Tag Archives: Learning

Week 2 – Building a Support Team

This is a continuation of the series on building the best professional and non-professional support team we can to help us become victors over, rather than victims of, our bipolar disorder.

As I said last week, my goal over the next year is to introduce you to the obvious and not so obvious people, places and things that are available to become part of your support team and support system.

The obvious members of a support team are the professionals like a Psychiatrist, a GP or a Psych Nurse or a Counselor/Therapist or a Social Worker. Last week I introduced a not so obvious safe place for support, your public library. Your library is not only a great resource for books but also programs that may be helpful to you.

This week I want to talk about a thing that can be a great part of your support system and can even be considered a member of your team. That is technology, specifically a smartphone, tablet and computer. Mostly this week I want to talk about the boon to mental health that the smartphone and tablet and WIFI have become for many of us. Right at the outset, I want to declare my bias towards Apple products. My phone is an iPhone and my Tablet is an iPad. I will admit my computer is not a Mac, but a Mac is on the list of future purchases.

It is a fact that the more tools we have and the more informed we are the easier our struggles with bipolar may be. With the addition of WIFI and apps, your smartphone and tablet can provide you both easy access to tools that can help you manage your bipolar disorder and access to great information that can motivate you towards mental wellness.

Apps: There are many apps that allow you to track your moods, create a journal and to help deal with anxiety and depression. There are apps on meditation and other helpful skills. Unfortunately, I have found few that are free. I will be doing reviews on apps for smartphones as the year progresses.

Podcasts: There are many mental health podcasts. A few of my favorites are “The Depression Files with Al Levine,” “Bipolar Style with John Emotions” and “Go Friend Yourself with Dr. Baker.”

YouTube: The wealth of information on YouTube is staggering and way too much for me to cover in this short blog. I subscribe to over 100 channels that provide me with a constant stream of information and entertainment. You can’t study all the time.

iTunes U: This is an app that is only available to Apple users. iTunes U offers the ability to audit University level classes on a variety of subjects. Currently, I am auditing classes on creative writing, nutrition and relationships

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with 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 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. 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 Marlisa Rocco

These are the worst jobs for your physical and mental health

Questioning What is Behind Our Thoughts

 

Image result for Strong beliefs

Bipolar causes us to believe things that are flatly untrue about ourselves, others and the world around us. Bipolar distorts our thoughts which are driven by our current needs and our past experiences. What we believe to be our current needs and our past experiences are tainted by the false beliefs we have accumulated, the perceived slights we have received and the resentments that we hold. This in turn gives us overboard emotional responses causing absurd actions and leaves us with bad results.

Our thinking drives the wheel that leads to our results, if our thinking is wrong we have no choice but to have bad results. But our thoughts must be based on something and that something is all our past encounters, either through what we have heard, what we have seen or what we have felt. We have allowed these encounters to collect in ourselves without ever questioning their validity. We have not put our lives through the true or false test. We have just lived our lives without posting a guard on our subconscious, the place where all this information is stored and used, for and against ourselves.

We also have a design flaw that makes fixing this false thinking even harder to correct because all our data collection (our five senses) that our past experiences and on which we base our needs bring everything from the outside inwards. Yet what we need to fix is inside and it is an entire paradigm shift to turn your data collection inwards to make your senses a garbage removal detail and then do guard duty to keep you in reality. Yet that is what we must do, look inside, hear ourselves, smell our fears, touch our own hearts and learn what hope tastes like.

First, we must understand what our shared illness does to us. How our disorder twists and makes sick what we think is our current need. How our disorder distorts our experiences to isolate ourselves from everything good. In coming to that understanding we quickly realize that although medication can and will stabilize us, it will never fix us

My experience with my own disorder and in my discussions with others who have worked hard to overcome their own bipolar disorder, has led to a belief that bipolar takes one or more of our normal human needs and blows it all out proportion

Human needs can be broken down into a few broad categories, those needs that connect us to others, those that are for our physical well being, those that keep us honest with ourselves, those that allow us to play, those that give us peace and personal autonomy and those that give our lives meaning.

In most cases what happens is our bipolar disorder usually takes some of our normal needs to connect with others and blows them up so badly that that need can never be satisfied. In my case it was my needs for acceptance, appreciation and belonging. Causing me to feel that I was never accepted, appreciated or that I never belonged, even when I was accepted and appreciated and worse when I was included but pushed everyone away. This caused all sorts of bizarre reactions in my life to the point of almost destroying it.  For another person that I know well, it was the need for safety, security and support. This unfulfillable need for safety and security and support caused this person all kinds of grief in their life, they could never have enough money saved and could never spend any, they horded things and sucked the life out of everyone they met.

It is by recognizing what our bipolar disorder does to what are supposed to be normal needs and the unbelievable, unreasonable expectations that these unfillable needs cause in our lives that makes our lives so out of control. It is by bringing those needs back to reality that we can gain control of our disorder. It is only then that load of garbage, the false beliefs, the resentment, that created our thoughts can be removed and we can have real peace and serenity.

I have linked The Center for Nonviolent Communication’s Needs Inventory to this blog for anyone who wants to look at this idea of out of proportion needs for themselves.

https://www.cnvc.org/sites/default/files/needs_inventory_0.pdf

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:

#positiverolemodel

 

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

It’s The Second Anniversary of 365daysofbipolar.com

Image result for The Gospel of Thomas Verse three

 

Two years, it is hard for me to believe that someone one with BP1 could consistently write a blog for two years in a row. We bipolar sufferers are not known for consistency. In my previous lives I became known for a lot of things, none of them were edifying (helpful), as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12. When I was granted this new life I vowed it would be different and it has been. It is different because I have studied and learned about the most important things in this world, me and this illness that controlled me and my reactions to life. In the last paragraph of every blog I spell out where our work is and what we are to work on, or battle with if you want to look at that way, to achieve mental wellness. We are to work on ourselves and to work on our thinking. It has nothing to do with anything external, it is strictly to do with ourselves and our attitudes towards life. It is true we need help to get started, we cannot diagnose ourselves or self-medicate into stability. But once that help is received and accepted in the way of a proper diagnosis, proper medication and therapy to help us learn the tools to change our thinking, the work in entirely ours and we can only work on ourselves to achieve and maintain mental wellness.

What changed everything for me was this one quote, an expansion of the quote at the beginning of this blog. This quote encapsulated my life and why it was the way it was. This quote also offered the clue as to how to change my life.

“Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”

If you are tired of dwelling in, and more importantly “being”, the poverty that bipolar brings us. I encourage you to admit you are the problem and you need qualified medical help to start to change.

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:

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2017/03/07/how-does-your-depression-affect-your-child/

 

How I Use the Quotes of Others

 

muhammadali

 

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.

 

Today is Mental Health Day. It is also Thanksgiving in Canada.

 

download-11

 

Today is Mental Health Day. It is also Thanksgiving in Canada. We have a lot to be thankful for in area of mental health awareness, but also a long way to go. As a bipolar sufferer I want to contribute to the awareness of mental health issues. That is the reason for this blog, to help where I can.

Having just went through a three-day blizzard and living under very dark clouds for a week I have found it difficult to not let the blues in at some level. Realizing that this is part of my illness helps. I also know that I can take the initiative against these feelings and get up and get moving. I know today I do not have to fall down and stay there, I can get up. I know it is ok to fight these feelings they do not have to run my life.

How do I know I can take the initiative against these feelings?  How do I know I can fight these feelings? The reason I know that I can take the initiative and fight these feelings is I have practiced over and over forcing myself to get up. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. Then I kept records of when I was able to overcome these feelings and along with my regular mood charts.

I want to share with you what I have learned.

There are proactive things you can do when fall comes around. I started taking Vitamin “D” a number of years ago, a lot of research recommends this.  I take 1000 IU daily. I use light therapy and start it early. I live in an area where in summer daylight is better than 14 hours. In the winter it is less than 8. Once daylight drops to 12 hours I bring out the light.

Mood charting is incredibly important along with journaling. I also suggest checking the weather. For myself, if I see a weather forecast like the last week I know I had better start to mentally prepare. The charts and my journal tell me if my mood is starting to fall.

I no longer lie to myself and in that way I can catch the down turns in my moods early and take action right away. In that way I am less likely to succumb to the feelings.

Is it perfect and wonderful? No it is not. It is after noon and I have still not posted this blog. I have struggled to get the wording for days.  What I can say is that I have learned I can force myself to get up if I catch those feelings early enough. If the feelings have taken over my life, then it is hard to change them.

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:

http://bipolarmomlife.com/

Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret 5

 

quote-when-we-wallow-in-guilt-remorse-and-shame-over-real-or-imagined-sins-of-the-past-we-brennan-manning-43-73-25 (1)

This is the fifth in the series of guilt, shame, remorse and regret. My intent is to tie is all this together and add the tool that sparks that one thing that is needed to bring us out of these negative feelings. That one emotion that all humans need to continue on in life is hope. Finding hope is difficult for the bipolar sufferer. In the manic phase we are invincible and untouchable by the feelings of guilt, shame, remorse and regret. Hope does not enter into our lives.  When we crash we become worthless in our minds and all hope is lost to us.

The emotions of guilt, shame, remorse and regret are normal human emotions, every person has the capacity to feel these emotions. These emotions are used as red flags to tell every human that they have violated something within themselves that has hurt their relationship with themselves and/or with others. Bipolar is a mood disorder and the feelings of guilt, shame, remorse and regret are moods. As moods they are expressed as feeling guilty, feeling ashamed, feeling remorseful and feeling regretful. Bipolar causes us to become stuck, or mired, in these emotions for much longer and more deeply than a sane person does.

The feeling of guilt is caused the violation of our personal values, the feeling of shame is caused by a giving away or losing our personal identity. The feeling of remorse is the deepening of either guilt or shame or both causing a deepening of the feeling of worthlessness. This causes the loss of all hope. For myself there was a progression from either guilt or shame to remorse that deepens and deepens culminating in a greater and greater regret of my entire life. Only when I reached that point of deep regret could I take the action that reversed this downward slide. Real regret opened the door that gave the me the will to repent, to change. Caught in the deep feelings of guilt or shame and feeling remorseful to the point of worthlessness and total loss of hope there was no ability to change. Only when the feelings of guilt and shame passed and I was left only with deep regret could I find the door to change.

In deciding that I no longer wanted to slide down that slippery slope to deep remorse and depression it became apparent what I needed was knowledge. What did I need to know? I needed to know myself, to find me, my true self. I needed to find my real identity, my values, my boundaries. I needed to built my true character which is made up of all those things and more.

That is the first step, get to know your real self and then quit violating yourself or giving part, or all, of your self away when you deal with others. In that way you will keep your self-worth intact. This leaves the feeling of hopelessness. How do you battle hopelessness? I have found only one way and that is to replace hopelessness with gratitude. To be eternally grateful for everything I have at this moment and for what I am about to receive, if I continue on this journey called living. It is only by being grateful that makes this journey worthwhile.

I said at the beginning that I would add the tool that brings us out of these negative feelings that tool is to cultivate gratitude at all times. Write down three things you are grateful for every day. Keep those in mind all day long and look for more.

When those feelings of guilt and shame come upon us we have to find out what we have violated or given away within ourselves, quickly. These are our feelings, so there is no need to look anywhere but within ourselves to find what has been violated or given away.

There is one caveat to all of this. To find your-self and to learn what your true values and boundaries are, you need a stable mind. Without a proper diagnosis and proper medication, you cannot achieve that staple mind.

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.

Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret

regret-quote

 

This is the fourth in the series on Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret. These are the four main feelings that control the down side of bipolar disorder. What I am about to say regarding regret may surprise many people. These are my conclusions after years of studying myself and listening to, or reading, the stories of hundreds of others.

Regret is the feeling of disappointment with our past actions or inactions. In many cases our deepest regrets are over missed opportunities or regrets about taking the wrong fork in the road of life. This is always looking into the past. Regret is always past tense. In the moment, or present tense, we feel either guilt, shame or remorse. We do not feel regret until we look backwards on an incident, then we feel regret. How I now view regret, is as an opportunity. The feeling of regret opens a previously hidden door if you are willing to look for it. The feeling of regret opens the door to repentance. To repent means to change our ways. In that time of regret, we are given the greatest opportunity to really seek those changes that will make us that better person. In the present moment we are consumed by the emotion of that moment, be it guilt, shame or remorse. With remorse, it can be so overwhelming to us, with bipolar, that we can seldom pick ourselves up, let alone change. It is only when the guilt, shame or remorse change to regret can we begin to make changes in our lives. It is then, at the fist twinge of regret, that we need to seize the opportunity to repent and make those constructive changes in our lives.

I now view the feeling of regret as the start of the upswing in my moods and depressions. Guilt and/or shame can and do start the slippery slope towards remorse. Remorse, for me, is the bottom of the pit. It is when I feel regret that I know the worst is over. Today, not only is regret the signal that the worst is over, but that it is time to learn a new way to handle life.

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.

 

 

I have Bi-Polar

 

 

images (12)

 

When we have a proper diagnosis it explains a lot of things, the biggest being why we were unable to handle life. Today, I look at this as the greatest gift I ever received. It was a gift that answered a number of questions, the two biggest answers being that there was something wrong with “me.” It was actually a relief to find out the problem was not with the world I was living in.  The second answer was that something could be done about the problem and being told exactly where I had to do that something to get better.

Learning to (what ever word, or words, you want to insert in here that means get better to you please use them) this mental illness of Bi-Polar, of what ever variety, is not easy. It is down right hard work. Where the gift part comes in for me, and what I want to impart to you, is that with our diagnosis we have been given a clear understanding of what is wrong with us and what we have to fix. We have a confirmed mental illness; meaning we have to fix our minds.  People search for years to find out what needs to be fixed to make their lives better. You have had the secret handed to you in the form of a diagnosis. That diagnosis clearly explains what has been wrong with your life, your mind, it is ill. Specifically, it is your thinking and the beliefs you hold that made you think that way, that is wrong. What a gift!

Clearly stated, “You are the problem in your life so you better concentrate on fixing you.”

There is a saying that fits in pretty good right here.

“What ever we concentrate on expands.”

Why is this principal so important? Because by keeping this simple principal in mind we know we must concentrate on our mental wellness to have that wellness expand so we can shrink our mental illness. We will concentrate from this day forward on our mental wellness. That is the path we are getting on and staying on, the hard path of mental wellness.

Learning to live with and conquer our Bi-Polar means we have to do something and it can no longer remain what we have been doing. This clearly doesn’t work or you would not be seeking help.

The first thing we need to do is find medication that will help stabilize our minds, this usually starts right when you get your diagnosis.  This process, to find the right medications, is no automatic thing. This illness is as individual in you as you are in this world. Do not build up that false expectation that this will be an easy process. In my own case it took a few years and three scribblers of tried and failed meds before the magic combination was found.

I am not a doctor so I do not get into the specifics of medication. All I can relay is my personal experience and extend the hope, that although difficult, it will work out in the end, if you work at it yourself and cooperate with your health professionals. When it comes to this phase of our treatment the best friend you can make is with a journal of some kind and one of the best practices is learning to mood chart. In a journal you can record the effects and results of tried medications. Actually journaling and mood charting are one of the best habits we can get into right at the start of this journey. We can make a record of our progress right from the start. One of the uses of my early journals was to point out the lies I consistently told myself about life. Journaling and mood charting will be a topic of a future blog.

Finding proper meds to stabilize our minds does not fix us. Having a stable mind allows us a stable platform on which to fix ourselves. Without that stable platform we have no hope of ever finding out what really is the root of our problems.

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.

Memory

images (8)

 

 

Barbra Streisand sang a song called “Memory.” For those of us who suffer from BP, memory is something that can be hit or miss.

It happened this way; I asked my girlfriend who she was listening to on YouTube.

She replied. “Guess.”

She honestly thought I should know this stuff. I cannot guess because I have no idea. There is nothing in the memory banks to guess with.

I used to find this frustrating, then it moved to humorous, then it became the truth. It is the honest truth that there are large chunks of my life of which I have no memory.  I cannot remember a lot of stuff that happened, songs that were popular, supposedly famous people of the screen and other things that went on around me when I was in the deep throws of this illness.

In responding to my girlfriend I did not get angry, a real change for me, I just patiently explained to have a memory of a famous song or person you have to some form of contact with reality when the event occurred and I definitely did not have any grasp of reality at that time so there is nothing to remember.

I explained asking me to guess at something was a quick way to upset me as I had nothing to guess with. Just as asking her to fix most things was beyond her abilities guessing was way beyond mine. Actually, when it comes to fixing things I now have to rely on the manuals or YouTube as the memory banks have been wiped clean on a lot of things. There was a time in the not so distant past that I had trouble attaching a socket to my torque wrench because I could not remember how. I had to look it up on YouTube.

Today my girlfriend no longer asks me to guess, she understands that guessing is not something that I can do.  For some people, they cannot grasp what this illness has done to scramble our brains. We have to be patient with these people and with ourselves, ever reminding ourselves there are people with no understanding of the effects of our illness.

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

Have you ever wondered what the difference was between a therapist and a psychologist this article from Betterhelp.com may shed some light on this for you?

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/what-is-the-difference-between-a-therapist-and-a-psychologist/