This Bipolar Life: Dependent No More

Today I’ve been deep in thought and I’ve had a deep and frustrating realization: Despite my ability to function in life overall, I am overly dependent on those around me. Unreasonably so. Friends and family alike. I’m sure others have seen for a while but I’m only now figuring it out.

Regardless of when, where, or how, it’s time to make a change. I need to fight for myself. What’s more important? I need to win. My self-confidence, self-esteem, and relationships depend on my ability to knock this dependency back into place where it belongs: Nowhere.

The dependency personality trait can be a difficult one to tease out but the main areas that I can pinpoint in myself are: I reach out when making decisions, lacking confidence in my own ability to do so alone; I ask for help when trying to process my emotions, certain that my bipolar brain simply cannot deal with them; I seek out company in others to help alleviate the desperate reality that I don’t really know myself anymore. I don’t want to spend time alone in the fear that I will be forced to accept an ugly truth: Despite being 41 years old, I am not the independent woman I’d once been.

Bipolar Disorder has taken so much from me but I think in this case I have been perhaps subconsciously complicit in the robbery. Although I can’t identify a clear marker, it was easier I think, for me to recoil in fear from the day-to-day, fully believing that I was no longer competent to manage my own life. As though the person I’d grown into in early adulthood was no longer within easy grasp and instead reconnecting with her had become overly laborious and inconsistent. At some point the effort to be highly functional was simply too much and I stopped. It was too hard to fight the battle. Instead, I surrendered. I laid down and let the disorder win in a futile bid for sanity.

What will I do now that I know all of this? I will no longer let bipolar win. Not on this. I refuse to lose those I love over my lack of independence. I will go back to my therapist with this new understanding. Develop an action plan to change how I interact with my world. I will fight back. I will find myself. I will believe in myself again. Not tomorrow, not next week, today. Wish me luck on this next phase of my development!

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