"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18.2

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Little Woman Who Could

Saw a quote recently: The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do. Sarah Ban Breathnach
Which got me to thinking: why don't more dreamers become doers? I've known many, MANY folks over the years who dream big dreams: changing careers, leaving an abusive relationship, going back to school, becoming a secret agent and saving the world from the evil villain - well, not so many on that last one. And these dreams aren't always great big dreams. Sometimes they're simple, private dreams: learning to dance, taking art lessons, learning how to program that  **bleep** DVR!
One of the perks of bipolar disorder is having delusions of grandiosity, which was one of the toughest things to reckon with after my diagnosis - you mean, I'm not as fabulous as I always thought I was? Bummer.
Anyway, a byproduct of those delusions is that I've jumped feet first into so many things I'd never done before, completely believing I could do it. You know, we worry about what people will think - will they like it, will they approve, will I look like an idiot, all sorts of negative things. But, guess what, there's another kind of "what will they think" that can bring you down too. People, esp. other women, can be pretty hateful when you shine. I actually had a "friend" say to me, "Well, it's a good thing you're not a size 8, or I would really hate you!"
When I was diagnosed with bipolar two years ago and began therapy, I started a therapy journal. One of my spreads was, Whatever happened to Beverly the Magnificent? On that spread I listed things I had done well, just reminding myself that I am competent and talented, that it wasn't all delusions.

Disclaimer: my purpose with the following is not to impress anyone. Just sharing some first-hand observations.

For instance:
  • For an Easter production at my church, I volunteered to turn the sanctuary into the city of Jerusalem! I painted 24 4x8 panels that stretched across the front of the sanctuary, and also built a "mountain" that Abraham and Isaac could walk up. Had I ever done anything like that before? No! But I had no doubt I could do it. And I did! (Wish I had photos to share.) Since then I've painted many murals of all sizes; I'm no longer able to - fibromyalgia is no fan of going up and down on ladders! So now I paint smaller.
  • When my best friend couldn't afford the wedding cake of her dreams - to serve 300! - I made it for her. And it was gorgeous and delicious! People kept saying, I didn't know you make wedding cakes. And I was thinking, I didn't either!

    Am I cute, or what?
 Anyway, just a couple of examples. Of course, these were from the "manic" periods! But even during the "depressive" periods, I still had a tendency to jump in where angels fear to tread!
Do I recommend such reckless behavior? Not really. I've been very fortunate to not have any epic failures, but there certainly have been failures and near-failures. On those occasions when I did succeed at some crazy idea, I believe it was due to confidence as much as any ability. Maybe it was delusional confidence but it worked!
So, my point is: fake it until you make it. That little voice that keeps saying, You can't... what will people think... this is a stupid idea... that voice is lying to you! (No, I don't hear voices in my head - that's schizophrenia LOL)
Now before you say, well, she sure thinks she's special! - that's not what this post is about. I'm just trying to say that if you think you can, you most likely can! So - think you can! Believe you can! And then do it, and prove you can! And to hell with what anyone else thinks! Do you want to wake up one day, look back on your life and say, I wish I had...?
And now I will take my soapbox and sit down.
Until next time,