One of the things that I have found challenging since my diagnosis is my job. It's very common to hear that people who struggle with Bipolar Disorder are unable to work due to their illness, however, I have never been one to let things get in my way. I am a perfectionist to a fault, it means that I push myself way past my capabilities expecting myself to achieve above and beyond everyone else, which objectively is unreasonable as not only are perfectionist renowned for setting unachievable standards, but also, I am already fighting an uphill battle.
I have a habit of needing to power through, not accepting reality in order to be able to continue on with my life as if nothing had happened. When I took a week of last week, it gave me a chance to reflect on all of the things that I have been trying to handle; I had a moment or realisation when I finally faced down the things I had been ignoring.
When I realised the battle that I was actually facing I had to have a bit of a reality check. This diagnosis means that I am going to have to change the way that I live, that is okay, I need to give myself a break and allow myself to find a way to live that is healthy and happy for me.
My job as an administrative assistant means that I work under high pressure with a lot of responsibility. Recently at work there have been situations that make the job especially stressful. Whilst taking time of I rediscovered who I am when I am in an environment that is mentally healthy for me. I am not going to claim that being away from work solved my problems, that's not how life works. However, taking some space showed me that I need time to live as a teenager. I face problems that a lot of teenagers don't have to face, I have to make sensible decisions for my well-being and I have to act like a adult a lot more than my peers. When looking forward to my week away one of the things that I was excited about was getting the opportunity to be a teenager again. I found out that when I am only who I am, rather than trying to be an adult with many responsibilities, I am able to finally start to process and think about moving forward and learning how to live my life in a way that allows me to achieve anything that I may want.
I have been pretending to be an adult so long, it's time to be a kid again. This is what I mentally need, my friends are going of to University this year, they'll be going out partying and doing stupid student stuff, and I couldn't be more jealous. I don't get the opportunity to have that freedom, but I have accepted that. I had also accepted that I have moved through the teenage stage, stuck in adulthood forever. But, it does not need to be that way. I am a teenager, and I deserve to enjoy that.
Therefore, I decided that I no longer wanted a job with lots of responsibility and no flexibility. I want to have a waitressing or bartending job like my peers, I want my freedom and the ability to treat a Wednesday like a Saturday. My life is hard, and it probably will be for the rest of my life. So instead of trying to control every single thing in my life, I am going to try and let go, it is my responsibility to enjoy every good moment and make the most out of my life. Because, although things are hard, I am also lucky.
So here I am, making the decision to leave my safe, adult job and go out and enjoy being a student. I will not let my mental health limit me anymore, that doesn't mean trying to achieve the unachievable, it means say F you to my mental health and actually enjoying my life.
It is MY life!