I *HAVE* BiPolar Type 2, Depression, and Anxiety.
I *AM* an Artist.
I am a Mother
I am a Friend, Lover, Sister, Aunt, Grandchild, Daughter
I am me.
I am not my illness, nor does it define me. It is something I have to deal with constantly. It is something that I have not completely figured out how to control.
This illness has changed my life, yes. I used to be able to row my boat, listen to the spiritual guidance, and -- haha -- argue with the Lord about where I was going, but I knew how my oars worked, I knew how the boat handled the eddies and rapids, and I felt confident that I could handle any further things my river had to throw at me.
And then I went over a waterfall. When I surfaced, I had to find a new boat - it feels like I had to make it myself, but I know I've had help. I have new oars, and this stretch of river that I'm on has hidden rapids, whirlpools, and very strong undercurrents that I don't know how to navigate anymore.
I've fallen out of the boat a couple of times. And I'm not the one steering. It's extremely difficult for me to ride this river of faith and not know where I'm going or if my boat has leaks because I'm an imperfect builder.
I'm readjusting to how my oars work. How the boat handles and knowing when to adjust course for the dangers and rapids that I can see is very tricky for me, and I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet.
However, the soul of me, my essence, is still here in the boat, determined to make it to the ocean so I can dance on the beach. I just have to re-learn some of my essentials.
Some days, like today, it seems extremely difficult to row. There are some things that hurt too much. Last night it seemed almost easier to let the current take me into the rocks. Not that I considered that option for longer than a half second. I'm too stubborn for that, and I really don't want to capsize again.
I am not my illness.
I am still here.
I dream vivdly, I love deeply, I play enthusiastically, and laugh loudly.