There isn’t always a silver lining.

I think I’ve written about this before. A recent convo has made me think about it again, so I thought I’d throw it out there.
I had come across an article that talks about how there is divine purpose in suffering. Now if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you may have gathered that I probably think that idea is a load of crap.
I think at some point I wanted to believe that there was a purpose to the suffering for me. Mostly though, that was before we figured out what was going on, and I’m willing to bet that a portion of that was the result of delusional thinking (it’s amazing what you learn when meds effectively knock the crazy out of your brain). Yes, I understand what others  may go through a little better.  Yes, I may perhaps be a little more empathetic. On the surface, it seems that maybe, it did come from my suffering, and for a while I thought it did.
Then I actually took 2 seconds to think about it.
My suffering did not magically create these things for me. People helped me find these things.  Not bipolar. And the idea that God would have went “Here, I want you to be more compassionate so you need to live with undiagnosed and untreated bipolar for 15 years” is absolutely absurd. And the idea that my core beliefs were created by something that is continually trying to knock me on my ass is equally absurd.
Has bipolar impacted my life and affected me in more ways than I can ever imagine? Of course.  Is it the reason I am who I am today? Hell no.  I am who I am because of the people I’ve met and the hard work I put into it because I’m doing my best to be OK.  I’m starting to see how far I’ve actually come, and its because of me, not the thing that makes it so damn difficult.
I hung onto the idea that there was spiritual silver lining (i.e. hidden blessings, divine purpose, etc.), long time. It never was enough, and it never brought me any comfort. It actually made me feel bad about myself, because I could never hold on to it.  I was always looking for it–never really found it.  And I’ve stopped trying to find the blessings in this mess.
The world of “what could have been” is still very real to me, especially as I learn more about myself and how much all this shit has fouled up relationships and plans.  There is no blessing in friendships broken because I didn’t understand my own mind. There is no blessing in having panic attacks all the time.  There is no blessing in not being able to tolerate medication and constantly feeling like I’m going to throw up.  And there is most definitely no blessing in psychotic symptoms.  I have to put up with it, but I don’t have to like it.
And the thinking that everything happens for a reason…..it always made me feel so small, especially when I couldn’t figure out the reason, and like I had no control over my life. The more I think about it, trying to decide if suffering is a gift, or if its happening for a reason (or that someone’s suffering is ‘more worthy’ than another) is like trying to get inside God’s head to figure out what He’s thinking.  It doesn’t work like that. You just deal with it–whatever is put in front of you, you deal with it and move on.
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5 Responses to There isn’t always a silver lining.

  1. Hallelujah!! I agree with you!!!

  2. The world of “what could have been” is a scaring and terrifying world that haunts me a lot. I can totally see where you’re coming from. Especially since I’m watching my little sister go through college and do all of the things that I dreamed of doing but couldn’t (I was diagnosed with a brain tumor my freshman year of college and have not been healthy since). It seems so colossally unfair that I would have all of these health problems and she’s 100% fine. I wouldn’t wish any of this on her, obviously, but it’s so hard to watch and think, “That could have been me.” But here I am. I’m alive, and that’s got to be enough for now. Even when I don’t want to be.

    • Growing up I was the little sister who got to do everything the big sister “couldn’t.” I was the family appointed “normal” child. Until I wasn’t anymore. Massive adjustment for all parties involved. And in that moment, fair and unfair went out the window. Do the “could have beens” still haunt me? Yes. I will avoid situations and people that make me think of “could have beens” like the plague. The “could have beens” are slowly turning into “I wish I could just do/think/worry about “normal people problems.” Not sure if it is better worse, but that is what it is.

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