Something I’ve considered over the years is if I had it to do all over again, would I want to do it with bipolar illness in my life?
And I know you’re not going to believe this, but the answer is, “I would.”
You see, if I hadn’t been bipolar and living at home with my mother in 1993, I wouldn’t have met my future husband, whom I love.
And if I hadn’t have been bipolar, I might have decided to have children when I could have in my 20's or 30's. Instead, during those years, I was fiercely battling the illness. When I was finally ready to have a child, I had to adopt my son after infertility set in at 41. I love my child. I wouldn’t want a different one.
And furthermore, my creative process, my writing ability, is very much tied up in my illness. The “creativity” that fuels my mania (and, yes, even my delusions when they occur) also fuels my writing. Writing is my favorite thing to do in the whole world.
So you see, my illness is very much a part of who I am.
The downside–sleepless nights, lost friends, hopelessness and suicidal feelings, intense fear and paranoia, embarrassment, medication weight gain, lithium acne etc.–I can put up with.