“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.
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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. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog: