Friday, April 12, 2024


Disappointment is the sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. Everyone reacts differently to disappointment. For some people it can fill like the end of the world, for others it might just be a minor inconvenience. 

When it comes to disappointment for me, it feels like the end of the world. I struggle to see the bright side of anything. I slowly start to drown in “what ifs.” I enter the pit of despair with no way out. I can’t see the bright side of anything.

Something as little as my fiancé forgetting an important date or as big as bad news from the doctor could have me up all night. I let it grow and grow until I’m in the pit of despair. Researching or irritable or just plain depressed. I honestly just don’t handle disappointment well.

I can only share my experience, I can’t speak for everyone, but what I find that helps is talking about my feelings. I share my disappointment with a trusted person and we sit and talk everything through. If I’m lucky they can talk me out of my tailspin, but sometimes I still spiral.

When I spiral it’s hard to talk me down. I imagine the worst case scenarios. My disappointment in every day life seem to hit harder. Now I don’t know if it has anything to do with my bipolar or if it’s just me, but handling disappointment is hard. 

We forget that everyone is human and makes mistakes, or that sometimes life is just hard. As much as we hope for something to happen, sometimes life has other ideas. I feel like a lot of times I’m in fight or flight mode just waiting for bad news when life is going great. Then, as soon as something happens and I’m disappointed I justify how I have been feeling/acting.

If your are lucky, like me, though you have someone close that you can talk to about what you are feeling. Maybe they can remind you that not everything is bad and that sometimes disappointment is a good thing. For example, maybe you were just told you had bipolar disorder, you might feel disappointed or shame, but having that trusted person can tell you the bright side of things. Like how Carrie Fisher was also bipolar and led a wonderful life once stable. 

It took me a long time to accept my bipolar diagnosis. I was very disappointed with myself. I remember thinking, “why can’t I just be normal.” Looking back now though, I’m stable, I have a career, I have beautiful children, and I have a platform that I can talk to people about mental illness and help end the stigma surrounding it. Don’t get me wrong, it took a long time to get here and sometimes I still stumble, but I remind myself that I am strong and with a little help can overcome life’s disappointments.

So, find your trusted person, don’t keep it bottled up, talk it out. Maybe then we can handle disappointment just a little bit easier. And with bipolar, sometimes easier is just what’s needed. Don’t let life pass you by with all the what ifs. Just live.

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