It seems like having Bipolar Disorder is a whole exercise in lowering your expectations about life. Can I achieve anything? Often getting through the day has to be the achievement that I aspire to. This makes the dreams I have particularly painful. You see, I have big dreams. I wish I didn’t. I wish all I dreamt was to work a job and pay the bills. Maybe I could achieve that. I wish that were enough for me. But it’s not. I dream of owning a home, of having dogs again, of having a garden, of starting a community homebuilding program to help others achieve their dream of home ownership . . . these are big dreams. And they are front and center in my mind. These dreams even appear in my sleep! Last night I dreamt that I had two white Great Danes (my dream dog, I have had Great Danes in the past).
I often ask myself, why do you have to dream? Can’t you be happy just existing? Can’t being stable and living out of the hospital be enough? But it’s not! I have these dreams! Do I have them for a reason? Are they meant to be realized? Or are they just pipe dreams? Maybe I should take the “Dare to Dream” signs down. Maybe I shouldn’t dare to dream. Maybe it’s just making me unhappy. Maybe it’s just giving me Reverse Gratitude and I should just focus on being grateful for what I have. I don’t want to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for myself, that’s a rabbit hole I could fall down and have a hard time coming up from. Is there a way to be grateful and still have dreams? Can I be compassionate for myself and my dreams? Can I accept them as just dreams – and nothing else? Not meant to be reality? The answer is no. I believe that they are meant to be reality. How do I get there, that is the question.
I’m wondering if my fellow friends with Bipolar Disorder have dreams that seem unachievable, and if so, how do you deal with them?