I have lived with bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia for over twenty years. For a long time I was full of rage, and sought any kind of fixing.
I went to the woods of Maine for a year to find my baseline. What I found was acceptance, within myself. My illnesses were no longer a problem.
Coming back into the world was much more difficult. I suffered stigma, rejection, and horrible ostracization, especially when I was in full blown mania and most needed help, despite precisely following doctors’ orders and taking all steps for self-care. I would get so mad about people’s misunderstanding me and what I was dealing with.
In time, I began to focus on the tiny bits that were good in my life, without expectation. Funny thing is, those tiny bits grew. Now, I have a small circle of diehard friends, and an ever widening circle of those who get it.
As Brené Brown says, “Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.”