I Am Inspired Despite My Limitations

From the Anash.org Inbox: Tishrei makes me feel off kilt. I am a person who needs to be consistent about eating three times a day, going to sleep at a normal hour, and exercising daily. You see, I live with a condition called Bipolar 1 disorder…

By Your Neighbor

I woke up the morning after Yom Kippur feeling a bit off kilt. As the day went on it became more and more difficult to focus and be productive. You see, I live with a condition called Bipolar 1 disorder. It’s been years since my last manic episode and I am boruch Hashem doing great. I run a business, have a loving wife and beautiful children. I still need to be vigilant every day so that I stay healthy and well and can be there for my family.

In order to stay in a good mental state, I need to be consistent about eating three times a day, going to sleep at a normal hour, and exercising daily. While I was wondering why I felt off kilt after Yom Kippur, I realized “Oh ye, it’s Tishrei,” and it’s been a bit of an intense couple of weeks; Rosh Hashana preps, long Rosh Hashana davening, late meals, Kapores, (which this year I finally listened to my Mashpia and did not  attempt to do it late at night), Erev Yom Kippur meals, Mikva three times, helping my wife with the kids and trying to keep focus on the upcoming holy day.

Over time, I came to appreciate the intensity of the past few weeks and reminded myself that although my condition plays a big role in my day to day lifestyle, I cannot be hard on myself when trying my best to do everything I need to do during this marathon month of Yomim Tovim.

But then it dawned on me that we are only at the midpoint in the holy month of Tishrei! Next up; the amazing energy of Sukkos, many l’chaims, late night farbrengens, Simchas Beis hashoeva dancing until the morning, Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. Just thinking about it makes me wonder how I will survive.  I know it might be rough, but I find comfort in knowing what’s ahead of me, and having accepted my limitations I am able to set boundaries of what I can and can’t do inorder to keep myself in a healthy mental state.

I have come to the full understanding that taking part in the month of Tishrei is such a special, meaningful and fun experience. However, Hashem in all His wisdom created me in a way that I am unable to participate in all the ceremonies of this holy month and that’s ok. Additionally, I am grateful for all the advances in medicine that allow me to show up to so many parts of Tishrei and to be able to celebrate with my loving wife and children. Thank you Hashem!

I am sharing this in a public forum in hopes that other members of our community who are also suffering from mental and emotional illnesses will read this. I hope that this little write up can give us the strength to be able to soak in the energy of the rest of the month and pray for us all to be fully present for all the incredible brochos that this awesome month provides. May it propel us to have an amazing year filled with health, happiness, nachas and hatzlacha in everything we set ourselves to. 

If you want to reach out, vent or whatever feel free to reach me at [email protected]

Wishing you all a beautiful sweet year ahead!

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  1. Many thanks for being bold and brave and sharing your important message about finding balance, knowing our mental health limitations and involving one’s Mashpia in the conversation. Gut Moed!

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