Tag Archives: bipolar support

The Importance OF A Wellness Plan

 

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“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.” Jesus of Nazareth.

For me these two quotes have everything to do with a wellness plan. The steady progression towards the ideal of mental wellness, through self-knowledge.

A wellness plan is simply a written plan that charts our actions (what to do) to remain on the path to mental wellness. When we are confronted with situations that we know will set off our illness our plan gives us a written plan of action. It is important to note here that the plan contains the things we know will set us back. This means a wellness plan is ever evolving as we learn more and more about ourselves and what triggers our bipolar disorder. Our goal is mental wellness and our wellness plan is our road map to keep us out the ditch and progressing towards that worthy ideal. In order to this we need to know ourselves and our reactions to things incredibly well.

I lived in the poverty of BP I and I was that poverty that bipolar disorder creates. With my first taste of stability I vowed I never wanted to go back there, but was constantly drawn back by my triggers and my thinking.  This is when I was introduced to a wellness plan, a plan that was created by, and for, me to help attain my most sought after goal, “Mental Wellness.”

We can read lists of what triggers a bipolar sufferer on the internet and in books, but what triggers us, individually, may not even be on those lists. This list of triggers does not include the specific instructions on how to handle those triggers. There are triggers that we should avoid all together. Yet there are many things that trigger us, we have to do because they are part of life, such as going on a vacation.

Vacations, for me are not the relaxing fun filled times that people imagine. Being a home body at heart, traveling causes stress (trigger 1). I can not sleep in another bed; thus insomnia occurs (trigger 2). I can not handle large crowds or packed parking lots (trigger 3). If flying is part of the vacation, you can forget that, flying causes a psychotic break. (trigger 4).

In that short description there are four triggers listed, only trigger four (flying) has to be avoided out right, there is no dealing with that one. Trigger one, the stress is from going to unknown places.  Once I learned that was the real trigger, fear of the unknown. I make each place that we vacation as known to me as possible before we go. I watch videos, get brochures and spent time on Google Earth. The stress is mostly eliminated and I can really enjoy myself in the familiarity of things I have seen in other forms, but not in real life.

Trigger two, insomnia. There are medications for that and I make sure I have them with me. In two weeks of vacationing last summer I slept every night and enjoyed each day.

Trigger three, crowds and parking. If I tell you my cure for removing the stress of finding parking in busy tourist parking areas, you will laugh. I pray for parking and every time there is a parking spot just sitting there waiting for me. As for the crowds, we go just before, or after, peak season. There are still lots of people, but you can find breathing room.

All these things are written in my wellness plan so that I can review them when the subject of a vacation comes up. There is less chance of not having the tools and medications on hand if you have a written plan. The key to a good wellness plan is self-knowledge, and a never wavering ideal of mental wellness.

I have included what I consider one of the best blogs on wellness plans in my blog of the week section.

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:

Bipolar Wellness Plan

 

Bipolar As Our Primary Problem

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No matter what people try to tell you, bipolar is your primary problem or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. That is what this weeks blog is about, that bipolar is our primary problem and mental wellness is our primary goal. If we keep those simple facts in front of us it seems to lessen our struggles.

Bipolar Is Our Primary Problem.

Our Goal is Mental Wellness.

When we let secondary issues become the primary problem and deflect us into thinking our primary goal is to fix that secondary issue is when our lives fall off the rails. Once we are on the road to recovery this line of thinking derails us faster than anything. To believe that my alcoholism, or my codependent tendencies, or my sick need for every one to like me, were the things that destroyed my life is pure fantasy.  My primary, and life destroying issue, was my bipolar disorder, everything else was secondary. It was only when I make these and other issues the primary issue and take my eyes off my primary goal that I have a greater chance of relapse or setting off my triggers. Conversely, it is only by total focus on my goal of mental wellness and managing my primary problem, bipolar, that I am able to maintain my recovery and mental wellness.

This problem of primary mental health issue and secondary addictions has been well studied in the past twenty years with several models being put forward. A lot of these studies can be found online by doing a google search for: “primary mental health issue and secondary addictions,” if you wish to read them.

The concurring theme of this research is that the treatment of the mental health issue and the treatment of the addictions and other secondary issues is usually separate. You are treated here for your mental health issue and treated there for your addiction and other secondary issues.  While the medical community struggles with this issue and how to deal with it. I want to tell those that read this blog, it doesn’t matter if, and how and where you are seeking help, you are ultimately responsible for your own mental health. It would be nice to go to one place and get the answers for out issues but the world is not set up that way, yet.

It is up to all of us, individually, to make our own wellness plan and carry out that plan. It up to us all, individually, to put all the tools we are shown in our own individual tool box. It us also our personal responsibility to build our own tool box. Lose the idea that someone else is going to do this for you.

That is why It should not matter if you receive the answer for this issue here and the answer for that issue over there. It is our personal responsibility to put it all together in one place. That place is inside ourselves so we can practice those things we learned to make them our life habits.

Bipolar disorder is our primary problem and mental wellness is our primary goal, but we have picked up these secondary addictions and other issues. These secondary addictions and other issues are mostly in response to our running away from our primary problem when we did not know how to deal with the pain our bipolar was causing in our lives. I am not saying we do not have to learn to deal with these secondary addictions and other issues. What I am saying is that we cannot get distracted into thinking that these secondary addictions and other issues are our primary focus. They are not and never will be. If I only worked on dealing with my alcoholism and neglected to deal with my bipolar, I would not be able to maintain any form of mental wellness. This would increase my chances of relapsing by a huge margin.

The wording concurring addictions and mental health disorders is creeping into this discussion which I fear will muddy the waters even more. We must always keep our primary issue of bipolar foremost in our minds and all other addictions and issues secondary. These secondary addictions and other issues are for the most part a result of our bipolar disorder, not the cause of it. Therefore, they are secondary addictions and issues at best and definitely not concurrent.

As with any thing I can only relay my own experience on any issue and my experience has been that following a model that bipolar is my primary problem and all other addictions and issues are secondary I am able to keep focusing on my goal of mental wellness and making mental wellness manifest in my life.

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. www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom. 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:

Self Help Videos

 

 

Self-Love and Our Bipolar Mind

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Its not that nobody ever told me it was OK to love myself, it was my bipolar mind never allowed that thought to penetrate to the point that this was an option. My bipolar mind actually convinced me to hate myself and everything about me. My bipolar mind made me deface everything about me and make me want to be anything but me. What made me think of this as a blog topic is the media hype going on about “Fake News.” You want to know the fakest news, the lies we allow our bipolar minds to tell ourselves. Things like, “self-love is selfish”. Narcissism is selfish, it is only through knowing and loving ourselves can we be truly selfless. It is hard to have compassion or empathy for others if we have never practiced these virtues on ourselves. We cannot know the correct inner feeling to express if we have not tried these feelings out on ourselves first. If we have never had compassion or empathy for ourselves we are just guessing about those feelings. In my experience, I mostly guessed wrong and hurt more people than I ever helped.

Learning self-love was a progression for me. I started with self-acceptance. Learning to accept myself, both good and bad. No longer lying to myself and exaggerating either the good or the bad. Accepting only that I am me, the only me I can be and believing I can always be better than I am today was the first step in the journey to loving myself. Accepting that I will always make errors caused my errors to lessen as I became less concerned about it. Accepting that I have BP 1 and that my illness will always try to lie to me, caused my BP to lose its control oover me. Oh sure BP still tries to take control but I can fight that today and mostly win as long as I do what I am supposed to do.

The next step on the ladder of learning self-love was to learn self-compassion. Bipolar makes us self-critical to the highest degree. We invent more ways to beat ourselves up or put ourselves down than most people can even imagine. It is just a fact that our illness makes us think very little of ourselves and shreds our self esteem. In this area of self-esteem, I agree with Dr. Kristen Neff, the Author of “Self-Compassion”, trying to repair our self esteem in today’s competitive culture, where the meaning of self-esteem has become “to feel special or above average” is not going to work. Dr. Neff’s comment, “we cannot all feel special or above average at the same time” made me smile and nod my head in agreement.  Since I already had enough false beliefs about myself it was not hard to see that I had to take a different approach to building self-worth. What worked for me was learning and practicing self-compassion.  What is compassion? Compassion is showing kindness, tenderness, mercy and leniency towards someone. Can that someone not be yourself? Of course it can. As I said earlier how are we to know those inner feelings if we have never practiced this on ourselves. How do we know if we are treating others tenderly if we always kick ourselves when we are down? How can we show others mercy when we judge ourselves to the gallows every time? In reality we can’t and we don’t, but we may think we do. I practiced showing myself tenderness when I failed, mercy when I committed sins, being kind to myself when I needed a hand up. I practiced and practiced these feelings on myself until they became the regular responses to my failings. As with self-acceptance, I learned through practicing self-compassion that I was lovable and in time I came to love myself.  I can look at the eyes looking back in the mirror and say, “I love you” and mean it. This ability I wish for all the world not just those of us with bipolar. Today I can look in the eyes of the man in mirror and know the I no longer cheat the man looking back, he is my friend.

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:

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://mindfullybipolar.blogspot.ca/2016_10_01_archive.html

 

Examining The Wonky Ideas We develop About Our Basic Needs

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This week I want to start a thread examining the wonky ideas we develop about our basic needs for acceptance, romance and security as manifested in our bipolar disorder. Wonky is a word that encapsulates the meaning I am trying to convey. Wonky means that our ideas about acceptance, romance and security are crooked; off-centre; askew, not functioning correctly; or faulty according to two online dictionaries. That pretty much defines how the instinctive desires of acceptance, romance and security played out in my bipolar life. It was all or nothing, a sick need for total acceptance, a perfect romance and utter security. Through my bipolar disorder, I had developed an overpowering need for total acceptance, a crippling need to be loved, plus unrealistic expectations of financial and emotional security without any personal effort.

According to Dr. Steven Reis in his work “Who Am I” there are sixteen basic human needs that motivate us. If these sixteen needs motivate us and we have wonky ideas about these needs as manifested by our bipolar disorder, we are in trouble. In my personal journey I was in serious trouble because of this. With stability I was able to define the basic needs that most motivated me and with a lot of help, be able to rein these overpowering needs in, to align them with reality most of the time. Then to readjust those needs into a proper order of priority, based on who I really am and what I really value.  The value exercise I spoke of in an earlier blog. To find our values and examine our beliefs against the light of reality, I feel, is one of the necessary exercises towards mental wellness.

I am only speaking of three of the basic human needs that motivate us, acceptance, romance and security, as I can only speak of my experience. My wonky ideas on those three basic needs caused much damage in my life. The overpowering need for total acceptance and that crippling need to be loved caused me to be chameleon, changing to fit every situation, rather than being a person of character. I wanted so much to be accepted and loved that I gave away my values, betrayed my principals, took down my boundaries and generally made a fool of myself over and over to the point that I was just a shadow. Almost not existing at all in the realm of reality. I lived in a fantasy world where my wonky beliefs and my illness ran my life, believing people, places, things and situations all conspired against me. In the area of security, both financial and emotional, I threw them out with the water that I used to bath my overpowering need for total acceptance and crippling need to be loved in.

With stability and lots of help from both professionals and non-professionals I was able to examine who I had become, why I was that way and more importantly what I could become if I stayed on the path of mental wellness. That is the hope offered all of us who are willing to battle this illness within us, believing in the idea of who we can become. We do not know who we can become and no one can tell us, either. but it is sure a lot of fun finding out.

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:

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. http://blogs.psychcentral.com/coping-depression/2016/11/supplements-for-bipolar-disorder/

 

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.

Bipolar Burble Blog

 

 

How I Use the Quotes of Others

 

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What do you use to build direction and focus in your life?  In general, it is difficult to have meaning and direction in a bipolar life. We are like race cars most the time, we may not always crash but we are usually on the edge and it is not us driving, our illness is driving our lives. Having lived for too many years as a rudderless ship and always winding up on the rocks, I made the decision to find a better way. Since I can only share my way, I would like to hear the way others have found to give direction and focus in their lives.

My way of keeping focus and direction in my life is to use quotes of others as my touchstones and directional beacons. It is also why I diligently search out and include some relatable quote each week with my blog.

I find words and their meaning very important to my mental wellness. When someone early on in my recovery suggested that meditation could help focus my mind, I looked at the word and went in search of what the word meditation means.  Most people are told something and do it, I want to know what I have been asked to do means before I embark on the doing. In my search for the meaning of meditation that worked for me I came across James Allen and his definition of Meditation:

“Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought, upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon you will not only come to understand, but will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self. If, therefore, you constantly dwell upon that which is selfish and debasing, you will ultimately become selfish and debased; if you ceaselessly think upon that which is pure and unselfish you will surely become pure and unselfish.”

In meditating on the idea of mental wellness through affirmations, directing my thoughts strictly on those lines I began to become mentally well.

In the ending of every one of my post I insert Jim Rohn’s quote, “work harder on yourself than anything else.”

What does it mean to “work harder on yourself?” To me it means to make yourself a better person than you are right now and have been in the past. There is another quote from a great teacher that I put alongside the work harder on yourself idea that gives some guidance as to what we should be working on. “Know yourself and you will be known. Do not know yourself and you will live in poverty. In fact, you are the poverty”

I lived the poverty that bipolar brought into my life and as James Allen and the above quote suggested I became that poverty for a long time. That is how I know these statements are true. So is the fact that the more I know myself and how my bipolar affects me the easier it is to be known as a person who is constantly managing my bipolar and I no longer live in that poverty or am I impoverished.

To put myself into the driver’s seat and take control of my life I had to do as Mohamed Ali suggested, meditate over and over on those meaningful quotes, using them as affirmations. When those affirmations became beliefs and then became deep convictions things began to happen in my life.

What are you doing to make wonderful things happen in your life?

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.

 

Two Steps Forward and One Back, Part 2

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In last weeks post I started a thread on triggers and learning personal crisis management. When we seek help we are in crisis. If we weren’t facing some form of crisis we would have never sought help in the first place. Some of us had help forced on us by our behavior, but even then, if we can grasp the truth that we have an illness we can take the help offered. To put us into crisis there has to be a cause. Since everything today has to have a technical title these causes have been renamed triggers.

What are triggers? Triggers are the external issues that cause failure in any management system. If we try to manage anything, people or things, there will be issues that come up that cause the management system to fail. That is just a fact.

To land us in crisis, the way we were managing our lives has to have failed. The real truth is our illness precludes us from learning to manage our lives. Most of us were always envious of those that leaned to manage themselves, their emotions and their lives. While we always seemed to make a mess of things. That is not our fault, we now know we were ill and you just can’t blame a sick person for how things turned out. I do not consider drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs, or not taking our prescribed drugs as prescribed, or not taking them at all, as triggers. They are just a continuation of our same sick behavior. We have to stop the sick behaviors and learn totally new behaviors.

To deal with our bipolar we need learn what triggers us. We can only learn this by keeping records, such as journaling and mood charting. We also need to build a way to communicate our issues so that others can help up learn new strategies. We need to build that helpful, non-judgmental support into our lives.

It is by learning crisis management that we learn what our individual routine management needs to be. This is a point that is never stressed enough. We come seeking help in crisis and therefore it is crisis management we need to learn. We need to learn what triggers us and how to either meet those triggers head on or avoid those triggers entirely and which is which. This becomes the basis for our routine management system, what I call dancing with our illness.

What triggers us individually you have to find out for yourself but some common triggers that cause a relapse of symptoms for many are:

  • Poor sleeping patterns – this is the largest cause of relapse for bipolar sufferers.
  • External stimulation – crowds, loud music, noises, traffic.
  • Stress of any kind
  • Arguments and conflicts
  • New Children
  • Loss of relationships, jobs, material things, our identity.
  • Death of any kind, people, either close or distant, or animals, pets or wild.
  • The change of seasons
  • Poor eating habits

There many more triggers, too many to list. I often think of the Tony Arata song, “The Dance”, that Garth Brooks made famous. The chorus always makes me think of how I learned to dance to with my illness, by learning to avoid this trigger or learning to overcome that trigger. Mostly learning how to dance with all my triggers. I have learned that: “It’s my life, it’s better left to chance, I could have missed the pain. But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

Today, I am glad I did not miss the chance to learn how to dance with my illness. Yes, there has been pain, I won’t deny that. But I am eternally grateful for the skills I have learned that allow me to deal with my triggers and stop my bipolar from taking over the lead in my life.

That is what we all have to learn how to do. Learn to work through the pain and dance with our bipolar.

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.

Two Steps Forward and One Back

 

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Sometimes it feels like we take two steps forward and then one back when it comes to managing our illness. We seem to make progress towards living in the fifth truth of being useful and productive members of society and then our illness steps in and we either take off into mania or fall into depression, rapid cycle or become emotional wrecks causing anything from big ripples to a tidal wave to wash over our lives.

Our bipolar is not going to go away and every now and then it will step up to try and take over our lives again. BP is like our shadow it is always there it just depends on where we stand if our shadow is non-existent or larger than life. The same with our illness, it depends on where we stand mentally and the state of the knowledge we have of ourselves, this determines if our illness will take over our lives or if we can push it back to remain only a non existent shadow that dogs us.

When we have that proper diagnosis and the proper meds that gives us that stable mental platform from which we can start to rebuild our lives as useful and productive people we soon realize we have a lot to learn. The first thing we have to learn is what sets us off, our triggers. This knowledge only comes from experience. Here is where the first truth, the individuality of bipolar comes in. What triggers me may not trigger you and what triggers you may have no effect on me. Lots of things can trigger us and to write a compressive list would look like a multi volume encyclopedia. My experience has been that any external action or event can have triggering effect on anyone. I have a friend who cannot attend concerts because attending a concert sends her into mania, even symphony concerts. Another cannot watch Romance Movies because they cause an instant and deep depression.

As with the criteria that allows diagnosis of our illness, there are some triggers that stand out and we should be aware of:

There are two things that set us up to fail no matter what, I do not consider these triggers and later I explain why:

Alcohol and street drugs are to be avoided at all times. Drinking alcohol or using street drugs is just a sign of selfishness and not wanting to get better. Marijuana is a different story, for some it is a prescribed drug, for others, like myself, it is a deadly poison. Here is the individuality of BP rearing its ugly head again. What may help some may be deadly for others. In my case using weed caused a lot of problems so I do not touch it

Not taking our prescribed medications at all or not taking them as prescribed will guarantee our failure to learn to manage our BP.  That is all I need to say on this subject, if you want that stable platform to build on, take your medications and take them as prescribed. Also build that rapport with your PDoc where you can tell them if a med is not doing for you what the PDoc thought it should. Antidepressants can cause the exact opposite effect and send you into mania. I have experienced that result of antidepressants and spoke of it in an earlier blog.

I have had to learn to dance with my illness. I need to know when my illness was being a bad dance partner and trying to take over the lead. To understand this I have had to study myself and my reactions to people, places, things and situations. In this way I can learn how to respond differently to my triggers.

What are triggers? Triggers are the external issues that cause failure in any management system. If we try to manage anything, people or things, there will be issues that come up that cause the management system to fail. That is just a fact. Having managed companies and not for profits, I know from experience you need two types of management systems, a regular management routine and a crisis management system that can deal with the crisis’ that come up. In the next few posts I will talk about learning personal crisis management. Although I had experience in crisis management on external things, I was surprised how hard is was to practice on my self.

Before I go any further I am going to reiterate that our triggers are our triggers and it requires a lot of personal study to find out what those are. There are some triggers that are pretty much universal and those I will cover here, but we must study ourselves in even greater depth than a scientist studies a lab rat to find what really triggers us.

So tune in next week as we continue this discussion. To be continued……..

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.

 

 

Blending Truths and Absolutes 2

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In becoming aware that I was creating the problems in my life and being put into a situation where I needed to seek help I started the process to get in to see a psychiatrist.  This led to start of that collision between my first absolute and my first truth.  All collisions have a starting point. Car A failed to stop for the stop sign. That is why the two cars collided. My seeking help from a psychiatrist was the start of this collision between my absolutes and my truths. These are the lessons that experience taught me.

We go into things with preconceived notions in our world today, especially medical things. We expect that an instant cure will be forthcoming shortly after we sit down across from the doctor. We also expect not to have to do a lot of work ourselves beyond maybe taking a few pills when we are diagnosed.

My second absolute, “that medications and a good medical and non medical support team can only help to a point. Achieving mental wellness is mostly up to me.” And my first truth, “bipolar as an illness is as individual as the people who suffer from it,” collided almost immediately

Although it only took three visits for my PDoc to figure out that I had bipolar 1, finding medications that worked for me proved very difficult. I have a great PDoc, but that first truth on the individuality of this illness makes treating bipolar very difficult in a lot of cases. It definitely did in my case. The details of this adventure encompass about 18 months and filled three of those dollar store notebooks of medications tried and their effects on me, none of which were good. The average on each medication or combination of medications was a two-week trial. Now good, or not good, is an objective personal opinion. For most of the medications my PDoc and I both agreed that the effects were not good. Effects like made me a zombie, made me physically ill and so on. But there was one combination of medications we tried that I thought was great and my PDoc did not.  This combinations of medications put me in a state of almost instant mania. I slept only six hours in the whole two-week trial and got lots done.  It was even difficult for me to keep that next PDoc appointment because I felt so good. As I stated earlier, BP sufferers find it difficult to seek help when they are manic.  I had made a commitment to see this through so I showed up. Because, and maybe thankfully, my PDoc controlled the prescription pad those meds were changed immediately. Along with that I saw my PDoc daily until the mania subsided. Which only took a few days. Finally, a medication was found that seemed to work for me and because of that 18-month experience I can say there is way to tell if your medication is working for you. You feel like you, not up, not down, not different, just you. Or as one person said to me, “How do you know you are on the right meds and they are working? You can’t tell they are.” Once I had taken my proper medications for a few weeks one word entered into my life that I had never experienced before, stability. Real mental stability.

There were other things going on during that 18-month period simultaneous to my search for medications that worked for me. Things that I recommend everyone who suffers from this illness do right after they get their diagnosis and fill their first prescription. The first thing I recommend is buy a note book and a pen when you pay for your prescription and write down how those medications make you feel after you take them.

To be continued………………

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.

 

 

Blending Truths and Absolutes

 

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What are our tactics for dealing with bipolar? Herman Gorter’s quote says that our tactics must be based on absolute truths or they would lead to defeat. That is why I shared my three absolutes and my five truths, my tactics for dealing with my bipolar are based on those things and they are absolutely true for me. Thus my tactics seldom fail and even when they do, I automatically reach out to someone to help me find a new tactic to add to my arsenal of tools and tactics that work for me. Failure then, is not really failure at all, it is just a learning experience.

The Five Truths have proven true for myself and many others, but they are usually too general to be absolute truths for everyone. It is only by finding what is absolutely true for ourselves, individually, can we find the tactics to manage our individual bipolar.

I find I can only explain this by telling my story as it relates to  those absolute truths on which to base those tactics, as they are my truths. But i hope to be a guide to help you find your own absolute truths to base your tactics on.

When I began my journey towards mental wellness, I had no tools and no tactics. I had only my illness. What was different? I had made a decision to change because I no longer liked living in this illness. My decision to change was the start of my first absolute, “I have BP 1 and left unchecked my life is a disaster.”  I needed to learn the things that would check my bipolar

Awareness, real awareness, is the beginning of all change. I had been aware that there may be something different about me, even wrong with me, since I was about 8 years old. That, maybe there is something but you can’t quite capture it, feeling.  That does not constitute real awareness. Real awareness is when the problem comes and slaps you upside the head. It is at that point real awareness kicks in. For some of us it took a lot for that to happen. The reason is we have to run out of other people, places, things and situations to blame and be faced with the stark fact we are responsible for what is going on.

It’s like the term, “situational depression.” Meaning if you weren’t in that situation you wouldn’t be depressed. I spent a lifetime being situationally depressed, because I was always putting myself in situations I was uncomfortable in and couldn’t deal with. I never learned to ask myself or anyone else, “what situation am I supposed to be in?” Or more importantly, “how do I stop getting into these situations?” One day there was just too much situation and too much depression, I needed to reach out for help.

One of the sad facts of bipolar is that few people ever seek help when they are manic.

There was nothing I could blame this time; I had done it. I had gotten myself in this predicament and now I needed to find someone to help me get out of this situation. This led me to the collision of my second absolute and my first truth.

To be continued…………………

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.