it exciting
and new? But remember, now, I’m an adult, and things like grocery stores no longer hold any
allure for me. Maybe I’m just getting old… LOL
But I kept thinking about this child even as I left the grocery store and went on with my errands.
For some reason, he had left a big impression upon me. I asked myself, What if we could all stay like that child? What if we still looked at life that way? Like everything was still new and exciting… Like there was wonder and awe in little things… New things to still explore and delight in… Instead of being “adult” and “mature” about everything, so grown-up that we forget how to be a child and just enjoy life?
What does this have to do with bipolar disorder? Well, I think we can all learn a lesson from this child.
Just because your loved one has bipolar disorder doesn’t mean you have to lose the perspective of a child. Just because they have bipolar disorder doesn’t mean you can’t still be happy. Just because they have bipolar disorder doesn’t mean you have to go around like you have this chip on your shoulder all the time.
Having bipolar disorder isn’t the end of your life. You can still have a “normal” life between
episodes. In fact, you should be living as normal a life as possible so that stability becomes a reality and there are fewer episodes in your loved one’s life.
I’m not saying to go bungie-jumping or anything just to have excitement in your life, but there are other things you can do to make your life enjoyable in spite of the bipolar disorder. It’s all in your attitude! Think about that child in the grocery store. What made him different than other kids his age? His wonderment at the things around him! You can have that same wonderment again. Try to see the beauty in the things around you. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Be grateful each day that your loved one is not in an episode. Do things together that you both enjoy. These things don’t have to be complicated, extravagant, or expensive.
I know a couple who both have bipolar disorder. And one of the things they both enjoy doing
is playing board games together, like backgammon. They enjoy just being together and talking. About “everything” and “nothing,” they say.
One of the greatest pleasures in life is simple companionship. Having family around you. Going through old photographs. Watching the birds in your backyard. Seeing a movie together. Reading books side by side. Cooking a meal together. Going on a date (no matter how long you’ve been together). Watching the rain fall outside your window.
Take a lesson from the child in the grocery store. Try to see the world from a child’s perspective
again, and you’ll be much happier. Don’t let bipolar disorder steal your joy!
Well, I have to go!