Tag Archives: Hope

Sharing Experiences That Can Be A Warning To Some

 

As a mental health advocate, I am sometimes asked to share my story with others. This was the case this past weekend when a young ladies parents asked me to share my story with their daughter. Their daughter is a young lady who after achieving a four-year degree in nursing last year she took her first job as a healthcare professional.  Not long into her new job she began to exhibit the symptoms that lead to her diagnosis of bipolar II disorder. The young lady was devasted to find she could no longer continue in the career she had worked so hard for. At the end of our time together I think she understood that this is only a setback and her life can still be wonderful even with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar sufferers are very caring people no matter what this illness does to us. For those reasons, many of us wind up working in health care in one way or another. The problem is that healthcare is a 24/7 business. It is rare to find a position in healthcare that does not involve having to work revolving shifts. That is the nature of health care.

Here is the problem, as a bipolar sufferer to go from day shift to afternoon shift to night shift, or the twelve-hour day/night rotation, and keep up that rotation we inevitably fall prey to our illness.  This does not happen some of the time, it happens all the time.

We spend years going to school, which is nine to five, to have this great career in healthcare. Then we show up on the job or our practicums, internships, residency or whatever and find after a short time we just can’t handle the changing shifts. I know because it happened to me.

I went to school to be a care-aide to work with the elderly and the mentally and physically challenged. Having become more than a few thousand dollars in debt from two years at the technical school I found I could not do the job because I could not do the shift rotation.

It was not the jobs fault, it is not the schools’ fault, it is not my employer’s fault. It was not even my bipolar disorders fault.  I could not do the job because I have bipolar disorder and having to change shifts every week just does not work for someone with this illness. It is like someone with diabetes taking a job as a sugary treat taste tester, it just is not going to work out well.

If you have bipolar disorder and your caring heart is leading you to go thousands of dollars in debt to be a health care provider in any capacity, please don’t. It is difficult to suffer from bipolar disorder, be thousands of dollars in debt and unable to work in the field you have studied so hard to be in. It tends to make you angry and resentful, which is not a good way to live.

Please share this post if you know someone who has bipolar disorder and is considering a career in healthcare.

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 from the time to Change Website, Author Unknown.

www.time-to-change.org.uk/blog/bipolar-my-best-friend-and-worst-enemy

Developing Enthusiasm For the Reality Of Life

Image result for Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.

I wrote recently about how I seemed to ease into self-discipline. It seemed like I wasn’t disciplined and then after doing a number of small actions over and over I found that self-discipline seemed to suddenly be a habit I could count on. As I said last week, I have kept up this blog for two years something that is incredible in my mind. This week I want to talk about another aspect of mental wellness that just seemed to appear in my life by doing a number of small actions.

Last week we planned this year’s holidays, both my girlfriend and I have to let our respective employers know our holiday plans by March 24th.

“Whoopti doo, you planned your holidays.” I can here you saying.

For me this was a huge deal, because I was present for the planning and even participated in the planning. I didn’t do the “What ever, wake me up when you decided,” thing I used to do in regards to all aspects of life. I have no intention of just tagging along this year, I intend to be an active participant. In fact, I was active participant in last years’ holidays as well and for first time in my life when I look at the pictures I know I was there. I don’t have that foggy kind of disconnected feeling that accompanied most of my life.

That is my topic this week, how we can learn to not only participate in the reality of life instead of the fantasies in our minds, but develop enthusiasm for the reality of life.

When my illness ran my life I would be driven by ideas, good or bad, when manic or glued to the couch when I crashed. In between those extremes I lived in a fantasy world that bore no resemblance to my day to day existence. In short, to myself and those around me I was never present. As I said earlier, “I don’t have that foggy, kind of disconnected feeling that accompanied most of my life.” That is best how to describe it, a kind of fog that follows you around that stops you from being present. Pushing you back into your mind.

Medication on it’s own removes that fog, or most of it. Medication does not, and can not, give us the mind set or even the willingness to become involved in our lives. Medication does not evict us from the most comfortable place we know, our minds and our thinking.

The next step, “the development of enthusiasm for the reality of life” is entirely up to us. This I have come to realize is the thrust of my life and the thrust of this blog. Life is not perfect and our bipolar is not going away. We can learn to change our thinking so the effects of the negative issues in life and our bipolar responses to those issues do not cripple us as they did in the past. I could bemoan the symptoms of bipolar in this blog and the fact that I fluctuate between depression and mania, rapid cycle once in a while and flat out want to take a holiday from life. I choose not too. I choose to say to myself and you, my readers, “yep, that happens, but we can view these things differently.” I choose, and I want to encourage you to choose, to learn to participate in life, good or bad. The reason is simple; “we get out of life what we put into it.” If I, or you choose, to not participate we live in our minds and really have no life. But it has to be a conscious choice and we have to do the work to make it so.  We have to find that enthusiasm within ourselves. No one can give it to us.

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:

Mental Health: Finding the Help to Thrive

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.

Hello world!

Welcome to 365daysofbipolar.com. This is a blog about living with Bi-Polar disorder. These messages are about hope, a hope that comes from taking  personal action to deal with our shared illness.

The core premise of this blog are my fourth truths of BI-Polar:

  1. That Bi-Polar as an illness is as individual as the people who suffer from it.
  2. That medication is essential to stabilize our minds.
  3. The development of a strong spiritual self is essential in controlling our mental anguish and emotional turmoil.
  4. That we, as BP sufferers, can become useful, productive members of society.

Action is required to re-make ourselves into happy, healthy people with the tools and attitudes to overcome our shared illness It does not happen over night nor is there a quick fix pill.

On the subject of pills,  the medications prescribed to us for our illness will not fix our living issues.  Those issues that create our inability to live in any kind of harmony with society.  The medications only allow us to reach a point of mental stability where we can,  with help of others, fix ourselves.

We can not overcome this illness alone. We may realize something is wrong with us because we cannot function in society but until we get an actual medical diagnosis we have no idea what it is or how deal with it. We have accept some help from others and follow their suggestions to accomplish anything to do with this illness. The development of a good support team is essential to overcoming BI-Polar.

I speak a lot of overcoming, in the realm of cancers they speak of remission. Remission means that the cancer is no longer affecting your life because of the treatments you took. Something you had no control over.  I speak of overcoming as different from remission because we, as individuals, must work very hard to keep our  Bi-Polar disorder from affecting our lives.

For this reason I use the metaphor of the path. Once we have received our diagnosis we are set at a crossroads of two paths.  One path looks incredibly hard. The path is uphill and covered with rocks and things we have to climb over to get anywhere. The other path looks easy and that path requires nothing of us, it allows us to continue to be the person we are. The problem with the easy path is that it is circular and always leads back to the same crossroads an the choice to take the hard path that goes somewhere.

I end each message with the same line. Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.  As a reminder that this journey of overcoming is not easy and sometimes gets us down, but it is worth it because when we look back on the hard path we see how far we have come.

My hope for this blog is that it is interactive and helpful.  I am interested in your comments and subject ideas. I admit to being a rank amateur at blogging. I am not an amateur at overcoming our shared illness of Bi-Polar, I have suffered from  this illness for most of my sixty years on this planet and in that battle I have overcome by learning my four truths of this illness and accepting the help of others.