Continuing Support

 

 

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We cannot get mentally and emotionally well without ongoing support that lasts beyond therapy. This support usually takes the form of some type of mental health support group. The most interesting BP fact I ever came across was that 98 percent of BP sufferers bring other addictions with them by the time they seek treatment. This means that many of us wind up in the twelve step programs to help deal with our other addictions. The twelve step programs have their place and their programs can help us get better, but their singleness of purpose can also cause us some problems. This singleness of purpose does not include mental illness, which is our main issue, bipolar is our problem, our addictions are the result of the pain caused by our bipolar. We need more understanding than what is usually provided by twelve step programs. We need either someone, or a mental health support group, that understands bipolar and who can reflect those twelve steps back to us with an understanding of this illness and keep us mindful of the fact that bipolar is our main problem and needs to be our main focus. Most of us have multiple addictions which are the result of our illness and we need to be reminded fairly regularly our issue is bipolar. We can easily forget our problem is bipolar and get thinking our problem is only addiction. Our problems go far beyond addiction and although we can relate to those people, sometimes they cannot relate to us and our illness. We need someone, or a mental health support group, that relates to us and understands our illness. Although the twelve steps direct us to look at ourselves they do not relay the importance of constant monitoring this illness requires.

One of the issues that one confronts within mental health support groups is that as personal wellness grows we tend to feel we outgrow the people who are just showing up. The group is not focused on solutions but only on problems, the groups are giant whine sessions. For myself, I believe that this is caused by too many people who have achieved some form of mental wellness leaving rather than hanging around to share their experiences of overcoming situations and offering solutions. Most mental health groups are filled with people who have not learned to deal with this illness in a constructive manor and have no examples that this can be accomplished. Once they figure out on their own how to manage this illness and get onto the path of mental wellness they leave as well. Some never figure it out and we lose them. This is a sad situation, one that needs changing.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

The Greatest Therapy

 

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I am a sufferer of BP I and therefore I can only share my experience and my research into the various facets of bipolar. BP is an illness that is not going to go away, but we can learn to manage this illness with the help of others.

Last week we talked of the essential value of professional therapy and a professional therapist. Those of us who want to learn to manage this illness can only do so with the help of others. You can not learn to manage this illness with out that team of professional and non professional support holding us up, pushing us forward and sometimes even holding our feet to the fire to get things done that are to our betterment.

I want to talk about a therapy that is neither professional nor non professional. This therapy benefits from the input of both. That is the therapy of self-education and learning to monitor ourselves in a way that we would have never dreamt of before. I state often that my greatest field of study is myself and in the closing of each blog I suggest working harder on yourself than anything else. This self education and monitoring can be considered the greatest therapy. We need this on going therapy of self education and monitoring to become a life habit.  Professional people, non professional people and support groups will come and go in our lives leaving the habit of self-education and self monitoring the only constant in our lives

Many of us have never listened to our bodies and yet when it comes to self monitoring, our bodies prove to be the first indicator of trouble. Triggers and mood changes are usually first indicated by feelings in the body. Here again the individuality of BP comes in to play because what I feel in my body may not be what you feel. We, individually, need to learn what our bodies are telling us.

We need to learn the management skills required to manage and forecast our moods like a weatherman.

We need to educate ourselves about the illness of bipolar as well as learn, or relearn, the social and life skills this illness has taken away from us. This illness destroys our character, our integrity, our dignity, our self-worth and every relationship we were ever in. We have to repair all that damage as well.

In learning about this illness and its affect on us. As well as the skills required to repair the damage this illness caused in our lives and the skills to manage and forecast our moods we, in time, become the people we have always wanted to be and sometimes way more than that.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

My Therapist is not working for me

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I am a sufferer of BP I,  therefore I can only share my experience and my research into the various facets of bipolar. BP is an illness that is not going to go away, but we can learn to manage this illness with the help of others. One of the most important tools we can add to our tool box is a good therapist, psychologist or counselor.

Therapy is essential for treating bipolar. When I talk of therapy I separate this into two categories so there is no confusion, professional and non professional. This week we are talking about professional therapy.  We should think about seeking out a qualified professional therapist right after our diagnosis and in conjunction with our search to find the right meds to stabilize our minds. If we ask our Psychiatrist, in most cases they will recommend someone.  For the most part Psychiatrists can help in our therapy, but seldom have the time to do real therapy sessions. We need the guidance and the time of a professional trained to unearth, and help us deal with, the deep seated false beliefs and trauma that we have collected during our illness.

I compare the need for a professional therapist to help us deal with our bipolar issues, with the need for a professional guide on an African Safari. Sure you can do go to Africa on your own or in a group and you may even see some things but the experience will be so much better under the guidance of a professional who has an idea of where to look.

I want to talk about some issues that are often raised in conversations about professional therapy.

“My Therapist is not working for me” is a common complaint that is heard all the time. “They do nothing for me” and “I cannot connect” are other forms of the same complaint.

The professional you are seeing is not supposed to do any work, they have gone to school and continue to educate themselves, they are your guide and sounding board. If they did the work it would not help you.

“You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you and expect to benefit.” Jim Rohn.

The job of a professional therapist is to ask the  hard questions, listen carefully and have a really good BS meter.

You are to provide the honest answers and do the homework assigned. If you are not doing homework on yourself between sessions, you are doing yourself a disservice. Simply put, you have to do the work to change – no one else can.

One of the areas that bipolar affects is our ability to connect with people, we do not make friends easily. Then we, as bipolar sufferers, lament that we are having a hard time connecting with our therapist. The development of a real working relationship is hard for us and we need to realize that. We need to reach out to our therapist in a genuine way. In most cases they are actually reaching out to us, we just don’t see it.

Sometimes in the end we just cannot make it work with a particular professional therapist and we need to find a different therapist. This happens sometimes, but the reason to change your therapist should never be that you could not connect, until you tried, or they are making you work too hard or you are not working at all.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

To be continued next week…………….

It’s in the doing

 

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I woke up today and worked through my morning routine connecting with the universe, I began to think of all the days of depression and isolation that I have gone through where I was unable to do anything. Where even putting cloths on seemed like an insurmountable task. I can only describe this as the “Empty” time, because I was empty inside. I think we can all relate to that “Empty” feeling.
That “Emptiness” is a rare feeling for me, today, because of the faith I have grown. It is an absolute falsehood that the opposite fear is faith. This is definitely not true. The opposite of fear is peace of mind. Faith is the vehicle which gets you from fearful to that peace of mind we all seek.  Today my faith has a foundation of hope and gratitude, based on an unshakable belief that I can achieve mental wellness. My faith tells me that if I do as I am supposed to do, when I am supposed to do it, everything will work out. Maybe not the way I envision it, but in a way that will be good for me.  Today, I know, my faith will give me the spiritual character, mental strength and emotional control to balance my life. Today, my faith keeps me doing – my job, my writing and helping others. My faith takes me out of bed, puts my cloths on and out the door to see how I can be useful to this world I live in.
It was in reading Oswald Chambers statements on “Taking initiative against depression” that changed the way I looked a depression. Depression was not something I had to put up with, it was something I could walk out of if I took the initiative.  In reading the words of Oswald Chambers I summoned what little faith I had, I got out of bed, had something to eat and I did the dishes. The next day I got up, got dressed, had something to eat, did the dishes and made the bed. The third day I got up, I had a shower, got dressed, had something to eat, did the dishes and made the bed. As my doing grew, my faith grew with it.

You see Oswald Chambers, in his words on “Taking initiative against depression,” did not say great things or offer great promises, the part that caught my eye was “get up and eat”, so I did.
I will share with you an exercise that I started doing to take the initiative against depression when that feeling started to take hold. Write down at the end of the first day at least five positive things you did, trying to add one or more things each day. You do this for a month. You will find that at the end of the month you have written proof that the more positive things you do the better you feel. That gives you hope and that hope becomes faith, a faith that If I keep taking the initiative against this depression I will find it easier to walk out of it. It is up to you to live your life, Oswald Chambers wrote, “If we were never depressed we would not be alive. Only material things do not suffer depression.”

Depression is a normal human emotion and there are things in this world that cause us to be depressed, but we do not have to stay there.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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