Category Archives: Mental wellness

It is what we Concentrate on

This blog may turn into a rant, if it does that is not my intent.

The focus of my thinking is always towards mental wellness. I focus on wellness, on better outcomes and solutions in my day rather than what is wrong in my life. In many places, by many writers and by the universal law of polarity we are told concentrating on the illness creates more illness. Concentrating on the opposite, in this case, mental wellness creates more wellness. I have taken this lesson and seared it into my mind.

Bipolar is a mental illness that can be overcome, not an excuse. We can choose to work towards mental wellness, or we can use our illness as an excuse to stay the way we are. Those are our real choices, but those choices can only happen once we know what our problem is. When in the throes of our illness we may suspect there is something wrong, but we are powerless to really do anything. Having been misdiagnosed for over 40 years and trying to fix what was wrong with me by solving the symptoms of ADHD, I can attest to that. It is only when we get in a situation that causes us to be given a proper diagnosis do our choices appear. It is what we do after our diagnosis that is important. I have started looking at this issue of pre and post-diagnosis quite differently. I used to beat myself up severely for all the insane things I did in my illness.  When I was in my illness, I was sick. I can no more blame myself for that as I can blame myself throwing up on the floor when I wake up with severe nausea. It is what happened and was unavoidable.

I quit beating myself up, period. I came to understand that all the things that I condemned myself for were either the result of my illness or the result of trying to learn this new way of living on the path to mental health, I knew nothing of this way of life and I made a lot of mistakes learning this new way of living. Mistakes are just learning experiences, not God condemned sins.  I have learned a lot about myself and the underlying causes of my inappropriate reactions to others. There are other issues in my life besides my bipolar disorder, or maybe because of bipolar disorder that were the result of trying to kill the pain and deal with the trauma in my life. These other issues that my illness caused before I learned there was a real cause for the pain and trauma must also be dealt with as well.

Our shared illness is not an excuse to remain as we are. It is something that is to be dealt with and overcome by learning who we are and connecting with our authentic selves. Bipolar disorder makes us self-centered, but we can actually get over that if we do what is recommended after our diagnosis such as take our meds and use counseling. Once we have a diagnosis, we have choices and it is the choices we make that place us on the path to mental wellness or leave us stuck in our illness. It is always our choice.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Laura Fisher

The Tool to Change your Destiny

One of the things that shocked me into changing my thinking and challenging my beliefs was reading a quote that was attributed to Margret Thatcher, but a further study shows the author is unknown or possibly Loa Tzu of Toa Te Ching fame. The quote reads:

“Be careful of your thoughts, they become your words.

Be careful of your words, they become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, they become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, they become your character.

Be careful of your character, it becomes your destiny.”

When I looked at this quote it struck me that I had the destiny of an insane person (the hospital stays, lost jobs, lost relationships) and if I did not change my thinking things would never get better and that destiny would continue to its inevitable end. I did not want that destiny that said over and over “life is not worth living.”  I wanted something else, a life worth living and that simple quote showed me it was possible to get it. The question was how?

To save you the pain of how my bipolar mind concluded the “how” I will share the simple answer. The simple answer is I had to change my words. The words I said to myself and the words I said to others, even the words I wrote. By working on changing the words I thought, spoke and wrote and by challenging the lies my bipolar mind told through the help of a therapist – Lies are made up of words. Just saying – I have been able, over time, to change my thinking and thus I have changed my destiny. My destiny today is one of inner peace, serenity, and joy. The three things that are worth more than money.

What I find interesting is that science is now agreeing with what my bipolar mind came up with all on its own. Science has confirmed, “If you change your words you can change “you” right down to your genetic level.”

 In their book “Words Can Change Your Brain,” Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

Another great book on this topic is Andrea Gardner’s, “Change Your Words, Change Your World.” Which is basically her story and provides some great tools to help with incorporating positive words into your inner and outer speech.

The other aspect of implementing this change of words is to place a guard at the gate of your mind. It is one thing to become conscious of what is going in and out of your mind verbally, but it is equally important to become conscious of what is going into your subconscious from other sources. To put it bluntly, if everyone and everything you are listening to, reading and seeing reinforce the false beliefs you hold then you will make little progress.

This is a multi-faceted subject, but if you start with what you have total control over, the words you think, say and write, you will find that things will change.

That is the “how” of changing your destiny and if you begin to practice changing your words you will begin to change.

 As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr. Deborah Serani Psy.D

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/two-takes-depression/201702/why-self-care-is-hard-depressed-individuals

When Post Day And An Important Aniversary Collide Or Lifes STruggles

This is probably the hardest post I have ever written. When I noticed that November 6th coincided with having a post due and a very important anniversary, I knew I had to write this post. This is essentially my story.

Thirty-four years ago, today, November 6, 1985, I lost my first wife to a drunk driver. Today I remember Ellen, but I also remember the twenty-five-year tailspin this loss sent me into. Some ten years prior, March 1975 I had my first hospitalization for mental illness and where I had been misdiagnosed with ADHD and OCD. A diagnosis that I was stuck with for the next thirty-five years, September 2009, until I finally got to see a psychiatrist who not only questioned the diagnosis but did the work to properly diagnose me with bipolar 1 disorder.

Today I tell people that I am thirty-four years sober, I sobered up, August 2, 1985, only a few months before Ellen died, and nine years sane. The reason I say this is because I may have been sober twenty-five years when I finally got my proper diagnosis, but I was far from sane. I could not have been sane not knowing what was wrong with me. To say I struggled all those years before my proper diagnosis is a huge understatement. For that all that time I was helpless and hopeless, going from one emotional crisis and loss to the next. I just could not find any hope.

What I want to share are the struggles since getting a proper diagnosis. Struggles that were based on finally knowing what was wrong with me and the hope that by knowing what was wrong things could get better and are getting better gave me. That is why I write this blog to share that hope

These are my struggles since my proper diagnosis and in the end I will share what I have learned. I struggled for two years to find the meds that worked. I struggled through a further two years of therapy as I learned about me. I struggled to overcome the things that stuck to my bipolar disorder.  The comorbidity of our illness. Things like complicated grief disorder, which masked the seasonal aspect of my bipolar and the aspect of this illness I am currently learning to overcome. I struggled with addictions to sex, video games and anything else that relieved the pain without booze and drugs. I learned that I suffered from Self Love Deficit Disorder, the new name for codependency and how to overcome that. I struggled to overcome the negativity bipolar disorder creates in our thoughts and words and I struggled to overcome the constant suicidal thoughts I had.   

In struggling through and overcoming all these things, this is what I have learned:

  1. A proper diagnosis gives you something to “WORK” with and gives us hope.
  2. Proper medication gives you a stable mind with which to do the “WORK.”  Proper medication does not fix you.
  3. The “Work” is solely on yourself, to create change in you and you are the only one who can do it. Randy, my therapist said it best, “You are the one with bipolar not me. I can suggest things, but it is you that must do them.”
  4. The only thing you must change is you, your false beliefs, your thinking, and your attitude.
  5. There is only ONE GAOL – to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds and emotions. A statement I have chosen to end each post with,
  6. By taking control of our minds and emotions we can learn to connect with our authentic self. An authentic self we can truly fall in love with.

Today I still struggle but it is never in the constant emotional turmoil that untreated bipolar creates. I have found the more I learn about myself and the more I come to love and accept myself the less I do struggle. That is the hope, someday the struggle may end, and living can begin. Today I have way more life and a lot less struggle.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds and our emotions.

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Janice Webb Ph.D.

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2019/04/20-things-people-with-childhood-emotional-neglect-often-say

From Glued to the bed to walking underwater

I know every year somewhere from the middle of October to the middle of November the seasonal aspect of my bipolar disorder is going to strike. Sending me into a deep depression.

This year it struck last weekend. It had been creeping up over the previous week, the irritability reappeared. A bipolar symptom that is the harbinger of my depression to come.

This year I slept a lot on Saturday and missed my usual Sunday morning breakfast get together. But I also made a great supper for my girlfriend both days, did the dishes both times and cleaned my apartment. Even though it felt like I was walking underwater. Walking underwater is the only way I can impart the slow sluggish feeling that moving while depressed feels like. Everything is in slow motion, your thinking, your movements. Sometimes even your speech as your thought to speech transmission slips into neutral. It is a struggle.

This annual slide into depression is the most debilitating aspect of my bipolar disorder.

This annual slide into depression is also how I judge my progress. For most of my life, this annual slide into depression would destroy my life. I would be glued to the bed for months. A couple of times this depression spanned a couple of years. Due to this depression, I was unable to do anything. I lost jobs or if I was able to keep them, I phoned in sick a lot.

I learned a lot about myself studying this slide into depression and work.  I thought that I was well suited to farming as where I live the growing season goes from May to October. But mania used to rule my life during the summer back then. So, that didn’t work out well either. I did learn that if I took a job, I could not work the day shift. Either I worked afternoons or nights, or I could not keep the job. For the past decade, I have worked four to midnight at the same place, the longest I have kept a job in my life.

It has been while holding this job that I have been able to study my progress from glued to bed when the depression hit to walking underwater.  I did this by practicing what I preach a lot today, “You can take the initiative against depression.”

Do not doubt that I am depressed as I write this, I cannot even tell if this is coherent. The big lesson I have learned is this, our brains tell us we must do some great thing to defeat depression. The truth is it is by doing little things even if it feels like we are walking underwater that really works.  Doing something for someone else also seems to help as well. When I listed my weekend accomplishments at the beginning of this post, they were not huge things. I made a couple of meals and shared them with my girlfriend. I did the dishes both times and I cleaned my apartment and I felt like I was walking underwater the whole time. But I also felt like I was doing something worthwhile.

If you get up and do one little thing even if it feels like it is the greatest weight you have ever lifted, you will find that feeling of doing something worthwhile. Then you can build on “taking the initiative against depression.”

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Sharon Davis

bipolar.newlifeoutlook.com/yoga-for-mental-health/

Do Not Speak death

In his short story “What Men Live By” the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy gave me one of the great secrets for my mental health. The secret is said in many ways in many different languages, but it was in this short story that I finally heard the secret and learned from it. My hope is that in telling this secret in my way that some may hear the secret and learn to practice it.

The gist of the story is a poor man went to the store to get something and not only did he not get what he supposed to, but he also brought someone home with him for supper. A scenario that would anger any wife. There is more to the story than this of course.     

Near the end of the story, one of the characters says, “I entered the house and a woman came to meet us and she began to speak………. the spirit of death came from her mouth.” That line stopped me cold and I had to go back to the beginning of the story to find what the woman said.

She said, “her husband was a drunk, she hated him and should never have married him. The man he brought home was as worthless as her husband. She dragged in things that happened ten years before. She talked and talked and at last flew at her husband in her rage.”

To my bipolar mind, this was a pretty typical husband and wife argument and very well written, where was the “death” in that. Then I focused on two words, hate and worthless. Words I spoke every day about myself and every person, place, thing and situation in my life. That’s when the secret jumped out at me.

The secret is a simple statement, “Do not speak death.” What does “do not speak death” mean – that we should eliminate the words that kill our spirits from our spoken words. This, in turn, will remove these words from our thoughts as we become conscious of them.

With those two words, “hate” and “worthless” I started on a journey. The journey was to eliminate all the spirit killing words from my vocabulary. My first step was to track how often I used those words. On a typical day, I used the word “HATE” a remarkable one hundred and ten times. The word “WORTHLESS” only about thirty times. As I became more and more aware when these two words crept into my spoken language, I began to look for words that I could replace them with. For “hate” I chose “like” which over time became “love” and “worthless” I chose “useful.”

Here is a concrete example. On June 10th, 201O I said, “I hate my job,” out loud fifty-two times. That does not include the number of times I made that statement in the confines of my mind. In that mindset, I did not want to go to work.

On June 10th, 2019 I said, “I love my job,” sixteen times in conversation and another twenty-three times to myself. The thing is it is the same job. Nothing has changed but me and how I speak of my job and now I want to go to work every day.

As time went on, I found more and more spirit killing words and using the same process eliminated them from my spoken vocabulary. In a future post, I will compile a list of the common spirit killing words that we use in our everyday speech.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/are-you-making-these-4-communication-mistakes-in-your-romantic-relationship

You have to Find What Works For You

The statement, “You have to find what works for you,” is the most frustratingly true statement of the bipolar battle. This statement speaks to the individuality of bipolar as no other statement can. Only by finding what works for you can you even make the beginning steps towards mental wellness.

Well-meaning people, both professional and non-professional, often say if you do this, or do that, your bipolar will go away. The truth is they can say whatever they like. Today my first response to these statements is, “Thank you for the suggestion.” This may be because no one can tell me what to do. I would like to outgrow that response, but it is still there. The other reason is that as an individual what they are saying may or may not help. I have tried thousands of “guaranteed to work” things in my bipolar battle that did not help at all.

The thing is I did TRY them all. I took those suggestions and tried them.

Some said medication is guaranteed to work. I tried 52 different meds or combinations of meds until I found the one that worked for me.

Some said therapy is guaranteed to work. I tried several therapists and a couple of different therapy styles until I found the therapist and therapy style that worked for me.

Some said meditation is guaranteed to work.  I tried many, many styles of meditation until I found the definition and style of meditation that worked for me.

Some said exercise is guaranteed to work.  I went to the gym and lasted one week. I tried exercising a home, nope. I took my camera and my camcorder and walked in nature, that is what worked for me. I can hike for hours.

Some said diet is guaranteed to work. I tried this diet and that diet, none of them did anything for me. Then I found a group of people who have a weekly potluck and eat healthy most of the time. That is what worked for me. A diet based on friendship and encouragement.

All these things are just suggestions that I tied and tried until I found what worked for me.

Finding what works is kind of like banging your head against a wall until a door you had no idea was there begins to swing open. Suddenly you are on a totally different and unexpected path. Making the statement, “when you step on the way the way appears” truer than you can imagine.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr. Ellen Alberstson.

Bipolar Makes Us Ego Driven

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. I write about how to resume our connection with our authentic selves. I write from the perspective of someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, not as an expert. I share the knowledge I have gained in the hopes it may help you.

Having bipolar means a lot of things but understanding having bipolar makes us ego-driven can give us something to watch for and try to correct.

We all think of egotists as those prideful, boastful people and as bipolar sufferers, we have nothing to be prideful or boastful about so we cannot be ego-driven. The truth is our egos explode when we are afraid, feel less than and unworthy. Our ego pops out in subtle ways that make us think that can’t be ego, but it is. Our ego pops out to hide the emotions we feel like a protector in a sick way. Our ego keeps us from learning what normal human emotions really mean and how to handle them so that we can become the person we were meant to be. Our ego does more to separate us from our true self than anything. The fact is anyone connected with their true self has no ego as they don’t need the protection ego provides.

These are the signs you are ego-driven:

Are you afraid to be alone?

Are you defensive?

Are you insecure and doubt yourself?

Are you obsessed with you and your life’s outward appearance?

Are you constantly seeking outside approval?

Are you easily offended by criticism?

Are you arrogant or become arrogant when you feel better than others?

Do you worry about what others think of you?

Do you seek revenge on those that hurt you?

Do you only hang out with like-minded people or people that agree with you?

Do you constantly apologize?

Do you always have to be right or get in the last word?

Do you have to be better than others?

Do you always have to prove yourself?

Do you talk about others (gossiping)?

Do you point out the flaws in others?

Do you bully and intimidate others?

All these manifestations of ego stand in the way of learning to love ourselves and connecting with our true selves.

‘To love yourself, you must be yourself. To be yourself you must believe in yourself.” Ed Mylett.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Kenna McKinnon.

The Greatest Skill -Reparenting Ourselves

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. How to resume our connection with our authentic selves. I write from the perspective of someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, not as an expert. I share the knowledge I have gained in the hopes it may help you.

I feel that the greatest skill we can learn on our journey to mental wellness is the skill of reparenting ourselves. As bipolar sufferers we have suffered trauma of one form or another and this has skewed our world view. We have been trapped as hurt and damaged children in our adult bodies. To deal with that skewed world view we need a therapist. To repair our inner child, we must learn to be the understanding and caring parent we never had. I have spent a lot of time on this blog trying to convey the things we need to do to heal that injured inner child that is the make up of most bipolar sufferers when we finally seek help. Recently I came across an article that explains everything I have been trying to say in a clear and concise manner. I have included this article in my blog of the week. I ask that you read this article as it explains everything I have been trying to say better than I have been able to.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolarcom. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Maxine Harley

https://lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk/users/3881-maxine-harley/posts/17933-how-to-heal-and-re-parent-your-inner-child

Not Recommended for Bipolar Disorder

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. How to resume our connection with our authentic selves. I write from the perspective of someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, not as an expert. I share the knowledge I have gained in the hopes it may help you.

This post gets to the heart of “bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it.”

I am not recommending everyone run out and try things that are not recommended for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Or that this is even a good Idea. What I am saying is that properly supervised by a good professional team, if all else is failing, thinking out side of recommended treatments may be what is needed.

There are a number of things that are not recommended for the treatment of bipolar disorder that are in my bipolar management bag of tricks. The first being the medication that I am on, which shall remain nameless. When I was prescribed this med by my psychiatrist it was not recommended for bipolar disorder. After two years of trying to find meds that worked, he prescribed this med because nothing else worked and guess what, this med worked. Almost a decade later it still works and is now recommended along with many others as a viable bipolar med.

I suffer from seasonally affected bipolar 1, meaning that as the days shorten, I crash towards depression and as the days lengthen in spring I take off like a rocket into mania. That has been my pattern most of my life. My meds take care of the liftoff in the spring for the most part, but the management of the crash towards depression in the winter remained a struggle for many years. Then three years ago one of my medical team suggested light therapy as an addition to my winter management system. Light therapy is not recommended for bipolar sufferers because the light can over stimulate the brain causing mania. Which happened to me because I used the light for thirty minutes a day, every day. I overdosed on the light. I got into that bipolar way of thinking, “if it is good for you, lots may be better.”

However, ten minutes of light therapy three times a week seems to be what I need to stop that plunge towards depression. It has worked well for the last two winters.

What this post is about is that we must find what works for us, be it a recommended treatment or not. If what we are doing, or taking, is actually working, then it is for us.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr. Ellen Albertson

http://drellenalbertson.com/6-steps-to-overcome-fear-and-step-into-your-brilliance/

Grow that Inner Child Up Part 1

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I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. There are things that seem to be common to all of us as sufferers of bipolar disorder. A couple of those things are our wounded inner selves and the angry, demanding and demeaning voice in our heads. I am not a fan of the term inner child, but it has become quite popular and most people know what I am referring to when I use that term. The other term for the inner child that I have come across is “inner shadow” a term made popular in the book “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels.  Nor am I a fan of the concept that your inner child or inner shadow will always be with you. I believe that we can learn to grow that inner child/inner shadow to adulthood by learning to parent ourselves. The job of a parent, to take an infant and nurture it to maturity. Why can’t we take the same approach to the scared, immature child/shadow that bipolar disorder seems to have created within us and by practicing good parenting skills bring that inner child/inner shadow to maturity?

We cannot even start to nurture and love that scared, immature inner child/shadow without first dealing with that angry, demanding, demeaning voice in our heads. In my case, that voice was what my inner child had been afraid of all along.  First, you must believe as an adult you have the power to change that voice from angry, demanding and demeaning to a loving, caring voice that encourages and never criticizes. Secondly, you must bring in new knowledge and practice shutting down the old voice and introducing the new voice. I will be the first to tell you that shutting down the old voice will cause great inner turmoil in the beginning but battling through this turmoil is worth it.

When I was first told that I could change the voice in my head from angry, demanding, demeaning enemy to a loving, caring, encouraging friend I had a hard time believing it. I also had a hard time believing that voice in my head was not me. I think most of us do because we have lived with that voice for so long. Learning that only about 26% of all people have the voice in their head, their inner narrator, also was eye-opening. That statistic told me that I could even eliminate that voice if I tried and really helped convince me that I was not that inner voice. I am still a long way from eliminating that voice in my head, but I have converted it to an encouraging friend.

For this week I want to conclude by saying that before we can even reach our wounded inner selves we must deal with our inner voice and we will continue that topic next week.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

 

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BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr.Ellen Albertson

http://drellenalbertson.com/6-steps-to-overcome-fear-and-step-into-your-brilliance