Hi everyone! Happy New Year! If you are reading this, then you made it through the holidays, which we all know can be a pretty rough time. I’m not saying we all made it unscathed, but, we made it!
The standard thing to do at New Years is to make resolutions, but another thing we all know is that many of those resolutions never make it through the entire year. We make resolutions to better ourselves like eating healthy and exercising more. We make resolutions to be kinder to others and to be more productive. We say we are going to spend less and save more. All of those are great things, but they require consistency and commitment and having bipolar, consistency is not always in our vocabulary. We have ups and downs, soaring and crashing, you get the idea. That can make it really hard for us to keep our resolutions, a little more so than the average person. I know I always make the same resolutions to eat healthier, exercise, save more money, and to write more. I say that I am going to keep on top of this site and my personal website. I tell myself that I am going to read more and be a better person. Again, in theory, all great resolutions, but they require consistency and commitment.
I know that last year this page pretty much fell off the map. That is my fault. In January I spiraled into a black hole and only peeked out once in a while, but not long enough to keep up my end of running this site. For that, I apologize. Of course my resolution last year was to keep this page up and running and to stay on top of things. There are a lot of people that come to visit this site looking for help, advice, encouragement, and information. This past year, there wasn’t a whole lot of new material despite the messages to the inbox, so, as with other years, another unkept resolution. The only difference with that resolution compared to my other ones is that others count on this site. If I fail to keep up my end, I’m not just letting myself down and not keeping a promise to myself, but I am letting all of you guys down. If I resolve to eat healthier, exercise, etc., those resolutions don’t impact anyone but myself if I fail to keep it the entire year.
I let you guys down this past year. For that, I am truly sorry. This website means more to me than I could ever put into words. When I was first diagnosed in 2006, I didn’t go looking for information or support right away. I figured I had my doctors, meds, and therapy group and that once my therapy group was done, I would be just fine. WRONG! It took me a few years, but at the beginning of 2011 I made a resolution to myself that I would learn more and figure out how to deal with this illness, so off I went looking for information on bipolar disorder and to find something that would help me understand what I was dealing with, learn how to deal with it, and be reassured that I was not the only one in the world who had this diagnosis. As a result, I found the Facebook page for Ask A Bipolar. Ask A Bipolar had just started in July of 2010 and was still a pretty small page. Despite its size, it was filled with not just information, but with people who also had this same illness and *gasp* had similar stories to mine and could relate to a lot of the things I felt that I was the only person in the world who could be feeling or experiencing them. It was like I had found the buried treasure! Ask A Bipolar became a part of my life, it was like one of the missing pieces to the puzzle of who I am had been found. At first I just observed and soaked in the feeling of finally finding a place I felt I belonged.
Very shortly after though, I felt so comfortable, I wanted to get involved as much as I could, so I became an author for the site. I had no prior experience with writing except the poetry I had been writing since I was 15 and had kept to myself, and a little blog I had where I just spoke my mind and told stories of the ridiculous things that would happen to me or the random thoughts that would run through my head. Only a couple of my friends even read the blog, so to me it was more like an online diary. Getting the chance to actually write something that would be helpful to others and would be read by more than my closest 3-4 friends never would have crossed my mind before then. One day, I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook and saw that Ask A Bipolar was looking for authors. On a whim (yes, impulsivity is one of those pesky symptoms of bipolar, shocker!) I submitted the required things, not even thinking that I would actually be considered since I had no previous experience. Well, Marybeth saw something in me and gave me a shot and it was the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me at that point in my life. Not only was Ask A Bipolar helping ME, but now I would be able to return that and help others. Almost immediately, Marybeth and I became great friends, best friends. Not a day would go by without us talking or messaging a least a dozen times. I became friends with the other authors and I was finally starting to feel comfortable with my diagnosis and had found myself the perfect support team. It has been that way ever since.
Now, here I am, 4 years later, trying to make my New Years resolutions. The only way to do that is to reflect on the past year and see where I could improve. I looked at the Ask A Bipolar site and immediately felt disappointed. The place that had been so helpful and such a big part of my life had been almost abandoned because I spiraled into a dark hole and wouldn’t come out. I felt horrible because if I had felt that way about Ask A Bipolar, surely others felt that same way and I had let them down as well. I looked at the inbox and all of the questions that people had written, hoping they would get some answers or at the very least, some sort of guidance or encouragement, and felt even worse. People counted on this site just as much as I had, how could I have just left all of those people hanging?
So, this year, a lot of new and exciting things are already coming my way. With that, I have not just made a resolution to myself, but I am making a formal commitment to ALL OF YOU, that I will be committed to this site, I will keep it up and run it just as good as Marybeth had for the years she ran it, and not let another year go by with this website being untouched. I’m dusting off the cobwebs and while I personally will be embarking on a new journey, I am committing to ALL OF YOU ASK A BIPOLAR READERS that I will not leave you behind. I will not leave this site the way I have. I owe it to all of you to keep this that same place that I found so much solace in when I felt I was missing something.
As I said before, resolutions require consistency and commitment. I can’t promise that there will be a post every day or that there won’t be some times of up and down. To do that, I would be setting myself up for failure since the nature of the illness is that even as hard as we try to remain consistent and committed, we can’t always predict our brain chemistry. What I CAN promise is that I will do my absolute best to remain as consistent as I possibly can and I am committed to this site. This site saved me and I want to provide the same for others with the help of an amazing team of authors and volunteers.
If you have submitted a question to the Ask A Bipolar inbox and have not received a response, I do still have those questions and they WILL be answered. For those that will be submitting new questions, please keep in mind that we are a bit backed up, so you may not get an immediate response or post, but we will answer it as soon as possible after we catch up from our backlog. Thank you for your patience.
To a fabulous 2015…….Let’s get AaB rockin again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!