Life as a Bipolar BAMF

When it comes to having bipolar disorder, well, it is the worst. The illness itself is vicious and manipulative and does absolutely anything it can to not only disrupt your daily life, but bury you under the weight of utter worthlessness. And this feeling of inferiority and shame is something you carry with you even when your symptoms are being managed. Bipolar disorder not only attacks your sanity but also your self esteem. This past week I had a manic-psychotic mixed episode which required about 50 pills to put me back together. This fact, this sobering piece of my reality, can be hard to live with and even harder still to explain to other people. This illness makes it unfathomably hard to accomplish your dreams and love yourself enough to even try. This illness invites isolation.

Carrie Fisher and Gary (image found on Facebook, if you know the original source please let me know!)

This is why having Bipolar BAMFs (bad ass mother fuckers) in your life makes such a phenomenal difference. These impactful people enter your life in different ways but serve the same important purpose. For example, I have a circle of Bipolar BAMFs, my friends who also live with this illness, who remind me that I have an empathetic community to lean on and we all find hope and strength in each other. When it comes to successful, genuine Bipolar BAMFs glittering in the spotlight, Carrie Fisher is my #1. Carrie Fisher doesn’t “inspire” me, but motivates me to keep trying, because living in the grips of bipolar disorder and not giving up says a lot about you as a person. Way more than the actual illness does. I don’t put Carrie Fisher on a pedestal because she is a person just like me, but she is an excellent reminder that people can live with this illness and own it better with age. I can have a future even with this mental illness. Thanks Carrie for the confidence boost I sorely needed. I’ve seen that it can be done, and I truly believe that I can put in the hard work. In fact, I already do every day. From every pill I take, to every therapist and psychiatrist appointment I attend, to every healthy habit I implement, and most importantly, with every honest conversation about mental illness that I have, I’m making my life more about me and less about being dominated by my bipolar.

Psychosis is the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced but I survive it every single time. I live my life knowing that it will inevitably happen again and again but I don’t give up. I am comforted by the fact that I will inevitably fight it again and again and subdue it for as long as it takes. Here’s to Carrie Fisher whom I’ve learned so much from about living for yourself. Not existing for other people or surrendering to an illness. Thanks to the Bipolar BAMFs who I am blessed to have in my life every day with their never-ending support and abundance of humor. I am so lucky to have such supportive people in my life who remind me that I’m strong and that I can keep fighting what is up ahead. And the fact I don’t have to do it alone.

The important purpose that all Bipolar BAMFs share is challenging stigma and continuously shouting out the battlecry, “you are not alone.” And considering I am a Bipolar BAMF too, I am here to type at the top of my lungs: “You are not alone. You are worth it. Don’t let an illness tell you otherwise.”

My best Carrie Fisher! Me and Bella Fabulous :)

P.S. Emotional support animals are literal life savers ❤ Cheers to all the Garies and Bellas out there :) All BAMFs need complementary side kicks