During the past few weeks, I’ve been asking “why?” a lot. I’m one of those people who likes to understand the logic behind things. I’m also one of those people who thinks in black and white—there is no gray for me. I either like something—or I don’t. I either believe something—or I don’t. I either think justice has been served—or I don’t. Even with my bipolar II disorder, I’m either happy—or depressed. I’m always at one end of the spectrum or the other. But fortunately, I’m working on this.
The reason I bring up my “why?” questions is that, a few weeks ago, a close friend of mine, Brian, passed away from cancer. He was only 26 and one of the nicest, most positive, uplifting people I have ever met. When I heard Brian was in the hospital having emergency surgery to remove a tumor, I had no idea he wouldn’t make it. My mind didn’t even go there. He had been in remission a year and was one of the healthiest people I knew. Unfortunately, due to complications, he didn’t make it. I was heartbroken. I immediately went into “why” mode. And I became angry. I began asking, “God, why take someone so young? Why take someone who was inspiring so many cancer patients to keep on fighting? Why take someone with his whole life ahead of him?”
What I quickly learned is that asking “why” doesn’t get me anywhere. It just keeps my head going round and round in circles. So, instead, I’ve let go of the “why?” and am focusing on the positive. The positive memories and the positive life Brian lived. I’m making a conscious effort to live a healthier and happier life myself. I’m following the credo that Brian lived by—the Holstee Manifesto—which he encouraged others to live by as well:
This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over-analyzing; life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people; we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once—seize them.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.
Life is short. Live your dream, and share your passion.
So, the next time you ask yourself “why?”—whether it be “why do I have bipolar disorder?” or “why do I have a mental illness?” or “why am I depressed?”—change your question to “how.” How can I turn this into a positive? And take action.
Love and light,