Let me start by saying medication has been vital in my recovery, wellness, and maintenance. The arsenal of counseling and psychiatric services has also played a huge role. Without these things, my life would still be in shambles.
However, I’ve come to realize the magnitude of the treatment that helped me the most with bipolar type 1 disorder. It sounds cliche, and maybe it is, but this is what pulled me through and out of some of the deepest valleys of my life.
The best treatment I ever received was love.
The sentiment of love gets tossed around a lot as we know, and the meaning has become diluted.
But the love I experienced wasn’t an ephemeral love. It was a compassionate love that didn’t have conditions. I didn’t have to perform a certain way in order to receive it. I have felt loved by several people, but most notably over the years by the unwavering support system I have in my parents.
In times when mental illness gripped me the hardest and I felt like the world turned its back on me, and when the white noise was deafening, they claimed me. And even more so they were proud of me.
They put the condemning weight of my burdens on themselves and then some. They laughed and sobbed with me. They celebrated my small accomplishments. They held me with a death grip when I felt helpless. They encouraged me. They stood up for me. They loved me when I didn’t have love for myself.
I was more important to them than the appearance of our family. They didn’t run from the diagnosis, but instead educated themselves and are now educating others. They put their own schedules on hold to be near me and to bring their little girl back. They emulated the agape love that God has for me. They were never ashamed to call me their daughter.
I love you mom and dad. Thank you for sharing in both my sorrow and healing. I could never fully articulate how grateful I am that your reservoir of grace never runs dry for me.