I’ve always thought that I was good at hiding the fact that I have Bipolar disorder. Or at least I thought I was. After I was diagnosed fifteen years ago, I was scared of how others would react if they found out. I dont’ family members. I never tried to hide it from them. They are my cheering block and support system.

Not that it’s a good idea, but sometimes I fake it when I go to the doctor. I say I am better than I really feel. I just don’t want to go changing meds again when this has been working for since my diagnosis. I did have a couple short stints in the hospital to adjust my meds. I hide as much as I can from others but I can’s hide from myslef. I suffer in silence at times and hide out in my home. Winter is a perfect time to hide and maybe even get some things done around the house. This is the worst time of year for me because of the holidays and loved ones no longer here.

Hiding has it’s good sides and bad sides. For my good it makes dealing with society and to avoid some of the stigma. On the flip side it creates loneliness that can be diffiult to deal with. So far this winter has been a good one. In the past, I would stay in bed for days at a time. I didnt’ care about anything. I didn’t want to be trapped in bed but that is what depression does to people, trap them. When I am depressed, there’s a feeling of abandonment of self. I couldn’t help myself and I sure couldn’t pick up the five hundred pound phone. That’s what it was like.

When I am so down I really wish someone would ask me if I’m okay. I hide it so well that nobody knows to even ask. I do have a wonderful family that checks up on me on a regular basis. Being alone is what I need a good part of the day but I also need to work on getting out of the house more often. The cold weather is what keeps me safe to where I don’t feel it necessary to go out anywhere. So that’s just an excuse to not deal with other people and basically reality. I am well awhere of what my reality is and it is crippling at times. I have trouble keeping appointments even to the doctor. I have to see how I feel that particular day. That’s why I try to live one day at a time. That’s all any of us can do. Progress not perfection.

Acceptance of the disease is difficult for me. I am sometimes in denial because I want to do things that are not good for me, certain kinds of fun that I used to love and being stuck at home a lot keeps me from experiencing new kinds of fun. Nevertheless,I would see substantial progress in myself once I realize that it is a physical, mental, and spiritual illness that has no single isolated cause. I cannot stop it anymore than I can make a sick person get well. Reality is absolutely essential to serenity. And I remember my 16 years in Alanon that saved me. Serenity is not peace from the storm but peace from within the storm. My storm is Bipolar. What is your storm?