Category Archives: Welcome

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018. This site has always been dedicated to learning to manage, live with and enjoy life even with bipolar disorder. For 365daysofbipolar.com there is a new direction. I want to provide important information on something I believe in strongly. How to build a professional and non-professional support team. What works and what doesn’t and who should make up your team. I am going to include interviews with both professional and non-professional people who support many people with our shared illness of bipolar disorder.

Managing and living well with bipolar cannot be done without proper support. Although we, the individual sufferer, are expected to do the work required to manage our illness. We need others to act as guides and sounding boards to keep us on track. To help us through the ups and downs of life and to tell us the truth when our bipolar minds lead us astray.

Our bipolar minds cause us to be at least standoffish and at times total isolationists. We bring our past hurts into every new encounter and destroy things before they even start. We, as bipolar sufferers, find it difficult to build and keep relationships. Which makes building a great support team difficult for us as a support team is nothing more than many relationships on many levels. The starting point for all relationships and my other focus for 2018 is how to build a proper relationship with yourself.

Mental wellness is all about knowledge of our selves and learning skills to overcome our bipolar symptoms.  There are many great books and apps that have appeared on the market in the past few years that are proving helpful. To aid in this process of finding what may work for you  I plan on doing book and app reviews in the coming year.

I am looking forward to an exiting 2018 for 365daysofbipolar.com

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 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.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

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: Hillary Jacob Hendel

https://www.hilaryjacobshendel.com/its-not-always-depression-sometimes-its-

Creativity, Meaning and Bipolar

 

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Like a tide our bipolar moods rise and ebb no matter how good our management system. That is the nature of moods, this effects our motivation and creativity. Having just gone through a period of an ebb tide in the mood area, I found my ability to create non existent. It is still difficult to put thoughts on paper. Knowing this ebb tide of emotion and loss of creativity is temporary, that all moods change in time, makes it a little easier for me to deal with these feelings today. Knowing that in the spring I tend to soar with the eagles and in the gloom of fall I crash like a balloon out of air. This does not change that these mood swings happen. It changes what how I react to them and how I employ my management tools. In the spring I need to tether my feet to the ground, not allowing myself to be task driven or the need to get things done will run my life. In the winter I need to force myself to get up and be productive.

In my stable state I am always slightly elevated, with creative solutions, ideas and thoughts popping in my head at all times.  It is frustrating when that creative part of my brain shuts off even for a short while. In the last month of cloudy gloom, four days of sun out of twenty-two, even with all my management tools I have struggled. Struggling is alright if we know there is a meaning for why we are struggling. That fact that I struggle like this, every year is knowledge, it is not meaning. That knowledge that this is part of the cycle of my bipolar does make it easier. The fact that I have built an arsenal of things to battle depression or mania is also helpful, but these things are not meaning either. I have to build that meaning into my life in the good times and learn to hold on tight in the bad.

I do not currently have a secret formula for building meaning into any one’s life. It was hard to find meaning in my own, I am still learning to articulate that to myself and the world. All I can pass on today is that there is meaning to all our lives, the foundation of which is gratitude. Forgiveness of ourselves and others gives us wings to fly. Self care and self knowledge give us the power to continue.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  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.

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Mental wellness is all about knowledge. It is about taking that knowledge we learn and applying it to ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be.

Make Lists Of Positive Aspects

Attitudes, Thoughts and Perspectives

“Don’t talk about the bad times, the struggles, the ups and downs. Talk about learning how to live. How to find joy in your life, even if you are bipolar.” My friend Greta.

When I was thinking about starting this blog that was the one thing that made sense. I want to talk about learning how to live with bipolar. How to find peace within ourselves even though this illness and it effects do everything it can to disturb that peace. For the most part I have been successful at that in my own life. We all have times when things are not great, not even good. The not even good, best describes the last few months. I have really struggled since October, but no matter what I stick to my routine and recite the affirmations that hold so much meaning for me. That is what it is, my routine and my affirmations. The touch stones of every day life that mean I am alive. I have to admit that routine and those affirmations have been what has kept me from really getting lost. I only slightly lost my way for a time. I am tired of even that now, slightly losing my way. It is time to follow my own advice and stick to the path, even if it seems all up hill and a hard climb all the time.

I could blame my bipolar or a couple of situations that came up or people for what caused this slide, but that is not the truth. It was my mind and my perspective on those situations and people that did me in. I lost the proper perspective on life that I worked so hard to gain. I forgot, and had to remind myself, that perspective is everything.  I forgot to be grateful for the half full glass of water and that I can do nothing about the half empty part, unless I get up and walk to the sink to add more water. That was my biggest error I did not get up and do anything unless I had to. I forgot that joy is found in doing, just because. Joy is found in accomplishment no matter what my mind is saying. I can tell my mind to shut up or push past those negative thoughts. A few years ago I learned I could do that. I forgot I have to keep practicing this skill to get really good at it.

Effort is required in life. I know that intellectually, but I have to move that knowledge to my soul and own it, to make it my life practice.

We are meant to live in freedom, in peace, in joy and in love, even with bipolar. It is only our attitudes, thoughts and perspectives that stand in the way of this new and exciting way of life. This last few months that has shown me this.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle 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 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.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

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. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

 

What Bipolar Mixed Moods Really Feel Like

 

Internal Reflection

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Bipolar disorder is a mental illness. So it stands to reason that our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things. Battling bipolar is a totally internal battle, we may be triggered by external things but it is what we do internally before we respond to that trigger that makes the situation a great one or disaster.  Do you know that there is a choice in that statement? There actually is, we can choose to, or not to, do something internally before we respond to that external thing that is triggering us. In the English language we also have two different words we can use depending on whether we do something internally or we do not. If we do something internally, it is called responding. If we do nothing internally, it is called reacting. I always reacted and it never got me anywhere.

What I found really interesting is that in learning to respond the trigger diminished. What I mean by that is; when I go internal to find an appropriate response, the trigger, no matter what it is, disappears while I look inside myself for the response. It is physically impossible to look two places at once. When I focus on the internal, the external disappears. That was a novel discovery for me and turned out to be the key to really managing my bipolar disorder.

By concentrating on my internal communication, before it became external, I learned I could find myself. Through this I learned that I could hear what my body was telling me. It turns out my body is my early warning system. If something is affecting me, my body is the first to react. Stress causes my digestive tract to revolt. Worry increased my blood pressure. In learning to listen to my body I can head off negative influences in the early stages.

By looking internally, I found my mind mostly lied to me and it was my job to root out those lies and replace them with truths.

Our illness causes us to look externally for both cause and cure. Yet internal reflection makes us realize that beyond our medication which created the stability to look inside ourselves, our causes and cures are strictly internal.

Please remember our battle 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 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.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

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. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

http://hubpages.com/education/How-to-Discover-Your-Best-Possible-Self

 

 

My Life’s Mission Part 2

 

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The second part of my life’s mission is to help and encourage others to understand that mental wellness is really a possibility in their lives. I can only do this through sharing my experience and what I have learned, and lived, in regards to this illness.  I am a BP sufferer writing and talking about my experiences. We share an illness that has one quality that makes Bi-Polar stand out from all other illnesses – “Bi-Polar is as individual as the people that suffer from it.”

This individuality makes Bi-Polar a difficult illness to diagnosis, treat and manage. I said difficult, I did not say impossible. Every success story of someone who has learned to live with, and successfully manage their Bi-Polar, including my own, contains these words, “Learning to manage Bi-Polar is really hard work, but it is worth it.”  What is learning to manage your Bi-Polar worth? It is absolutely “Priceless”, to quote MasterCard. Learning to manage this illness on a day to day basis through any storm life can throw at us is the greatest gift you can give yourself.  I want to encourage you that mental wellness is a real possibility for each of us.  From the success stories of many others, including my own, learning to manage this illness leads to a personal sense of accomplishment that is indescribable.

Once we have a proper diagnosis, by this I mean that we have a certificate we can hang on the wall that tells us we have an illness that is not going to go away.  Not some made up thing that you cannot back up. I never even thought it was possible, or that anyone would want, to make up a Bi-Polar diagnosis but in my conversations with therapists and counselors, I was told that there are many who “think” they are BP sufferers. A proper diagnosis is essential to getting proper help.

Personally, in 2011, I hung my diagnosis on the wall so that I could see it and come to accept that I had this illness and it was not going away. Today, I have accepted that Bi-Polar haunts my life at all times and always will. Why I did I do this? I was tired of being able to lie to myself that I was all right and then have my world fall apart in short order. I needed to convince myself that I would never be alright unless I worked at it constantly. I recommend any practice that keeps your diagnosis prominently before you to allow you to come to the place of admittance and acceptance that you have this illness and it is not going away. If your diagnosis is kept secret in your doctor’s office and you do not have that regular reminder, your mind can down play and out right deny the severity of the situation. This is not something you want to keep secret from yourself and in the beginning a few close people; it is the explanation for why you were not handling life! And you can actually do something about it. The fact that we have a proper diagnosis means we have something that can give us hope! Hope that maybe, just maybe, we can be all right.

The next step, after our diagnosis, is to learn to manage our illness. The first critical step in that management process is to find the proper medication that will stabilize our minds.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  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.

365daysofbipolar is one year old

 

 

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On February 20th it has been one year, 365 days, since I started this blog. It is my fervent prayer that I have encouraged someone with my writings thus far and hope to encourage many more in the future.  2015 was a growth year in knowledge, both technical and spiritual. I want thank all those that have followed me and encouraged me this past year.

Rather than talking about a topic on Bi-Polar today I want to talk about my plans for 365daysofbipolar and the site name 365daysofbipolar.com.  Recently someone asked me where the name 365daysofbipolar came from.  Actually they said. “Where did the idea for the name 365daysofbipolar came from, it seems silly?”  A year and bit ago I started a project to write a daily meditation book for Bi-Polar sufferers (it takes a long time to write a book) and I came up with 365daysofbipolar as the tittle. From that point I started to use 365daysofbipolar as a brand name in my crusade to encourage other BP sufferer’s on to the path of mental wellness through experience, strength and hope.

365daysofbipolar.com, the blog, has been joined by 365daysofbiplar@gmail.com to enable better communication. I plan to make this site better and more interactive as my technical skill increases and my BP resources grow.  I am hoping the book of meditations entitled 365daysofbipolar will be published this fall. I have also had some people express interest in my doing a YouTube channel after my short foray into alternative radio.  I am looking in to this and if this becomes a reality, the 365daysofbipolar YouTube channel will be launched as well. I will post more announcements on these projects on Facebook.

One of the greatest challenges of this last year has been finding my voice and putting forth my authentic self. To be true to myself I want to state clearly what I believe:

I believe that, as Dr. Dwayne Dyer says, “We are spirits having a human experience.”

“Bi-Polar is a rupture of communication between the human spirit and the human mind.  Medication stabilizes our mind allowing us to heal that rupture and strengthen our spirit to be mentally well.”

In 2016 and onward there will be a lot of information on how to heal and strengthen the spirit presented. The main focus 365daysofbipolar will always remain to encourage others on to, and continue on, the path of mental wellness.

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

About The Year Ahead

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This blog is called 365 days of bipolar for a reason, the reason is quite simple. To remind me (the writer) and you (the reader) that our illness takes no holidays. BP is with us every day of this upcoming year and we must learn to be vigilant against it every day.

When we first seek help we come as victims of our illness. If we were not victims of our illness there would be no reason to seek help.  There are many that still do not see themselves as victims of this illness. They just act like victims of everyone and everything, except this illness.  As we build our support team and come to know others with our illness, we see that there are those that are victors over BP. People who live their lives in a way that seems almost normal, yet they admit that they have that dreaded illness called BP. Those who are victors over BP are the ones we are drawn to emulate but, and it is a big “but”, we have no idea how in the beginning. This just gives us some hope that victory may be possible. That spark of hope is all we need to start.

Before we can be anything but a victim of this illness we need to stabilize on proper medication. The second thing is we need to build a support team. Both of these things do not come about over night. For me, it took over a year to find meds that worked and as long to find the right group of people, both professional and non professional to build my team. It takes some less time, and others more, but they kept working on this until they found what they needed.

To go from victim to victor, we need to start working on ourselves at the same time we start working on finding our proper meds and our team. The fact that we have no idea how to do this is of no consequence, we need to start. I did no say there would be no consequences from working on finding our proper medications, support group and stopping to try and fix the world and concentrate on fixing ourselves. There are serious consequences. Your life will change, you will be ejected from where you are comfortable in your beliefs and attitudes on a regular basis. You will be challenged to see yourself as you are right this minute and then shown what you can become if you work for it. All the time knowing that your Bi-Polar will never take a holiday.

All we have is 366 days in 2016 (it’s a leap year), in which we can learn to be victors over Bi-Polar or remain victims. We will have ups and downs; the aim is to have more good days than bad in 2016.

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

Finding inspiration to continue the fight

 

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Sometimes we need to find inspiration to continue our fight to overcome this illness that plagues us even on a good day. When I need to be inspired that this fight against BP is worth continuing I have taken to watching Stephen Fry’s wonderful documentary on BP, which can be found on YouTube.

What I find in that documentary is hope. Hope that although I am unique in my BP, I am not alone. That, as Tony Robins says, “Success leaves clues.” I can follow those clues to mental wellness. First I have to find some who have been successful at living with and overcoming their BP.

For the last year and a bit I have had an external force doing its best to derail me. Some external issue that I have no control over that is result of an act of neglect in a previous life. This has created an internal battle and as the battle ebbs and flows so do my moods. For most of the past year I have felt like a rock skimming across a lake knowing that once the momentum wains I will sink to the bottom of the abyss. So far I have kept up some forward momentum and to that end I even posted Victor Klam’s quote on my wall. “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.

I haven’t quite fallen on my face this time but I have come close, I need to keep my head up my eyes forward and my feet moving. I suggest you do the same.

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

BP and Grief

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Have you grieved your losses or are you in perpetual mourning. Grief, bereavement of a loss, is normal. No matter if that loss is a loved one (spouse, significant other, parent, sibling, grandparent), a job, a boss, material possessions, a pet, aspects of our lives due to this illness, abuse, trauma. No matter the loss we need to recognize it and we need to grieve that loss or losses.

There are two things that BP affects in regards to grief, firstly this illness hides or twists the things that we need to grieve, like the aspects of our lives we have lost due to this illness along with some abuse and trauma.  We need to grieve the loss of jobs, friends, relationships, even our ability to think, remember and focus. Secondly at severe loss, the loss of loved one, pet or career, BP sufferers are more likely to fall into abnormal grief than most others. Our illness causes us to revisit, or even live directly in, the past. Normal grief is a process of reconciling ourselves to the loss we have suffered. Abnormal grief according to the DSM 5, “Lasts 6 months or longer, the person must yearn the loss on a daily basis or to a disabling degree. At least five of the following symptoms must be present; Emotional confusion about ones role in life, Difficulty accepting the loss, Avoidance of anything to do with the loss. Inability to trust others since the loss, Bitterness or anger related to the loss – Bitterness and anger are part of the grieving process, however that bitterness and anger is meant to pass, Difficulty moving on with life, Numbness since the loss, Feeling that life is meaningless now, Feeling stunned or dazed at the loss, this is also a normal grief symptom but if that feeling lasts longer than a few months it is abnormal.

I suffered from abnormal grief for over 25 years and coupled with my BP it destroyed me and my life. The trigger for change was the death of my 22 year old cat, it proved to be one loss too many. I sought help with a qualified grief counselor. It took six months to get in to see Randy and in the first appointment I laid our my losses, 1984 my grandmother, 1985 my fist wife (the only two people I felt I could ever talk to) numerous jobs, more than one house, my relationship with my daughters due to my bad choices, my acreage, my second wife through separation and divorce, my pets. All of which haunted my mind, most daily, the rest regularly enough to make me unable to function.
It took two years of almost weekly sessions and a lot of work on my part to grieve these losses in a healthy way and put them in their proper place, them in the past and me in the present. During those two years a number of losses were found that also needed grieving, these are the losses that my BP brain told me were of no importance or had twisted into complete fabrications that had nothing to do with reality. They turned out to be very important and I ignored acknowledging and grieving them at my peril. Today I am living in the present not in the past and I am no longer haunted by the what if’s and whys, the blame and shame, of the losses that I have suffered. I acknowledge that they happened but I no longer live there.

Look for your losses that keep you in the past and learn to grieve them, in this area we usually need help so talk to your therapist and if necessary find a specialized grief counselor.

As griever you are not broken and do not need to be fixed. You need to learn that grieving is not a natural state of living. Yes, loss happens and we need to grieve, but the real process is recovering from the loss through grieving and then living again that is the real journey. The same with having BP, it is not having BP that is the journey it is learning to overcome the BP, to stay and live, in the light on the other side that is the journey. It is the staying in the light of the present that proves hard. I urge you to find and live in the light of now and reality. BP and your losses keep you in the dark, the darkness of the past.

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

 

 

 

 

Finding yourself in all the noise

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What do you really want? Do you want what makes someone else happy with you? That is, nine times out of ten, not what we really want. We buy into so much garbage that the first question gets buried by the second especially in our illness.  We are taught so early in life that to like ourselves is just plain wrong.  This is what so called “normal” people experience. Our illness pounces on this idea of self-love is wrong and takes it to the level of pure self-loathing and encourages self-harm. Until all we feel is pain.
Eckhart Tolle calls this “the pain body.” I call this “my personal hell on earth.” Having lived in this hell and having found a way out, I never want to go back.
You can find many explanations as to why this may be so, but for me not liking myself and taking all my beliefs from external sources was the cause of all this pain.
The Christian writer, Oswald Chambers wrote, “We are not born with character or with habits both these things need to be developed.”
If my Character and my habits do not align with my true nature can there be anything but pain?  Not likely.
The fact is there is no one to ask but ourselves what that true nature may be. This also is a great stumbling block. We are so used to being told all the answers are external that when we come to understand the real answer is within ourselves we have trouble believing it. Even if we do believe it we have no training in how to go about finding the answer.

Finding your true nature, your essential being, is different than finding a purpose, or goals, or anything else. It is digging and finding the bedrock of your being and exposing that to the world. It is not your personality, personalities can change. It is the spirit that came with you when you entered this body and this life. To find this requires diligence and a lot of trial and error. However this is the bedrock on which true Character and good habits can be developed.

Mental wellness, of which I speak a lot, is our requirement to start this process of finding our true nature. Our illness buries our essential being deep within us and fights us every time we get close to discovering our true selves. A true deceiver, our illness hides the truth and lies to us every chance it gets. But there is only one place to find your true self and that is within you and you are the only one who can.

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