Am I destined for ‘greatness’? Is it my upbringing? Or is the bipolar?

This is a bit of a weird one, it’s something I think about a lot in my head but don’t speak about our loud.

Am I destined for ‘greatness’? Is it my upbringing? Or is it the bipolar?

Before being diagnosed with bipolar in my mid twenties, I have always thought I was something special. Not in a big headed way, more in a…I can do anything I put my mind to and I will succeed in whatever I choose to do… kinda way.

I was brought up to believe in myself and to know that I am more than capable when I really try. My dad has worked his arse off at his own business and has done incredibly well for himself. Long story short and to be incredibly blunt, I had a very privileged upbringing and in my mind, I have always wanted to be as successful as my dad, if not more successful.

I don’t want the only time in my life that I have ‘money’ to be when my parents die. I want to achieve in my own right. I have big expectations of myself, and for someone who hates any kind of pressure, these expectations don’t upset or worry me. They motivate me and keep me going.

I knew I wanted my own business, since I was a teenager, I just had no idea doing what. I didn’t have a talent or a skill. I was in childcare for years, which I loved, until I had my own child and I decided it was too much. (I might write a blog post about that if it’s of interest to any one?!) I then tried a sales job which was terrible, I then had another child and decided to stay at home with the kiddies. We would of been sooooo poor without my part time wages (just because my dad has money doesn’t mean that I do!!) but I really didn’t care, I felt like I had missed out so much with the kids already it was worth it.

Very quickly after that, I fell into doing nails from home, which then lead to other beauty courses and boom here we are. Turns out I do have a skill, a skill and profession that has HUGE potential of expansion. My goal is to have my own salon by the time I’m 40. This is a goal that will happen, it’s not a dream of a flippant thought, it’s a promise and come hell or high water it will happen.

5 years into my business I’m doing good, I can pay my bills and buy us food. I’m still no where near where I want to be, but then again I never thought I would fall pregnant at 19, so I’ve done everything the other way round and have come to terms with that. My children are 10 and 5, I am 30, I feel like we’ve all grown up together and am so happy with family life I’m making the most of it.

Wow I’ve gone slightly off topic here but I promise it’ll all make sense soon!

In my mid twenties, after years of inner struggles I went to finally go and get myself sorted, and it turned out I was diagnosed with bipolar. It was quite a strange time for me and although I knew I needed help it was all very surreal. I started taking anti psychotics and over time levelled out.

During this time I started researching bipolar. I was shocked at what I discovered as I could relate to so many of the symptoms, but there was one sentence, that stopped me in my tracks….

Help guide

You may also feel like you’re all-powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness.

Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers

Before my medication I did feel invincible, I didn’t believe I had powers but I thought I could take on the world and come away without a scratch. No matter what risky situation I put myself in, and there was a lot, I never thought any harm would come to me. This thought petrifies me now, it’s also strange looking back as a lot of bad things did happen to me, I just didn’t understand how bad they were at the time.

That wasn’t what shook me to my core, what took my breath away was ‘unrealistic’ ‘beliefs in ones ability.’ Is it possible, that this positive feeling I have had about myself and my capabilities….isn’t real? Is it possible that my upbringing has nothing to do with what I think I can achieve? Is it all in my head? This thought broke my heart and made me question everything about myself.

This post has taken me weeks to write, countless hours of pondering, writing and deleting. Originally I wasn’t going to have a conclusion as to what I thought, because when I started this, I really didn’t know. But sitting here now, I refuse to believe that my self believe is merely a symptom of a mental disorder. I refused to let list of ‘traits’ define what I can achieve and how I feel about myself. I really do think I can do anything I set my mind to, and I know a huge part of that is from my upbringing, nothing is impossible. I also think that this bipolar trait is what helps spur me along, subconsciously telling me I will get there, I just have to keep trying.

I would LOVE to hear what you think about this in the comments below! I really hope this post came across ok, I would hate to come across boastful or bigheaded I was trying to be honest and genuine. I think those of you that have followed me for a while would know this already ❤️

The Secret Blog of a 30 Year Old

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54 comments

  1. Agree, upbringing is paramount. I also believe in hard work and no boasting. Forget about labels. And look at yourself – a mama and your own boss. Sure you can achieve anything you want 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I would have had the same reaction reading those words. What a trip! I’ve read at least one other blogpost where you talk about your job. It’s obvious that it’s something that you’re really passionate about and willing to work at. 🙂 I wish you the best, and I’m rooting for ya. 💅🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like I could have written this myself! My story is a lot like yours: my dad owned (and still does own) a successful business and I was always comparing myself to him, so my expectations were always set high. Being bipolar probably didn’t help with goal setting either!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think it’s a great thing that you were raised this way. I feel like it should be instilled in you to always believe in yourself and want to achieve greatness! The bipolar effects are real, and I had a friend who would speak so highly of herself before she began her meds. When she wasn’t on them though she frightened me. Are you currently taking your medication?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’m really good with my meds I’ve never missed a dose in about 5 years! My life is so good now (mentally) I would never go back. My body’s really dependant on them, even if I’m late taking them I feel sick and get shaky it’s horrible. I was very scary Un medicated it was frightening for those around me so I understand where your coming from xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is literally my absolute favourite type of post! Bipolar can be a gift, and why the hell can’t we use it like that? And even if our confidence that we have strong abilities is wrong (which I really don’t believe), there’s actually a really powerful effect hidden in that. I read an article about even the conditioning of the fact we see so many creative people with bipolar around us actually makes us more creative through giving us confidence and bravery to take risks. If anyone has similar stories like this that are powerful about mental health then please drop me an email and I’d be delighted to make a post about them. (Sharing your page and links obviously!) Big message on my blog is that we can and should be positive about mental health, and that it can even be a gift. Literally one of my favourite posts I’ve ever read, big love X

    Liked by 2 people

  6. When I was 21, just after the birth of my eldest, I decided to make up for time missed at college. I registered for two degrees simultaneously, as well as other courses. Everyone said I would never finish, but I did, and followed it with further study. I was diagnosed with bipolar during my thirties and an ‘exceptional’ psychologist travelled from Dublin some four hours to interview me. So, I sat in an office with this man who knew nothing about me and he asked me general questions including education, family, interests etc. I said (in my thirties at this point) I have twenty higher education qualifications and I have travelled to forty countries with my five children. The brilliant psychologist responded to this by informing my case worker that I had serious delusions of grandiose bordering on psychopathic. I explained that bipolar survivors are crushed by emotion and psychopaths are devoid of emotion, so I could hardly be both. I then handed her my qualifications portfolio and photos of our travels. Instead of saying ‘he was wrong’ the caseworker simply said, ‘well, we’re back where we started.’ I have no idea what she meant, but I never had to see her again! I think people with bipolar do, at times, have an exceptional energy that enables them to compartmentalise aspects of work and life to such a degree that the possibilities are only limited by those in the medical profession, some of whom really seem to lack insight and live by a tick-box list of symptoms.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Secret… first, I want to say I LOVE YOUR BLOG LAYOUT! You’ve done a brilliant job!
    Second… I am sorry I disappeared on you. I sent you an apology via email 🙂
    Third… I often wonder if I am bi-polar, because I could have written this blog post myself, minus the actually making money doing anything part (all the way down to not having money until I inherit it!)
    I don’t think that the belief that you can have a prosperous, profitable business of your own is unrealistic. I think the key is assessing your strengths and weaknesses realistically (and it’s OKAY to have help for this!) and having a support system in place that allows you to shine where you shine, and supports you in the areas you aren’t as strong. If you’re not so great at paperwork, you might need to hire a part-time bookkeeper or accountant (as an independent contractor) to help you with those parts of your business.
    Being successful is NOT unrealistic. ❤ I still believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that I will find my niche in this world, and I will be successful at it, whatever IT may be. The fact that you've found yours is cause for celebration!
    Namaste and Blessed Be, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Believe in what you accomplished and extrapolate that into the future. There is nothing unrealistic about that.

    Funny how a diagnosis you get (or figure out yourself) later in life suddenly makes all those years before understandable. I was 40 before I realized I was clinically depressed and had ADD. This came about because of a severe crisis in my marriage and marriage counseling. Suddenly I realized how many of my interpretations of why I was having problems were skewed by this.

    Later when I turned 60. I discovered Asperger’s, now called high functioning autism. Suddenly I had the final piece of the puzzle. It explained my life so well it was like suddenly finding a dozen missing pieces from a 30 piece picture puzzle. It explained things I hadn’t even tried looking for.

    These discoveries this late in life are of limited utility. The years of bullying and loneliness and being misunderstood by parents, teachers, and my fellow children did their damage early on and cannot be undone. There was no treatment for these things in the 60s, just a judgment of inferiority, willful disrespect, and disobedience. It limited my life and controlled my choices for the rest of the century.

    I am retired now. At least there are people who understand such things and I am free to avoid those who don’t. Ah well! It is best to deal with one’s issues when still young enough to make many decades of difference in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow this comment made me tear up! I’m so pleased after years you found the missing piece, but I’m so sorry it took so long. Your not alone and these things are far more understood now a days than ever before, it’s never too late to get help, I hope you’ve found some friends on WordPress who can 100% relate. I know I have! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve lived as long as you twice over and then some. In my salad days, I came vanishingly close to suicide more than once. My imaginary friend as a child was the grim reaper. She was a red-headed 12 year old with freckles, a black cape, and a scythe. I prayed to God for help, then I prayed to the Devil. Nobody was listening.

        One thing that keeps me going is that I refuse to let the child in me die. He didn’t have a chance back then. But now this grizzled old man is here to protect him. I’m retired and at least I’m not broke. There are so many things I wish I’d done but lacked the opportunity or the support And now that I have the time and the money, my body betrays me and I physically can’t do most of them. But that which I can do I will and it gives me pleasure to be an aging little kid. Making my second childhood better than my first!

        My message to you? Enjoy life now. Take advantage of your youth and vigor and the long timeline you still have ahead of you and use it. Don’t just take time to smell the roses. Hell, *wallow* in the roses (watch out for thorns). Run naked thru a field of flowers at least once in your life and not care who sees you. Enjoy those children, love them and treasure every moment of their growth. Travel often, even though it may not be far. Find an additional passion beyond what you do for a living. Soon you will be middle-aged and then you’ll be old. Nobody everlay in bed in an old folks home thinking to themselves, “Damn! I should have spent more time in the office and been productive instead of exploring the world or spending time with my children.”

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so glad I found your blog! I can relate to this post so much. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder, meaning it wasn’t a shrink who diagnosed me but a regular doctor based on a couple of consultations… anyway, I refused the diagnosis and lived in denial for 7 years. Now I’m 99% sure I am bipolar and I’m coming to terms with it.

    I too, have always believed I was special, that no matter what happened in life, I would be good, the odds would be in my favour. Looking back at my teens and twenties, I did some extravagant things. But I also suffered from depression. It was on and off, so I never believed I had a mental health issue.

    I have recently crashed from being on a mental high for the last 3 months. I had found a new passion, that I turned or tried to turn into a business. It was going well, I had such energy and truly believed I was going to be successful, but from one day to the next I completely lost the motivation, interest and self-belief. I am exhausted and feel like a failure. Of course, I’m going down that spiral of criticizing every aspect of my life too. I’m also wondering if I truly do have an entrepreneur mind or if it’s the disorder.

    Sorry for rambling. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing what you’re going through with such honesty! 🙂
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s fascinating. And it parallells a lot of the doubts I’ve heard from other people who I’ve seen with bipolar.

    Bipolar hypomanic states are, almost definitionally, a deviation from your norm.
    The experience of having those states can shape your personality (and it does- most definitely- just living through those oscillations and having those memories changes your experience of the world)- but the personality itself is usually something different.

    I guess the question is- was that self belief constant throughout?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can relate to so much of this. I’m pondering some of the things you wrote…it’s making me think about my own upbringing and beliefs. I was raised believing similar things about myself. I still have those beliefs, but they seem to be dim. Thank you writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I feel like you are reading my diary here. I have often felt this way. Anything I touch I tend to excel at but I don’t mean that in a conceited way. My Bipolar would help me focus with intensity when I was manic. Juggling multiple things was something that came easy to me. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can completely relate with you. I’ve always been a very motivated person thinking very highly of what I was capable of. This always set me apart from others and I treasured this trait. Be it bipolar or not I know I’m still thankful for it. The perseverance I have has gotten me through my diagnosis (diagnosed at 31) and helped me push to achieve stability as much as stability and the absence of mania scared me.
    This was a great piece. Thanks for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is something I think about often as well. I had a similar upbringing to you and always felt as if I could achieve my dreams. After I was diagnosed, I also began to question the root of my ambitions. Another component I often think about is how learning to live with my Bipolar Disorder empowered me to be even more ambitious. For so long, doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything because of the illness. Despite this, I ended up graduating from university and securing my dream job after college (and I’m just 22 now!). I think that when living with something like BP we experience so many different triumphs- whether large or small- that we often get a taste of success, and thus are lead to believe anything is possible. And as long as we stay on top of our treatment and take care of ourselves it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ya know, I have similar thoughts about myself. I think the difference is what you can accomplish practically. Like, I have always felt like I was meant to do something profound and great in my life. I have always had problems but I always succeeded and rose very high at anything I set out to do whether it be a job or a hobby or whatever. I have found that us bipolars are brilliant and creative people. Later in life as my illness got worse and my thinking got clouded, I started thinking on a different path though. My need to succeed became obsessive and I started to believe that I could do unrealistic things in mania. For example, one time I hadn’t slept for 3 days because I couldn’t, and my mind was racing so fast that I actually believed that if I tried hard enough, I could control or stop time. I was THAT special and had almost a super power. Of course this was my sick mind just running off with myself. That is crazy thinking. It wasn’t about succeeding at that point. It was about succeeding at something completely outlandish and unobtainable because I thought I could. You are special and there’s nothing wrong with having huge dreams and going after them. However, there’s a difference between that and having an over inflated and grandiose sense of self when one is active in mania. This is why I talk to those I trust ALL the time. Lol. Sometimes, I’m just not sure and that’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

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