We cannot get mentally and emotionally well without ongoing support that lasts beyond therapy. This support usually takes the form of some type of mental health support group. The most interesting BP fact I ever came across was that 98 percent of BP sufferers bring other addictions with them by the time they seek treatment. This means that many of us wind up in the twelve step programs to help deal with our other addictions. The twelve step programs have their place and their programs can help us get better, but their singleness of purpose can also cause us some problems. This singleness of purpose does not include mental illness, which is our main issue, bipolar is our problem, our addictions are the result of the pain caused by our bipolar. We need more understanding than what is usually provided by twelve step programs. We need either someone, or a mental health support group, that understands bipolar and who can reflect those twelve steps back to us with an understanding of this illness and keep us mindful of the fact that bipolar is our main problem and needs to be our main focus. Most of us have multiple addictions which are the result of our illness and we need to be reminded fairly regularly our issue is bipolar. We can easily forget our problem is bipolar and get thinking our problem is only addiction. Our problems go far beyond addiction and although we can relate to those people, sometimes they cannot relate to us and our illness. We need someone, or a mental health support group, that relates to us and understands our illness. Although the twelve steps direct us to look at ourselves they do not relay the importance of constant monitoring this illness requires.
One of the issues that one confronts within mental health support groups is that as personal wellness grows we tend to feel we outgrow the people who are just showing up. The group is not focused on solutions but only on problems, the groups are giant whine sessions. For myself, I believe that this is caused by too many people who have achieved some form of mental wellness leaving rather than hanging around to share their experiences of overcoming situations and offering solutions. Most mental health groups are filled with people who have not learned to deal with this illness in a constructive manor and have no examples that this can be accomplished. Once they figure out on their own how to manage this illness and get onto the path of mental wellness they leave as well. Some never figure it out and we lose them. This is a sad situation, one that needs changing.
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.