Devloping a strong spiritual self is required to overcome our mental anguish and emotional turmoil

The subject of spirituality is a difficult one in the world today as spirituality is often confused with religion. Religion asks that you believe this or that doctrine or creed. Spirituality, at the least the spirituality I speak of, asks you to acknowledge that you are made up of body, mind and spirit. The spirituality I speak of is for you to align your ways with your personal spirit and to do things that build or strengthen that spirit within you. Just as exercise and proper diet help your body and working on affirmations help your mind, there are things that will help strengthen your spirit.

It it is your spirit and there is no teacher, religious leader or any one else that can heal and strengthen your spirit better than being true to you own nature. The problem is we have to be sane enough, mentally stable, to learn our true nature. We have to learn our real ideals, ideals that ring true in our spirit and therefore are our personal truth.

Jesus said that “God is spirit and those that worship the father must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Jesus never told us what the truth was because the truth is our own individual truth and no one but ourselves can tell us what that is. We have to listen hard and learn to know ourselves.

Jesus taught, “If your leaders teach that the kingdom of heaven is in the sky then the birds of the air will proceed you. If they say the kingdom of heaven is in the sea, then the fish will proceed you. Rather I say that the kingdom of heaven is inside you and outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known and you will understand that you are children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty and you are the poverty.

I found this to be true, I did not know myself and lived in spiritual, mental and physical poverty. I even found myself in material poverty because I was doing nothing about my BP,

Today, for myself, I know it is my spiritual well being that controls my emotions and my mental anguish. By building and strengthening my spirit my emotional and mental issues diminish.

Keep the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Medications are essential in controlling BP

This, of my truths of BP, is the most difficult for me write about. I never disclose what medication I take because of a bad experience. A friend, also diagnosed with BP, was struggling to find the right med and asked me what I took, so I told him. He had his Doctor prescribe it and after taking it for a few days killed himself.   I don’t know exactly it was the med but that makes me think twice about sharing information on medication.

That aside, meds are essential to controlling this illness. There are a few who learn to control it without meds and the more power to them. But for most of us taking a daily medication or cocktail of medication is the only way we can remain stable. Medications are a fact of life.

There are some facts and myths in regards to Medications. The first fact is because of the individuality of BP, what works for me is not likely to work for you. The second fact is that finding the right medication(s) can take a very long time. I have two school note books full of meds and their effects on me, most of them negative. The third fact is that once we find the right medications this does not remove or even deal with our emotional turmoil and mental anguish, it just means we can think straight.

Myths – when I am feeling good I do not need my meds. I am not even going to comment on the stupidity of this line of thinking.

  • I can, after a time, wean myself off these meds. Another stupid idea
  • Once I find my meds I am home free. No that is not true. Our bodies and minds change, Sometimes meds just quit working. Sometimes, as in my case, you can have sever episodes of either depression or mania that require additional medications.

These are the facts and myths as I know them, if you know of others let me know.

I learned a long time ago the benefit of a pen and paper during this exercise, the fact that I like to write and that I spent years in administrative/management positions did not hurt in getting me to do this. A record of the name of the medication and its effects on you can save you a lot of grief and helps your doctor to know what is going on.

My note book says: Paxil – slept 21 hours, missed work. Knocked me right out. Feel like I have been on a month long bender. Obviously not the drug for me.

Some made me really anxious, some like a Zombie, one made me puke. One made me a hyper insomniac, I took it for a week, never slept and got lots of shit done, plus I had a very clear mind, better than mania was my comment. I liked that one, but my Doctor didn’t.

It was actually fun to look back into those note books, there were some bad experiences written there but also some interesting comments. My doc was a very funny man, he had some great on liners.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere

The Individuality of BP – Trial and Error should be the bi-words of BP

My Four Truths of Bi-Polar Disorder:

  1. Bi-Polar as an illness is as individual as the people that suffer from it.
  2. Medication is essential in stabilizing our minds.
  3. Developing a strong spiritual self is essential in overcoming our mental anguish and emotional turmoil.
  4. We, as Bi-Polar sufferers, can be useful and productive members of society.

These truths are the result of my battle to overcome Bi-Polar in its various manifestations for most of my 60 years on this planet. The current name for this mental illness is Bi-Polar, but over my lifetime the name has changed a few times, the longest running being Manic Depression. The name may change but the illness does not, the illness remains the same debilitating, isolating demon that it has always been for sufferers. There may be more defined spectrums and subtypes than ever before. The new American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders promises an even more defined set of subtypes to help in the fight against BP. These are all steps in the right direction.

The first truth that BP is an illness that is as individual as the people that suffer from it, came from years of finding that sometimes what worked for some people did not work for me. This is especially true in the area of medications, which I will cover in a future blog. However sometimes by slightly modifying what others were doing I found improvement. This lead to the realization that sometimes I need to start at different place than the other person started to achieve the same results. This is a marathon not a sprint and if I need to start in a different way than you that is ok. I found this especially true in the areas of meditation and other spirit building exercises. My mind was racing too fast to be able to sit in static position and quiet my mind. I had to ease into this and teach myself active meditation first. Active meditation will be a subject of a future blog.

In accepting the first truth about the individuality of BP I was able to come to grips with many of frustrations that came along. What I was dealing with may be frustrating, but it was not because I was all the negative things I used to tell myself, it was because this illness is so individualistic that trial and error should be its bi-words.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Hello world!

Welcome to 365daysofbipolar.com. This is a blog about living with Bi-Polar disorder. These messages are about hope, a hope that comes from taking  personal action to deal with our shared illness.

The core premise of this blog are my fourth truths of BI-Polar:

  1. That Bi-Polar as an illness is as individual as the people who suffer from it.
  2. That medication is essential to stabilize our minds.
  3. The development of a strong spiritual self is essential in controlling our mental anguish and emotional turmoil.
  4. That we, as BP sufferers, can become useful, productive members of society.

Action is required to re-make ourselves into happy, healthy people with the tools and attitudes to overcome our shared illness It does not happen over night nor is there a quick fix pill.

On the subject of pills,  the medications prescribed to us for our illness will not fix our living issues.  Those issues that create our inability to live in any kind of harmony with society.  The medications only allow us to reach a point of mental stability where we can,  with help of others, fix ourselves.

We can not overcome this illness alone. We may realize something is wrong with us because we cannot function in society but until we get an actual medical diagnosis we have no idea what it is or how deal with it. We have accept some help from others and follow their suggestions to accomplish anything to do with this illness. The development of a good support team is essential to overcoming BI-Polar.

I speak a lot of overcoming, in the realm of cancers they speak of remission. Remission means that the cancer is no longer affecting your life because of the treatments you took. Something you had no control over.  I speak of overcoming as different from remission because we, as individuals, must work very hard to keep our  Bi-Polar disorder from affecting our lives.

For this reason I use the metaphor of the path. Once we have received our diagnosis we are set at a crossroads of two paths.  One path looks incredibly hard. The path is uphill and covered with rocks and things we have to climb over to get anywhere. The other path looks easy and that path requires nothing of us, it allows us to continue to be the person we are. The problem with the easy path is that it is circular and always leads back to the same crossroads an the choice to take the hard path that goes somewhere.

I end each message with the same line. Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.  As a reminder that this journey of overcoming is not easy and sometimes gets us down, but it is worth it because when we look back on the hard path we see how far we have come.

My hope for this blog is that it is interactive and helpful.  I am interested in your comments and subject ideas. I admit to being a rank amateur at blogging. I am not an amateur at overcoming our shared illness of Bi-Polar, I have suffered from  this illness for most of my sixty years on this planet and in that battle I have overcome by learning my four truths of this illness and accepting the help of others.