50 shades of “better”

There really isn’t such a thing as “better” when discussing mental illness unless you’re talking about degrees of illness. I will never be “better” like someone who has had a broken arm can be considered “better” because the bone has mended. I will never be “better” like someone who had pneumonia is “better” because the pneumonia is gone.

But –

I am a million times “better” than I was ten years ago.

I have struggled, I have hit rock bottom and kept digging, I hurt the people I loved, I did horrible things to hurt myself.

But –

I am a million times “better” because I have learned strategies and I’m more in touch with my body and the way it talks to me. I listen to my doctors and my mother and Lancelot when they tell me I’m not acting like myself. I take care of myself. I take my medicine. I sleep.

But –

I won’t ever be cured, or healed, or however else you want to describe it. There will always be times of struggle. There will always be tweaks to meds. There will always be a need for therapy. There will always be constant care and feeding of the demon Bipolar, and that will always be my full time responsibility.

But –

That’s how I am “better” than I was ten years ago.

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