There’s Nothing Like Taking It On The Chin
Well, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. When there’s a 280-pound muscle man about to clock you, you might have time enough to dodge the punch. But not always. There’s that moment when you know you’re going to lose a couple of teeth, split a lip and fall down.
Sometimes being bipolar is like that. You get up every day, wait for the bell and then put up your dukes. Every once in a while you win the fight. But sometimes you can’t win for losing.
Stop It, That Hurts!
What do you expect? Winning is sometimes a fickle thing. And you’re going to be beat up a bit before the fight’s over, that’s a sure bet. Oh, right, and here is where I’m supposed to say ‘Never give up, never surrender!’ or some such saying, but I just can’t do it, really. It’s a good sentiment and it’s supportive but it isn’t always a good idea.
Sometimes you have to surrender. Sometimes you have to let yourself lose the fight, but not the battle. Know when to say ‘uncle’ and live to fight another day.
There’s No Shame In Losing
There’s a certain grace to being a good sport. Taking a loss without rancor and without anger towards your opponent. But being bipolar means that each and every day you’re coming up against a variety of boxers: being unhappy, anxious, negative, defeatist, uncertain; feeling unloved, unwanted, unable. So putting on the gloves and getting up from the floor of the boxing ring is critical. It’s the fight that never ends.
There are times when you just can’t make headway in the fight. Those negative emotions and their consequences take a heavy toll on you. Hell, they’d do that to anybody. But to remain on your feet and in the fight you need to have a really good coach that knows when to help you out. One that can support you and encourage you, too, but one that understands the process and progress of the fight and knows when you need to go down for the count for that particular opponent until you’re better trained and better prepared to tackle him.
If Ricardo Montalbán Can Take A Punch . . .
Now there’s an actor that could take a punch. Defeat is all just part of the game. But think about it: Senõr Montalbán fought hard to win a lot of roles, most famously Kahn in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. And he had to put up with a lot of meager roles in the lean years (see Fantasy Island, ugh). What I’m trying to say is that he made his mark on film history by keeping himself in the fight.
Being bipolar doesn’t mean winning all the time, it means fighting all the time. And that’s much harder than anyone without that understanding could imagine. It’s like Atlas holding up the earth without cease. It’s like Sisyphus rolling that huge boulder up the hill only to have it roll down again. Try, try again, as it were. The ceaseless battle. The endless struggle. The weight of forever.
Some people escape; some are lucky enough to progress to the point of not needing medication full-time or needing endless therapy. Those who are lucky enough are to be congratulated. But that ‘win’ isn’t the cure, the end, the laurel. That win is limited. They’ll more than likely have to resume the fight at some point in time. There is no cure for being bipolar, there is only management of symptoms and endless work to fight against the worst of the disorder.
But know this: anyone that suffers, anyone that is astoundingly affected by bipolar disorder, anyone that has had their lives completely disrupted and altered knows the truth of that fight. That doesn’t mean we’re pushovers, by the way, it only means that we’re in training all the time. And the more training you do, the better you become at deflecting the punches that come your way.
Hell-Bent And Ready For The Next Round
So winning isn’t everything. There’s a balance in the universe and so as many times as feel that you have lost, there are just as many times you can feel that you have won.
It’s no easy battle by any means. But learning to savor the win and suffer the losses is just part of the universe, too, so it’s important to be a little more patient and understanding about your battles. Find a trainer, learn how to fight and put on the gloves. It’s never going to be easy so you have to get past that idea in order to learn the methods to fight hard and to win just as you have to learn how to lose without blaming yourself.
But if you try, practice, work and have some determination your chances of winning become astronomical.
If you’ve done the things you need to do to help yourself then you just might find that a win is going to come your way.
But it takes a lot of fight to get there and unless you have perfected that devastating right hook, you’re going to have to keep up the fight.
But you don’t have to do it alone, You don’t have to give up. You can do it and I know that because each and every day I am in that fight and I know from which I speak. You’ve got to have help along the way. You’re going to get a few black eyes and they’re gonna hurt. Just make sure you give ’em back.
Note: I’m speaking metaphorically. I do not condone pugilism, so don’t actually punch anybody.
That would be wrong and would completely suck.