illness (Photo credit: cambiodefractal)

Every blade of grass has its’ angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’
The Talmud

Every one of us has that divine spark of life that strives for fulfillment. Just because we have an illness does not mean that we have to give up our dreams and crawl under the covers. A diagnosis is not a life-sentence. Rather it is a step towards recovery. Like the alcoholic, once we know what is wrong with us we can take steps to remedy  it. Many of us have lost jobs and careers due to our bipolar illness. We are demoralized by both our experiences and the stigmas against us. However, if we remember that life is a growth process first, destination second, then we may be able to see value in what was once the incomprehensible twists and turns of our lives. Maybe the Divine is steering us into directions we never thought of before.  Ask yourself, “What have I learned from my experiences? How can I use these experiences to set new goals in my life?”  It may be that your experiences may be of value to others. Start small: maybe before your illness you wanted to be a lawyer.  Maybe now you may want to be a mental health patient’s rights advocate and help others jump through the legal and bureaucratic hurdles that you once did.  And this can still lead to your bigger dream, so don’t give up. If you are drawn towards the helping professions, you can run support groups or become a peer counselor  (some mental health organizations pay consumers for both of these services). Brainstorm. There are a myriad of ways that you can use your experiences, both positive and negative, in service to humanity.

We all have a purpose in this life. Ask your angels and your Higher Power to reveal it to you.