Tag Archives: emotional wellness

Struggling? Make Your Struggles Worthwhile.

 

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. Which means that there is no one pill fix. Even suggesting ways of managing bipolar and the tools to use for bipolar management is not going to work for everyone. At best they can only be a starting point for some people.

Everything we do to deal with our individual bipolar disorder seems to be through experimentation, trial and error.

In my case, it was the 40-year struggle for a proper diagnosis. Then a two-year struggle to find meds that worked. The only area I didn’t struggle was in finding the therapist that could help me. That only required an 8-month wait and the luck of the draw. The therapist who happened to be up on the rotation when my wait ended was a person with whom I instantly connected. Otherwise, that may have been a struggle as well. Then it was and continues to be, a struggle to find ways of managing my bipolar disorder and finding the tools that allow me to live this ducky life even with bipolar disorder.  But if someone had told me 10 years ago that it would be through all this struggle I would have the quality of life I have today I would not have believed them.

The thing is I felt I have struggled all my life and yet there seems to be a great difference between the struggles I have endured in the past decade and the struggles I had for the first five decades of my life. So, I sat down to figure out the difference. There seems to be a word or words missing from that Napoleon Hill quote that I attached at the beginning of this post. I know because for the first fifty plus years of my life I developed no strength or growth from my struggles. My struggles sapped my strength and stunted my growth. I felt like I was in a clothes dryer, hot (angry) and banged around. But my recent struggles have yielded strength and growth. What changed?

The only thing that I could find that changed was mental stability. Prior to having a proper diagnosis of bipolar disorder 1 and finding the proper medication, I felt I had no real mental stability. No matter how hard I tried to deal with my previous diagnoses of OCD and ADHD, nothing worked. Like a rudderless ship, I kept winding up broken on the rocks. Now I have been fitted with a working rudder, a proper diagnosis and proper medication, with which I can steer myself towards mental and emotional wellness. Every struggle I have endured since that day has resulted in progress, (however tiny) towards mental and emotional wellness, towards that duckier and duckier life.

It has taken time, effort and struggle but as Napoleon Hill says I have seen and felt “strength and growth” in my life.

The words that seem to be missing from the quote are mental stability. The quote should really read, “With mental stability strength and growth come only through effort and struggle.” Without that mental stability, all that effort and struggle is just that effort and struggle that leads nowhere.

Our mental stability must always be directed towards better mental and emotional wellness, but we need that rudder of a proper diagnosis and proper medication plus the help of others to propel us there.

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 Natasha Tracy from her BipolarBurble blog.

There Is No Right Way to Deal with Bipolar Disorder — I Hate It

Truth 4, A strong spiritual self to overcome our mental anguish and emotional turmoil

 

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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

Your feelings, thoughts words, actions and habits define your character. Your Character defines your destiny.
ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR DESTINY.  Loa Tzu

Having had a destiny of hospitals, jails and homelessness, receiving this piece of information from a kindly Psych Nurse did not seem like much at the time. But when I accepted the truth of it and starting acting on that truth – Only I can change my destiny – my life changed dramatically and my destiny today is one of a useful, productive member of society.
Such a simple thing had an amazing impact on my life and when ever I can I share it with others.

I have learned there is something missing from that statement and today when  I recite it I add;

“Be careful of your thoughts because they drive your feelings, which drive your emotions.

Be careful of your feelings and emotions because they drive your words and actions”
A lot of what was wrong with my life was the result of my lack of emotional control. After I got my diagnosis and on the proper medication I thought that as long as I took my meds emotional control would fix itself.  I can assure you medication has never given any of us emotional control. Not that originally I thought that emotional control was important. It took a while for me to figure out emotional control is everything. I was slow to learn this important lesson – because I thought a certain way, which made me feel a certain way, did not mean I had to fly into a rage and endanger the people around me all the time.

This brought me to my fourth truth of bipolar, “developing a strong spiritual self is essential in overcoming our mental anguish and emotional turmoil.”

Recently I was reading the brochure for a new, six-month intensive counselling program that is based on the 12 steps of AA. This intensive counselling program calls for surrender to a power greater than yourself, confession and repentance, reconciliation and restoration and continual growth, that ends in service. This program promises “Emotional Control” as the key to overcoming mental illness. I know dealing with bipolar is life long way of living not a six-month program and I never want anyone to think that they can overcome this illness in six months and never have to do any more work. That is far from the truth. Battling this illness requires us to be vigilant every day. The most important thing we need to be vigilant over is our thinking because our thinking causes our destiny. We may have to go through a few steps first, but our thinking is what gets us there. Our thinking requires guidance and it is our spirit that guides our thinking. As our spirits are not well we need to learn to turn that guidance over to another power greater than ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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