Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Living with bipolar, when everyone around has their own philosophy
Isn't it true, that we look to the happy and successful ones as examples of what we might do in order to be happy and successful? In our attempt for this happiness and success, we might not only do what the other individual does, but also try to become like them. It's easier than we might like to believe. Becoming like someone else is a tricky thing. Are we really prepared to give up our individuality, our viewpoint, our beliefs? No single human has all the answers. While we may learn from another person (and they from us), it should be up to us how and to what extent we incorporate our learning. It is our moral right and responsibility. We cannot follow blindly. We have to learn to use our own ability to reason. What can we do to keep ourselves safe, while we rightly try to find happiness and success?
Somehow the concept of right and wrong has fallen into disfavor. It is unpopular, politically incorrect, and whatever gymnastics-of-semantics one could think of, nowadays people hesitate to say "right" or "wrong". It is feared, one would be considered old-fashioned or an extremist. While we should not judge others or ourselves, the standards of right and wrong are needed. Who is the authority though? Whom would we listen to? Our family is the first place we learn. But as we grow, it is natural and healthy to understand the legitimacy and truthfulness of what we have learnt. We cannot live our lives founding our standards on the country we were born in, the culture we belong to, the society we find ourselves a part of. Almighty God is above all these, very different from what we might have thought, and he has revealed himself to those who search in his word, the Bible. We owe it to ourselves to personally examine the Bible, and see what it really says.
Whether we like it or not, we become like our friends. So, we should choose our friends well. Bipolar disorder makes it difficult to find friends. People avoid those who could add burdens to their loads. It's okay. There are people who willingly look beyond the illness, and are willing to look at us as a complete human being. With time, we too can prove to be friends. In doing so though, we cannot go so far, with such yearning and eagerness, that to have a friend we compromise our honesty. Real friends mutually try to accept each other - strengths and weaknesses. Sharing the same beliefs and open communication are vital to sustaining a friendship.
It is possible to become subservient due to a desire for approval from others. People with bipolar disorder, like so many others who don't have the same illness, in order to survive are afraid to show any weakness. People pretend to be strong all the time. No one is strong all the time. In order to keep our own voice we don't need to be strong all the time. While it is true, we all live in a world with hostile conditions, we need not live with a constant feeling of having to fight. We will get exhausted and lose all joy. It is better to have a purpose in life. If we live with the knowledge that our life is meaningful, that keeps us strong. The identity we have still does not automatically find voice, unless we are willing to express ourselves. When we express ourselves in our words and actions, we keep our voice.
It can get pretty confusing if we are looking around all the time. It gets much better if we have found what to keep focused on, then we live our life in accord with that purpose, and we have friends who stand by us and we by them.