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Learning to Cope
How can we cope with this roller coaster ride? For me, I first had to admit that it was not something a bottle of pills was going to fix in six weeks. I am able to function some in a limited, self-controlled environment. Some days I am able to work faster and longer than other days. When depressed I may shut down. However, when manic I may launch into a flurry of activities.

One Step at a Time
I can't take on a huge project that requires an extended effort to complete in a certain way, by a certain time. The ups and downs will cause me to lose hope that I can “keep at it" that long. Say my goal is to learn the alphabet. I can't tell myself I will embark on an adventure to learn 26 letters. What a momentous task! Instead, I take on learning "A". Upon mastering that, I take on learning "B". Maybe after I learn "C" I have a relapse and have to return to "B". But I keep at it. One letter at a time, I WILL make it to "Z". But in a manner too unconventional for some to acknowledge my accomplishment.

Dave remarked about me, "It is not the height of great successes that marks your victory, it is the fact that you get back up each time." I had to learn to give myself permission to fail. No goal is worth killing my spirit because I cannot reach that goal. I certainly cannot beat myself up endlessly over things that are beyond my control. But this is not an excuse to stop trying.

Rigid Stereotypes
Society imposes rigid stereotypes and restrictions on us that mark us when nonconformity is detected, even though we often surpass conforming people. Why can't someone allow for flexibility, to take advantage of what we CAN do? Instead of shutting us out for disadvantages from what we CANNOT do.