What do you want a bow-tie ending to look like for you? said my therapist. We were talking about the memoir I restarted this week. I struggle with what the take-away should be. Surely it’s not a neatly wrapped bow-tie ending. My moods still cycle. I’m not stable. I still end up in the hospital. Bipolar still defines my activities. So in the book, what’s the message I have?
I decided the take-away is living with bipolar. My story is not nice and pretty. I thought I had an original story from the other bipolar memoirs that are out there because mine is not a neat and tidy ending. I originally thought Acceptance of Bipolar in My Life might be the ending, but I revisit acceptance regularly, as I am again this summer. Acceptance is not the end game.
In real life I don’t think I’d settle for Acceptance of Bipolar in My Life either. That was my gut instinct when my therapist asked. I immediately dismissed the thought however. I want a cure. Or remission. Or years of a stable mood. I want meaningful, compassionate work (paid or volunteer) that gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to love animals and nature. I want to have friends to enjoy life with. I want to travel.
Accepting bipolar won’t make these possible. A cure, remission or years of a stable mood just might make all of these more possible. So, should I answer the question at the beginning of this post with “a stable mood”? Or is there something more within my power out there? My therapist wants there to be some goal we could work toward. I’m not sure a stable mood is something that is within my power.