In December, I will start as a blogger for bpHope.com, "Hope and Harmony for People with Bipolar." Also in December, I will be trained as a speaker for NAMI's "Ending the Silence," a program that brings speakers to tell their mental health stories into middle and high schools.
My horizon is widening... new horizons are opening. I am so grateful for where I am right now, for the opportunities that are coming my way. And I know that these opportunities are arising from health, from a period of stability.
These opportunities also are coming from a decision to be open about my mental health journey. I am who I am. I am making peace with it. This doesn't mean, of course, if I have a relapse in the future that I won't fight it like hell. That I won't resent it like hell. But I have made peace with simply having bipolar.
Out of peace has come the ability to react with openness to potential. To react with creativity. Out of this new peace with being who I am has come opportunity.
We are all called to embrace ourselves for who we are. This doesn't mean we can't work to change ourselves for the better -- in fact, we do this every day. But we can do both/and. We simultaneously can accept ourselves completely and work to change ourselves for the better. Acceptance and change. Of course, total acceptance of ourselves as we are is always a goal, never a reality. But it is a goal we can be working toward daily.
I finally am accepting the reality that I have a serious illness that I will deal with my entire life. But that doesn't mean I can't lead a good life, can't change myself for the better. And I am doing so.
At the same time, I am giving back. I hope my story will inspire others and I will be able to reach people, especially young people in schools, with the message that recovery is possible. I also hope that blogging for bpHope will give me an opportunity to exercise my writing ability on the topic of mental health and to reach a larger audience.
Opportunities are coming my way. They are coming my way because of all my hard work invested in regaining health.