You Are Not an Expendable Character

Three questions to help you remember your worth.
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I love science fiction. When the world around me gets to be too much, I slip into the fantasy of a fictional world where I know they will resolve the worst disasters within 45 minutes.

A few nights ago, I was watching an episode of Stargate: Atlantis (Season 2, Episode 8). Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard was in danger. After being bitten by a Wraith hybrid, he was slowly being transformed into another creature.

Of course, Sheppard had to be saved. He was the leader of his team and the highest ranking military officer on the Atlantis base. Everyone in Atlantis knew his value and was willing to do anything to save him. His salvation depended on collecting eggs from an Iratus bug, and in a quest to retrieve those eggs, two soldiers die.

It’s a common occurrence on TV shows. A main character is in trouble, so they throw expendable characters away because nothing is more important than saving the main character. But does that mean the dead characters’ lives had no value? It’s a dangerous message.

When you have bipolar disorder, you may think of yourself as an expendable character. You push yourself to give your loved ones what they need, but frequently ignore doing things for yourself. But, you are not an expendable character, or a red shirt, as we refer to the characters who frequently died in the original Star Trek series. You’re a main character, and your life deserves to be preserved.

Here are three relevant questions to help you value yourself.

1. Why is it important to remember that you are not an expendable character?

It’s important to remember that you are not an expendable character because your life has value. You may feel like you don’t deserve the good things in life, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth having. You are just as valuable as anyone else, even if you have bipolar disorder.

Failing to see the value of yourself can cause you to neglect self-care, stop taking your meds, and even stop eating. I get it as I’ve been there. The best way to stay on the right path is to focus on the value of your life.

2. How can you learn to value yourself more?

You can learn to value yourself more by accepting that you have bipolar disorder. Bipolar is a part of who you are, but it doesn’t define you. You can do almost anything you set your mind to.

Take some time to list your skills. Yes, there are days bipolar will tell you that you’re incapable of doing anything, but those are lies you must ignore.

All of us have skills. You may be an artist, writer, or composer. Perhaps you’re a master woodworker, stonemason, or concrete finisher. Your skills are more than what you do. Maybe you’re an excellent listener, a compassionate empath, or a talented tutor.

Make a list of your positive qualities and it will help you remember how valuable you are.

Bipolar Disorder Symptom Checklist

3. What are the dangers of not valuing yourself?

The dangers of not valuing yourself include depression, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you don’t think your life is worth living, you’ll struggle to find the strength to keep fighting.

Your life matters. There will be hard days when it feels impossible to believe in yourself, but it’s always true. Remembering your worth will help you keep fighting no matter how dark the night gets.

The words, "Know Your Worth" surrounded by stars. | Three questions to help you remember your worth when bipolar makes you feel expendable. You have value. | #speakingbipolar #bipolarclub #bipolarstrong
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Keep fighting

In the Atlantis episode I watched, they saved Sheppard‘s life. He went on to lead many more missions. With him at the helm, the show went on for another three seasons.

In your life, you are Shepherd. You are the main character, and your life should be the most important. Without you, your show would end.

The bottom line is that you are not an expendable character, even if you have bipolar disorder. You are valuable and your life matters. There will be hard days, but it’s important to remember your worth in order to keep fighting. The things you do make a difference in this world, so don’t forget that you are amazing just the way you are.

If you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone. There is help available. You are not an expendable character. Your life matters. Please remember that.

Do you struggle to start each day with a positive mindset?

Learn to banish your negative thinking with my free 30 Days of Positivity email course. Each day’s lesson gives you a topic to focus on, an inspiring story to illustrate the message, and journal prompts so you can dive deeper. The course is full of value for everyone but specifically written for those battling mental and/or chronic illness.

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