Kicking Bipolar’s Ass

5 Mar


“She is bipolar.”

I cringe every time I hear these words, or see them typed out in print or online somewhere like I did today. You would never hear, “She is cancer.” Instead, after someone is cured of cancer you hear, “She BEAT cancer.”

That is so wonderful. I cheer along with everyone else when I read of someone’s victorious fight with the devil that is cancer. If you think about it, mental illness should be looked at the same way. I don’t want to be known as the woman who is bipolar and is married with two kids.

I didn’t ask for this condition, this heartbreaking, terrifying, complicated illness, to hit me at the age of twenty-seven when I was newly married and at the peak of my recruiting career.

And I am not my illness.

I am so much more than this condition I live with and manage each and every day.

I am a wife. A mother. A daughter. A sister. A granddaughter. A niece. A cousin. An aunt. A friend. An employee. A room mom. A church member.  A Sunday school teacher. A writer. A reader. A bubble bath-taker. A coffee lover. A vegetarian. A chocoholic. A fan of music. A dancer. A car singer.

You know, the type that knows every word to every song and loves to sing no matter how bad of a singer she is. Yeah. That’s me.

I am the sum of all these beautiful, wonderful things.

I am NOT Bipolar.

I may have bipolar disorder, but it does not define me. I am defined by the people I surround myself with, the people who I love and who also love me for who I am. The ways I spend my time help to mold me into the person I am becoming.

And I’m pretty happy with her. Most of the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of growing and learning to do. But I do think that I can be proud of how far I’ve come.

I turned 34 last month. I recently commented to my best friends how it seems like a third of our lives is gone already. They both reminded me that we’d have to live to 102 for that to be the case. Hey, it’s possible. But I guess they’re right. More than a third is done. Lived. In the books. {or, on the blog.}

Sometimes I wonder where all that time went.

I’m not sure, but I do know that I want to be able to say, for the rest of whatever time I have left, that I beat bipolar disorder. That I was an inspiration to others still fighting. And that I did my best.

I think I’m doing a decent job so far.


18 Responses to “Kicking Bipolar’s Ass”

  1. Sean Nisil June 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    “I am the sum of all these beautiful, wonderful things…I am NOT Bipolar!” What a great perspective to have and an encouragement to all. We can take out bipolar and fill in the blank with whatever label(s) we struggle with. “I am NOT——-!”

    Great post.

  2. Mrs Bipolarity April 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Amazing, I could have written this exact post myself. I literally agree with every word. Love it!

    • BipolarMomLife April 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Thank you so much, Laura!! I’m sure I’ll agree with many of your thoughts on living with BD, too. Off to stalk, I mean read, your blog! :)

  3. Judy fryer March 11, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    You are definitely an inspiration to me! I love your fighting, go for it spirit.Whenever you can be honest and speak out about Bipolar Disorder, remember it is helping someone, somewhere to understand it just a little bit more. It is a vert tricky illness to get a handle on and we all need all the help we can get. Shoulder to shoulder we will definitely kick ‘its’ ass and in doing so,strengthen ourselves and each other. Keep kickin girl!

    • BipolarMomLife March 11, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      I’m so happy to inspire you, Judy! Thank you so much for being one of my biggest fans, it means so much to me. I’m going to keep kickin’ on! :)

  4. Andrea March 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    You seem to have such a positive attitude & I really love this post & the reminder that mental illness does not define anyone. Really inspiring & refreshing post :)

  5. sentiMENTALparRANTing March 6, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    I love to read your blog and your take on this experience. You are correct, bipolar does not define you! When speaking of my son and his bipolar and other issues, I often say that he has a mental illness, the mental illness does NOT have him. Keep looking forward and putting one foot in front of the other. I personally thank you for sharing your truth

    • BipolarMomLife March 6, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      You are so right – the mental illness does NOT have your son, it is just something he has to fight. We all have our own battles in life, what we need to work hard to overcome. You are doing a tremendous job of supporting him. I don’t know how hard that is, but I would bet it is almost as hard as fighting the illness if you had it yourself. Keep on keeping on. He’ll get through it with your love and support.

  6. mymidsummermadness March 6, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    ……. i’ve never looked at it that way……..

    • BipolarMomLife March 6, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      I guess most people don’t, so I’m glad to bring it the attention of those willing to listen.

  7. Linda Killi March 6, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Yes you are doing a great job of beating this illness and I’m so proud of you!


  8. tranquilamama March 6, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    Love this post. Your mental illness does not define who you are. I just saw a segment on our local news about a mom who is bipolar and is thriving. So glad to see someone talking openly. The segment was so positive and inspiring. It makes me hopeful that the tide is turning. Hugs.

    • BipolarMomLife March 6, 2013 at 7:17 am #

      Thank you, Jen. I wish my local news would do a segment like the one you describe. Someday I’ll be ready to be that woman. Xoxo

  9. jessmittens March 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    What a great way to look at things because I never even thought about how when it comes to bipolar it seems to be the only illness I can think of that is said that way – ‘she IS bipolar’. Everything else is ‘she HAS so and so’. How strange and defining.
    Good luck with kicking its butt :)

    • BipolarMomLife March 6, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      Yes, very strange and unfairly defining. Thanks, Jess.


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    […] Kicking bipolar’s ass by Jennifer. […]

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