One of the key components to recovery is acceptance. Coming to terms with what it is. Bipolar disorder. I’ve accepted that I have it. I have accepted that I will have it the rest of my life. I’ve accepted the symptoms. The highs, the lows, the meds, the docs, hospitals, cognitive and behavioral therapies; I’ve accepted it all. For the rest of my life I will have to adapt my lifestyle to trying to keep it in remission. I’ve accepted that it takes work, hard work. I’ve accepted that every day I wake up I chose to either live with my illness or let my illness take over my life. That is a choice that I have to make.

What can’t I accept that I need to? I need to accept that my feelings and emotions are extra sensitive. I need to accept that even though I am hypersensitive (both positive and negative) not everyone else is aware of it, nor do they understand it or “get” it. I need to accept that finding people who understand that and accept that are few and far between.

I have to accept that I suck at relationships. Friendships, intimate relationships, family members, it’s all the same. I suck at them. Why? Because I give too much of myself and expect that the other party will do the same. I have to accept that not everyone will give in the ways I give. I need to learn to accept disappointment. Actually, I don’t need to ACCEPT disappointment, I need to EXPECT disappointment. And, if in the process, I am not disappointed, then it’s a bonus. I need to accept that I may not find that perfect someone. I need to accept that I may not have my own family. I may be the eternal aunt. I need to accept that when I enter a relationship and there are other children involved, they can be ripped out of my life at any moment. I need to accept MYSELF as I am because in the end, I may be the only one that has to live with me, and that will love me.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of the perfect wedding, a husband, children, and my own little family and life like my parents have. I have to accept that I may not have that and I have to learn to be ok with that. I have to learn that this latest heartbreak won’t be the last. I have to accept that I may not be able to work in the profession I once did. I have to accept that maybe there is something else I’m supposed to be doing.

But I can’t accept that yet. I worked so hard to get where I was. It was my dream. My passion. I need to accept that maybe my passion is not feasible. I can’t accept that yet. I can’t accept that I am not able to be loved like I love. I can not accept more heartbreak. Every heartbreak is worse than the one before. You would think one would become immune, but not me. It hurts worse and worse every time.

I accept that I have a mental illness and all the textbook parts of it. I can’t accept all the lifestyle modifications that have come as a result. I can’t accept that the rest of my life, this is how things are going to go. But I have to. Everyone says I’m so strong etc., but I am not!!!! I am just as broken as anyone else. Only now, I’m afraid that there is no glue that can ever put me back together. And that is the hard truth I am trying to accept. Trust no one. Rely on only you. Have no expectations of anyone but yourself, and make them reasonable expectations. That is what I have to accept.

But I can’t. I don’t want to. I want to hold on and hope that things will go back to the way they were. But they never will. I just can’t accept that yet. Maybe one day I will. But I don’t see it anytime soon.

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