Picture for a moment a track race, there are many hurdles the runners need to jump to get to the finish line, each one must be crossed at the precise time in order to win; it takes practice, courage, determination and above all the dedication to make the dream come true. You are probably wondering by this point how this all pertains to mental illness; you would be surprised.
My doctors consider me a challenge; I have stumped them more times than I can remember, they try a treatment that has worked for years, and I am not able to either take a certain medication, or it has an opposite reaction on me; I have had my psychiatrist just sit and shake his head at me in disbelief. Part of me thinks he enjoys it because he is a researcher as well, and he enjoys the mystery. However, I regress; each of these things is an obstacle; each part of my illness is one more jump I have to make in order to live free of what the next minute is going to bring me.
Each of my diagnoses is an obstacle for me; the letters define an instant in time that I felt either out of control or an instance when my mind turned on me. I face the obstacles of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of years of abuse. I have spent years fighting to get back what was taken from me; I still get angry and look for ways to forget and move on, but the wall is there, and I am slowly climbing to the top, one day I will be able to look down and say I made it and can see the other side.
When it comes to DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) however, it becomes more challenging. The little darlings who live inside my head enjoy the games they play with me, over the years I have come to know them, why they exist and how to handle them, for the most part, but they remain a part of me. The obstacle with this illness is the fact that I am used to not having to face crisis or pain I find it difficult to let go of each personality because they have gotten me through so much, and I was never really given the opportunity to do it on my own, now I am trying to learn.
Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety create a havoc that can last for days, weeks or even months at a time, each illness on it’s own has the ability to weaken the soul and fighting takes more energy than you think you have in you, but if you believe you are strong and have faith it is possible. The trick to these two illnesses is learning the triggers or obstacles that get in way and cause the moods to change suddenly.
Put it all together the hurdles seem endless, overwhelming and unobtainable. I used to think that as well, but with each day I came closer to the answer, I find that one instance where a past trigger may have sent me into a tailspin and this time I simply blinked, and it was gone. I smile and know that one more challenge has been met, now on to the next one.
What are the obstacles in your life? What makes you cringe when you are faced with what seems like an unobtainable hurdle?