Ever since the first time a professional used a mental illness label to describe me, it’s as though those closest to me and I took a deep breath and then used that label as a Proxy to explain literally everything that was not perfect in my life.
It took the place of a whole host of things it should not have. Normal teenage angst? Must be mental illness. Legitimate anger on an issue? Must be the mental illness. Not taking responsibility about something? Definitely the illness.
I bought into it too. Why wouldn’t I? It abdicated me of any responsibity of my own and placed it solely in this “but I can’t help it” place.
There are some things I cannot help. If an episode occurs, I can’t help the irritability that sometimes happens (but I can control who is exposed to that). I can’t control how much sleep I get all of the time or if I have psychosis.
I am just in the early stages of sorting out what is “bipolar disorder” in me and static and legitimate and what the things are that I have been blaming it for that I can change.
There’s hope in the possibility for change. Things I can improve, places where I can grow, and ways that my quality of life can get better.
It’s going to be a long journey to separate this out, but it’s going to be worth it in the end.