People Are My (Bipolar) Medicine Too

Photo credit: Luwadlin Bosman

People can be one of my biggest bipolar triggers. But they can be some of my most potent medicine too.

Love. Acceptance. Laughter. Light. These things don’t come in pills. They come in people. If it wasn’t for my people, I honestly don’t think I would be here today. So this is in honour of all those beautiful beings, who, somehow so magically support us. And it’s in honour of you, beautiful bipolar human, in the hope that you find your medicine people in these (somewhat adapted) archetypes too.

The medicine man

Aka, the medicine woman, the medicine human, your person. This is the main anchor being in your life, someone in your everyday existence. For me, it’s the man who has stood by my side for over 20 years. And I do actually call him my medicine man. He is the person who knows me better than I know myself. No matter how much I learn about myself, he’s still always at least two steps ahead. He knows when I’m triggered before I do. He reads the bipolar signs I haven’t even seen yet. He’s the one on standby, always, with an armful of love and laughter or silence and space or words and wisdom, or sometimes just a kick up the butt. Because sometimes we need that too. And he knows, intuitively somehow, what’s needed when.

The universal mother

Aka, the wise woman, the crone, the elder. This is the mothering human in your life. Biological or not. Woman or not. It’s the wise and warm human in your life who makes you feel nurtured. Who makes you feel like you always have a home. Who embodies unconditional love. For me, that’s my mum. In my life she has always been the embodiment of unconditional love. And I haven’t made it very easy for her. From a headstrong little girl and a fiercely rebellious teen, I grew into an unconventional woman. But still, no matter what I put her through, she’s never loved me less than completely. And purely by doing so, she opened the windows of my heart and enabled me to show and share and accept that kind of beautiful love from others.

The torch bearer

Aka, the believer, the eternal optimist. This is the person in your life who believes in you no matter what. Who is proud of you no matter what. Who whispers the kind of encouragement that seeps deep into your bones. The embodiment of hope. For me, this was my dad. He really was the eternal optimist. Even when receiving bad news, he would somehow filter out all the negative stuff right down to the one tiny kernel of glimmering hope and focus all his attention on that. He’d say things like when the shit hits the fan, you just duck and move on. I believe in you. You can do anything. You got this. He taught me hope. He taught me to believe in myself. He encouraged me to try, and always try again.

The council of elders

Aka the wise ones, the teachers, the guides. These are the people in your life who share the kind of gentle wisdom and guidance that sings in your heart. Especially when you can’t see the forest for the trees, or when you have your bipolar lenses on and your sense of reality is tainted by depression or mania (or hypomania for bipolar II). And I say ‘people’ because you need more than one. Not everyone can be everything all of the time. For me, my council of elders are my brothers and sisters, my extended family, my friends, my doctors and healers and therapists. And sometimes even strangers. A stranger once told me (after I’d burst into tears in his presence) that no two days will ever be exactly the same, that no matter how bad today got, I would never, never have to relive that exact same day again. And I will never forget that wisdom. Ever.

The tribe

Aka the angels, the advocates, the warriors, the friends. These are the ones who will never leave your side, who will love you to the ends of the earth and beyond. They hold a sacred space for you of no judgement, of pure acceptance and pure love, of blazing faith and gentle support. They hold a space for you where you can be exactly who you are, fearlessly, even in your wildest, most unpredictable moments, even when you shut down and hide from the world. I have been blessed with a fierce tribe of friends and family who fall into me just as much as I fall into them. We exist where time and distance don’t matter, where bipolar is just a word, where anything is possible and love is the only thing that counts. It’s just me and them in a world away from the world.

The healers

Aka the magicians, the shamans, the curers. These are the ones who help you heal, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. They are the doctors (and doctors’ wives too), the nurses, the therapists, the psychiatrists, the energy healers, the ones who help you pull yourself back to you, who help you mend the broken pieces when you shatter, who help you carve new paths towards the wellness and completion of self. And I have them all. Healing practitioners from all kinds of modalities and disciplines, from the conventional to the traditional to the alternative. Because we should be free to turn towards whatever works for us in that moment.

The Universe

Aka God, Goddess, Spirit. These are the divine beings. Something higher than yourself. If you’re an atheist, maybe it’s just your higher self, your sacred heart, or the power of your own mind. For me, these beings are gods, goddesses, angels, archangels, archeiai, ascended masters, spirit guides, light, beings of light, the elements, my ancestors, my higher self, my body, my heart, my spirit, and nature herself. Their love, their strength, their whispered wisdom and shimmering solace know no bounds. They are the magic and the life of my life. And so I turn inward often. Whenever I can, I still my body and silence my mind and I find them there.

Nature’s consorts

Aka fur babies, human’s best friends, the companions. Because how could life ever be complete without some kind of animal and their boundless happiness and unconditional love? For me, these are my dogs and my cats. But they’re also the birds flying across the sky or singing in the trees. They’re the dolphins playing in the waves and the whales gracing the bays. They’re the butterflies and the bees. The wild and the curious and the free. The huge and the tiny. They’re the love and the inspiration and the wisdom that teach us to be our truest selves.

All these beautiful beings help me feel more human. They, just by being themselves, just by accepting me and loving me help smooth out the jagged edges when my mind and my emotions slip out of place. I hope you have beautiful people to support you on your bipolar journey too … and if you don’t just yet, I’m lighting a candle to help them find their way home to you soon.

Keep going beautiful human. You got this.

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