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In meditating on my third absolute truth about my BP, “That a strong spiritual foundation of faith and hope, based on an unshakable belief, can give me the spiritual character and mental strength and emotional control to balance my life.”  Left me with this question, have I ever shared the unshakable belief I speak of in this absolute?

My unshakable belief is that I can overcome this illness. Sort of like the new TV ads that say, “I have Alzheimer’s, but it doesn’t have me.”

Yes, I have BP, but how much it affects my life is up to me. If I want, I can give BP full sway over my life or I can do my utmost to keep it a bay and for the most part live a pretty normal, happy existence. It is my choice as long as I do certain things and don’t do others. These does and don’ts are not up for debate or can they be changed on whim. However some have some flexibility others are carved in stone. It is learning which is which that creates the adventure of BP. The adventure of BP is not falling victim to the symptoms, there is no adventure in that, it just happens.

The fact that BP is as individual as the people that suffer from it, creates this problem, what may be carved in stone for me may be flexible for you. It also makes my job of specifics difficult. There is one absolute for all of us, we need medication to stabilize our minds. We need sleep, but the when is iffy. I sleep best from 5 am to 2 pm. So I work 4 to midnight. My evening is when most are in bed. My morning is when most are heading home. I do know that for me to function the best, this is my best routine. It is inflexible and I no longer bow to the wishes of others in this area. If you do not like it too bad.

I recently was invited to speak at 10 am and turned it down. The people who wanted me to speak could not grasp that my routine did not allow that, yet they claimed to have an understanding of mental illness. Really, an understanding like that is what kept me and many others sick for years. I felt I had to follow the schedule, programs and rules of others for many years because they were supposed to know better. What I learned was they had no idea, nor did they really care, who I was. I was patient number XXXX and that was all I ever was, the set programs and rules were made from data collected, correlated and averaged from many people and has no room for the needs of individuals.

I learned that if I wanted to get better I had to get to know myself inside out and backwards, because no one else was going to.  That is what I have set out to do for myself. I recommend all of us get to know ourselves so well that no one can make us think that the things carved in stone for us are maybe flexible ever again. That when someone says, “Oh sure you can, just this once, it won’t hurt anything.”

We have to have the conviction, and knowledge, to know that “just this once” could unravel our entire lives.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.