Living With A Label: 5 ways to define the meaning of Bipolar Disorder

Labels only have the power we give them.

We have the choice to believe in the label that is placed on us and act accordingly…or be who we are.

When the label “bipolar disorder” was placed on me, I thought the world as I knew it was over for me.

Before receiving this label, I believed I had experienced the most wonderful experience of my life and then also the most terrible experience of my life.  Nonetheless it wasn’t good or bad, it was just awesome, passionate and beautiful and the most scary thing I’ve experienced EVER. But it was never wrong or bad.

When I received the label of “bipolar disorder”, it suddenly meant that who I am and what I experienced was WRONG and BAD. It meant that the most profound and significant experience I’ve ever had in my life was CRAZY. It robbed me of feeling the feelings of “this is meant to be, I am special!” As a result, I decided to discover how to get the specialness back.

Here are five ways to transform the label of “Bipolar Disorder”:

1. Identify the abilities, strengths and gifts you GET TO HAVE because of the experiences you’ve had. You may always live with bipolar disorder, nevertheless you get to define it’s meaning with either lack or abundance of gifts.

2. Give yourself a label that you would prefer to have instead, such as “Passionately Emotional” “Invincibly Creative” “Deeply Sensitive & Compassionate” “Ridiculously Productive” “Will to Make The World Better”etc

3. Notice what you have learned and the ways you are a better person because of the knowledge, strength, or courage you have gained from your struggle. And tell yourself and others those stories when you talk about bipolar disorder.

4. People will treat you how you treat yourself. If you tell yourself and people, “I am bipolar.” you lose your identity completely.  You’d never say, “I am cancer OR I am Alzheimers.”

You are living with bipolar disorder. You are affected by bipolar disorder. You are doing your best with bipolar disorder. You are having a rough day because of bipolar disorder. YOU ARE NOT BIPOLAR. (Sometimes I even make this mistake and I need to STOP IT.)

5. PROVE SOCIETY WRONG. Do great things with your life and it will change what it means to live with Bipolar Disorder.