For years I struggled with finding any balance in my life. I careened from the depths of depression and suicidal ideation to the heights of perfectionistic achievement. I managed to maintain an outward facade of control and peace.
No one believed me when I first came out with my struggle with depression and desire to end my life. “But you’re so smart” and “But you seem so happy” and “But you are a talented athlete and student” were the responses that all discredited how much I struggled inside. Between self-harm and an attempt to take my life, I did eventually manage to convince people that I was seriously hurting.
I tried counselling with multiple different counselors, I was admitted to inpatient treatment more than multiple times, I found stretches of time where I could cope with everything and then it would all crumble again, and then finally everything crumbled spectacularly and I went through more inpatient treatment, including an intense 8 week admission in an Anxiety/Depression treatment program that also set me up for successful counselling after discharge.
Those 8 weeks taught me the key to what I believe is my success in managing my bipolar disorder – balance. And that is why I now perform the bipolar balancing act.
It is still a challenge to maintain balance, and that is why I want to share my struggles, my successes and all the tools in my coping mechanism toolbox!