Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finding meaning

My most recent article about finding meaning in my life with bipolar disorder was published today. I hope you'll take a look. There has been one comment, one I've responded to. The person vehemently disagrees with my efforts to take a positive spin on things. And perhaps you might agree with her. I think there's lots of room for discussion here.

But I have found meaning in life, meaning that I'm not sure I would have found without my disorder.

I was talking to a friend this afternoon who feels similarly about the renal failure she suffered a few years ago. She received a kidney transplant. It didn't take. Then she had another one. Today this tiny lady lives with four kidneys inside her (doctors did not remove the non-functioning ones). Physically she is not strong, but she is happy and has never felt as much at peace.

The thing is, in the midst of these transplants she found God. Her life has changed in an amazing way. This might not have happened if she had not suffered such a crisis.

Something similar happened to me. I began searching for God at a time I felt I could no longer cope on my own with the unbearable feelings my disorder brought on. I needed someone I could lean on to help me through those rough times. This is how I found God. And my life has also changed in an amazing way.

In the article that was published today I missed mentioning this important spiritual life that I have found in my life with bipolar. I wish I'd remembered to do that. But this more complete story, No Longer Alone, is also online. It was published in May. I would love if you would read it.

I would be interested to hear your comments on this positive look at living with bipolar disorder. Am I being far too positive (in your opinion)?


Anonymous Mom said...

Marja, I loved your essay and you have every right to tell the world how you have learned to cope with your illness. It was an inspiring read for me. I guess not everyone will agree, but that doesn't make it less truthful for you.

Susan Bernard said...

Great essay. See my comment! Congrats on being published...again.


Daily Dose said...

Your article was very good and Shana who had first responded seems angry at this time in her life.

I think that there are positive attributes like creativity...sensitivity, emotional feelings, and being good, honest people who truly don't hurt others - at least not intentional.

However, for the past two years after my diagnosis I have dealt with marjor anxiety, deep dark depression, mania, and so on and NO its not fun and it sure as heck is NOT positive.

I think bipolar is both positive and negative - we all have to the feel the way we want to feel - and we all should respect one another :)

Emilija said...

I can't say that I am glad that I have this illness, but I have accepted it. And I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what my life would have been like without it anymore, it doesn't get me anywhere. In the end, I really can't know. I like to tell myself that if I hadn't spent so much of my life too depressed to get out of bed, I might have gone out and gotten hit by a car! Maybe bipolar saved my life. I'll never know. But I'm now an occupational therapist, and though my patients come to me with physical disabilities, my experience with bipolar help me to help them. I'm a much better occupational therapist for having bipolar (now that I am stable enough to work).