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Loss After Loss

Sometimes it feels like all Bipolar does is take things from me.  It takes away my ability to work full-time…and sometimes even part-time.  When I am manic it takes away my ability to drive and spend money.  When I am suicidal it takes away my ability to live in my own home and have freedom.  So often it takes away my ability to get together with my friends because my disorder is so brittle.  It takes away my ability to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal because my disorder makes me so worried about being seen while I eat.  It takes away my ability to buy expensive presents for my niece and nephews for major holidays because I don’t have the same amount of money as typical adults.  It takes away my ability to have kids because I would have to come of my meds and loose sleep.  It takes away my ability to live on the edge because I always have to make sure I have all my meds with me and that I take them three times a day.  Somedays it takes away my ability to even get out of bed because I’m so exhausted and depressed.  It’s a lot of loss.

But the way I fight my losses is to give.  In the last few weeks I had a three week mania and then caught a stomach bug.  All I wanted to do was have a writing retreat at a hotel to do the final major edits to my book, but I just can’t seem to have three good days in a row.  It has been devastating, and frustrating, but I have found that the best way to fight losses is to give.

I might not be able to buy expensive presents, but I have made soooo many presents for the ones I love.  I may not have been able to write the blog posts as often as I usually do, but I’m working on my 93…no, I’m not joking…Christmas cards.  I helped my mom with some tasks around the house when I was staying there for my safety.  Have I mentioned I made presents?

I made Thanksgiving presents, I made Christmas presents, I made birthday presents.  My presents may not come from the store, but they come with love.  Let’s just say, I am a master at making things from felt.  And the nice thing is, I can do them in my home in my office or in my living room, even if it’s a really rough day.

Sometimes people in my circle get frustrated that I make so many presents.  They think I will be disappointed if I don’t get gifts for that.  But it’s all about the giving for me.  It’s about thinking of the other person, and deciding just what I can make to touch their hard.

Bipolar takes a lot, but it doesn’t take my ability to give, and that’s why I love this time of the year so much.  It is unreal the number of presents unmade, but it has covered some of the losses and allowed me to enjoy the season.

If you have experienced a loss or a lot of losses, I encourage you to try and give, too.  It doesn’t fix it.  It doesn’t take away the hurt.  But it makes it easier to manage.  I hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with love and joy, but if it isn’t, find someone safe to talk to who can help you through it.

Love, Liz

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