What happens if I relapse?

I walked around for years, completely terrified that I would suddenly be unstable. That I would have another manic episode. That I would fall into a deep depression.

It got to be so bad that an average “bad day” would turn into me spiraling into such intense anxiety that I was unable to concentrate on work or be able to relax.

I was sitting in a bipolar disorder support group when the leader said something that scared me, but brought me a huge sense of peace:

“You are going to relapse.”

I stared at her, slightly angry. How dare she…

But then she continued.

“This is why we’re taking the time right now to learn all the skills you need to cope and take care of yourself.”

See, bipolar disorder isn’t something that just goes away. It’s a lifelong illness, but that doesn’t mean I have to suffer every day. There are ways to overcome what I’m going through. Instead of spending so much time scared of relapsing into a manic episode or deep depression, I spend that time preparing.

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