I have realized just over the past 2 weeks or so exactly what 2007 was for me. 2007 was really hard a lot more often than it was easy. Nine bad months to about 3 better ones.
At the end though is an answer. I have fought bipolar tooth and nail from before the time I was diagnosed. As I keep saying it has been over 11 years since I've felt this well. One third of my life lost in a battle for a wellness that I couldn't have.
Last year I learned that bipolar is a significant disability, that I don't get to be "normal" and that pretending to be "normal" is dangerous for me. That was oh-so-hard.
In 2007 I came a lot further. In 2007 not only did I finally accept that I was sick and that I couldn't pretend or ignore it into submission. As I gradually started to learn that I notice something in my writings, here and elsewhere. Around the time that concept became concrete I started being absolutely perfect in taking my meds. I do not forget. Ever. And I think that has made a huge difference. Strange since I really was good before, I maybe missed a dose of something once a month, but since I've been really forceful about it (and I quit fighting taking a LOT of meds) I've gotten better and the cycling leveled off.
The big lesson of this year though has been that I finally took a look and I get it. I don't just have an abnormal form of bipolar, I have a very severe one. I feel like I often don't fit in even with other bipolar patients because my illness isn't the same. Between some symptoms and my med reactions I've had to go through more than most bipolar patients. I'm just now understanding that it is ok to acknowledge this. I've always felt like I shouldn't try to explain the differences. I thought that acknowledging this wasn't fair because bipolar sucks no matter how serious the case. Now I realize not accepting my own circumstance isn't fair to me. Often that is true, but I'm understanding now that if I try to put what I've experienced into words sometimes I find someone else who has been there too.
Who knows what comes with 2008? I'm due for a year that is easy. I'm praying for a year without disability leave. I suspect that what happens there is going to play a big role is figuring out my working future. I may or may not have a happy thing coming in a few weeks. More on that later. I definetely am finishing the oral surgery of 2 weeks ago. I cannot wait to not bite down on things that bring tears to my eyes.
We shall see.