It took me 40 years to find out I had bipolar then nearly another ten years to fully believe it and find the right medication that manages my moods well. How is this possible and how could this happen with all our modern advances in medical science? Well, the issue with mental health is complex and people are even more complex and often have multiple medical issues happening simultaneously. For example, I had two degenerative discs giving me grief and I suffer from high blood pressure. Also, we have complex lives, which in our mind may just be the problem. Consequently, we all, including me, always have a few things we can blame for our bad mental health on, never considering the possibility serious mental illness. For me, my bad back and running a small business was a great reason for not feeling well for many years. Adding to the mix, aging and our capacity to adjust to any circumstances even if is not ideal. My loss of sleep was blamed on work and pain, understandably. Remarkably, I got used to it and built up a certain amount of resilience to manage my life through all of this. In hindsight, I have no rational reason how I got through my days other than sheer stubbornness.
Eventually, for me, my back finally stopped me in my tracks and I had to reassess my life. This life review was a painful time and included financial loss and a complete change of life style. What it did though was get me to reconsider my mental health without excuses. This was my initial step in management and proper medication and treatment. There is no clear road and I am not minimalizing anything it was horrendous and life destroying. It is difficult to articulate on paper fully, but I can say this, you are at the end of your rope and you feel life is slipping away and may never return. You may even consider ending it all like me. I considered jumping off a bridge once. Fortunately for me, I believe I have a soul and it kept pushing me forward and I knew deep down there was more and the bridge would not resolve anything, other than pain for my family and devastate my children. Therefore, I chose life and pushed on. With a grateful heart, I am well and manage my mental health properly, with excellent support and enjoy a full life but not without persistence, plus never quitting on myself or the plan God has for me.