James Allen, the 19th Century Philosopher, was more to the point when he said; “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.”
I say; “if you what to overcome your Bi – Polar work harder on yourself than anything else.”
What does this have to do with journaling? The two men I have quoted from are possibly two of the greatest journal keepers of the last 100 years. They spent as much of their time on this earth examining their own lives on paper in journals as they did improving the lives of others. I, personally, only got a handle on how BP affected my life by a thorough examination of myself on paper in a journal. There are hundreds of others in the BP forums who will attest the same.
I will not tell you how to journal, just that journaling is a great idea. If you want to know how to journal specifically for you, ask yourself, “Why am I writing in this journal?” as your first entry. You can spend the rest of your life answering that question.
The first answer to that question for me was to show the PDoc that I was not lying about the effects of the drugs I was being prescribed. I filled three dollar store notebooks, over two years, as we tried this drug and that drug, alone and in combination, to help manage my BP.
Once stable, I started writing in a journal to find out why, if I am taking my meds, am I still the same asshole I was before? I have been spending the last half decade finding answers to that question, fixing them and still finding more answers and more things to fix in me. Throughout this exercise of fixing me I have found that my life in relation to the bigger external world has improved as well.
Now with the advent of all the electronic gadgetry, remember I am old enough to remember when aircraft had propellers, you had to crank a phone to use it and most places only had 4 digit phone numbers, journaling can be way more creative. Mood charting on a spread sheet and then converting them to charts and graphs, in the form of an unpublished blog (this is a take on one of the most creative journals I ever saw, where the writer wrote themselves a letter every day) We can add pictures and all sorts of things but with that we can also become unfocused. Our focus has to remain true to our goal, overcoming our BP.
Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.