I heard this funny story the other day and I wanted to share it with you: This man looked up at the sky and said, “What is the meaning of life?” A big, booming voice came down from the sky and said, “Life is like a river!” “You mean that it’s long and winding?” the man asked. “What do you think?” the booming voice answered. Puzzled, the man asked, “You mean because it has so many twists and turns?” Again, the booming voice answered, “What do you think?” Still puzzled, the man asked, “You mean because of all the things that get caught up in its way?”
“What do you think?” boomed the voice from above. This time the man thought he had the answer. He asked, “You mean because there seems to be no end in sight?” The voice boomed, “What do you think?” Frustrated by this point, the man answered, “I think I better figure out the answer for myself, that’s what I think.”
I don’t know about you, but I thought the story was funny. But I thought it made a good point, too. And, like always, I realized it could be related to bipolar disorder. Sometimes we have the answers to things, we just don’t know that we do. Sometimes we think we have the answer, but it turns out not to be. Sometimes we get really frustrated, because we just can’t see any answer to our problems at all. Sometimes the answer to our problems might be staring us right in the face, and we just can’t see it. Sometimes we can find our own answers by learning from other people and how they found their answers. Sometimes the answer seems to be so well-hidden that we think we’ll never be able to find it.
But just like the funny story about the man asking about the meaning of life…The bottom line is, you have to find the answer to your problems for yourself, however you have to do it. But I guarantee, the answer is there somewhere. You just have to look for it. Have you ever heard the expression, “The impossible just takes a little longer”? Some people don’t try at all. Some people blame their problems on other people. Some people with bipolar disorder blame their problems on the disorder. Some people try a little bit, but give up easily. Some people try to make their problems into someone else’s.
And then there are those who won’t give up. I like to think of most people with bipolar disorder and their supporters that way. It’s not their fault that they have the disorder. It’s not fair that they have to live with something they never asked for, or deserve. And there are a lot of problems that come with having bipolar disorder. It takes a lot of willpower and strength to deal with the problems that come with the disorder. It takes a lot to fight the disorder, and it takes a lot to manage the disorder and especially to not let the disorder manage you instead. Those are some pretty big problems, wouldn’t you say?
Yet I talk to or hear from people with bipolar disorder and their supporters every day, and they are doing it. Most of them don’t complain about it, even though I’m sure they don’t like it, and would rather it didn’t happen to them. But they’ve accepted the reality of their problems, and they do something about it. They face their problems head-on, and they look for solutions for them.
They don’t blame the disorder for their problems. They don’t try to blame other people for their problems. They don’t try to make excuses for their problems. They just accept life for what it is, and accept that there are problems that come with life. Whether you have bipolar disorder or not. These are the people that I respect the most. Because these are the people who don’t give up.
Well, I have to go!