One of the most difficult seasons for many is upon us. Those of us who celebrate Christmas, not just those of us who grapple with the symptoms of bipolar disorder, have a tough time maintaining any sort of cheerful disposition, for a never-ending list of reasons. For those of us who do experience the ups and downs of bipolar disorder know all too well that amid the hustle and bustle of shopping, gatherings, and family obligations, we have to take great care to manage our moods and other symptoms associated with the illness.
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Tenacity is one’s strength of will or determination in continuing to do what one is doing. It is a word synonymous with stubbornness and patience. It is also a quality which those who struggle daily with serious mental disorders must seek to nurture in order to survive the continuous ups and downs and twists and turns we so often face.
I have been very excited about sharing my recent remission story with the world. I have bipolar disorder, PTSD, and ADHD. I have struggled all of my life to some degree. Traumatic events involving my family a few years ago sent me into a tailspin, and for over a year, I experienced an intense psychotic mania which left me living on the street. Some days I believed I could never recover. I was in and out of hospitals, and on and off my medications which didn’t help. Since I was not well and homeless, I also have not had a job for nearly a year and a half.
Remission and recovery from any mental illness, addiction, or both, bring with them, for most of us entirely new gifts. Some of us are fortunate enough to find a whole new way of living, one which we have never experienced or imagined possible. Not all days are easy, but as we get stronger, we find sometimes that many doors open. They may come in the form of new bonds made with family, new career prospects, or hopefully at least new way of looking at life with renewed gratitude that we learn how to express in positive ways.
“The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls…” - Thomas Merton
Allison Clemmons was born and raised in the South. Allison likes to refer to herself as "a southern lady, raised by a far better southern lady." She is an only child to two very attentive and loving parents who loved her very much, but never really understood her behavior. Allison always excelled in academics, but for reasons then unknown, had issues with behavior. Reading at the level of a ten year old in the first grade, Allison could not stay in her seat, and was driven to matters of what the fish were doing on the other side of the classroom and talking to other students.