I am

While I am doing significantly better than I have been, I am not as confident and self assured as I really should be.  My mood has improved, now I just need to convince myself that I am confident, able, and worthy.  It’s not an easy task.  I feel like I am transparent to everyone else; that they can see that I am sick and unstable.  I feel like I am a failure at work, and my career just continues to spiral downward.  I am unlovable and destined to live the rest of my life without a significant other.

I am Crazy.

But that really isn’t the truth.  I may be suffering from a horrible disease, but I am not without value, ability, and able to enrich others’ lives.  So I tell myself over and over… “I Am”.  Maybe if I keep repeating this I will be able to eventually believe it and build myself up to where I ought to be.

I am smart.  Bipolar people in general tend to have a higher than average intelligence, and I have to believe I am no exception.  I chose not to go to college (Okay, that wasn’t smart) but I have accomplished great things in spite of my lack of education.  I have held jobs that require a post graduate degree.  I have had MBA’s and PhD’s working for me.  Most of my entire career has been in senior management; often at the top level.  Being smart isn’t limited to just work life either.  I’ve learned a great deal about my illness and how to successfully deal with it.  I have a deep understanding of politics and society.  My perspectives about so many things are valid and have merit.

I am creative.  From the way I find solutions to problems to being artistic and musical; I have creativity and skill.  My problem solving abilities have had a large effect on my career; most jobs I’ve held required out of the box thinking and flexibility.  I’ve been able to resolve whatever issue I’ve faced.  My photography has earned awards and respect.  I play multiple musical instruments even though I can’t read a note of music.  I play entirely by ear.  I have the way to communicate my thoughts and emotions through the written word.  I’ve received so many positive comments and feedback that I have to believe that there’s at least some skill there.

I am successful in my career.  True, over the years I’ve held less and less responsible positions, but that’s a reflection on the economy rather than my ability.  And I’ve remained gainfully employed in spite of the hard economic times and my disease.  I’ve been able to transition across industries and positions, using my core skills to quickly adapt to new environments.  Regardless of what position I’ve held at any level I’ve been able to perform and produce.  My illness has had a negative effect on practically every job I’ve ever had, but I’ve always managed to rise above it and keep moving on.

I am confident and secure.  When I’m not struggling with the extremes of my illness I have a strong belief in myself and my abilities.  I know I have talents and skills.  I can interact with others with all kinds of backgrounds and cultures.  I present myself well, and have people who look up to me.  I am a good person.

I am strong.  With everything I’ve had to deal with in my life I’ve had to have a tremendous amount of strength to persevere.  I’ve been the one that others lean on during troubles and crisis.  I have made it through times of unemployment and financial difficulties.  I have stood fast in my beliefs and opinions even when it hasn’t been easy.  My illness hasn’t conquered me.  I’ve been able to withstand the absolute worse that my disease has thrown at me and made it through times that have broken others.

I am tolerant and compassionate.  I do have strong opinions and beliefs.  But I always try to respect others views and will always consider different perspectives.  I’m not so inflexible that I can’t change my mind based on someone elses’ input.  I try to understand that everyone has their own struggles and accept them for what they are.  Who am I to judge?

I am attractive.  The truth is, I feel like I’m geeky and unremarkable.  You don’t get to be my age without picking up some wrinkles and sags.  I’m not in the same shape I was in 30 years ago.  I have my health issues and infirmaries.  I am bipolar.  But every pot has a lid, and I’m sure that there’s someone out there that can be attracted to me just as I am.

I am capable of a healthy and loving relationship.  I have learned so much about myself and relationships in general over the last year or so.  I know I can be good for someone else and develop and grow a significant connection.  I am good to others.  I’m always the gentleman and try to treat them with the utmost respect and dignity.  I have a lot to contribute to a relationship and be a wonderful partner.

Believe it or not, I am humble.  All the overly positive “I am” statements are to give myself the belief that I am not the pathetic loser that I feel like I am.  But regardless of the overconfident opinions I’m giving myself I know that I’m no different from anyone else.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses.  I am thankful that I’ve been given the abilities that I have, and respect the fact that there are others more skilled and capable.

I am alive.  Over the years, especially over the last year I have reached the point where life just was not worth living.  I’ve been on the brink many times, and have even come close to succeeding at ending my life.  But I’ve made it through and lived to fight again.  While I’m strong and in a good place I’m going to embrace what life has to offer, good and bad, and do my best to draw on it the next time lose my hope.

I am going to be okay.  I’ve been able to rise above over so many challenges and disadvantages.  My disease has done its best to destroy me, but I’m still fighting the good fight.  I have learned so much about my illness and have gained valuable insight into how to manage it.  I have a good treatment plan and awesome support circle.  I may have finally reached a position of stability and peace, but if not, I will the next time.  Or the time after that.  Sooner or later I have no doubt that I will get to the point that my illness does not have the absolute control over me, and I’ll be able to function in a normal and healthy way.

I have to keep working to believe that I have many positive and healthy attributes that make me worthwhile.  I have to make the most of what I have and use it to the best of my ability. I need to have the confidence and self esteem to believe in myself in spite of everything.  I have the abilities, smarts and skills to do the best that I can dealing with whatever life may throw at me.  I have to know that I am a decent human being.

Because I am.

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5 Responses to I am

  1. jomaidment says:

    Yes you are. My question would be what has caused the self doubt, start looking and tackling that and things will seem brighter again. Try reading finding the stillness. Its about learning to cope with depression and finding the middle ground and stay in it, which is hard for us.

    Keep fighting you are doing grea

    Like

  2. Cassandra says:

    I, too, struggle with this problem. During my psychotic break, I truly was Crazy. But now that I have survived it and stared managing my Bp, I am mentally ill.

    You are incredibly capable. Don’t let the disease define you, even though it’s a huge part of your life and a hard road to walk.

    Like

  3. Your post today made me think of this excerpt from Mark Batterson’s book, “Soulprint”:

    “In his book Learned Optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman says that each of us has what he calls an explanatory style. That explanatory style is the manner in which we explain to ourselves why things happen. And why is more important than what. It’s not our experiences that make us or break us. It’s our interpretation of and explanation for those experiences that ultimately determines who we become. Your explanations are more important than your experiences.”

    Explaining to yourself who you really are is VERY healthy and exactly what you need to do when you are doubting yourself. You are healthier than you know.

    Like

  4. zozespot says:

    I loved this blog post. Stay strong 🙂

    Like

  5. lisalday111711 says:

    I like how you handled this issue and I am seriously thinking about doing the same thing.
    You are so worthy my friend and you are contributing so much to the human story.

    Like

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