Tag Archives: techniques

A BP Sufferers Take on Mood Tracking

 

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. Therefore, whatever I suggest in the ways of managing bipolar and the tools to use for bipolar management, I know those strategies or tools are not going to work for everyone. At best they can only be a starting point for some people.  Today we are discussing a management tool, mood tracking and journaling. As a writer using a pen and paper came naturally to me so this was an easy habit for me to adopt. For others mood tracking and journaling is very difficult. Today there are apps that may help.

At the beginning of my mental wellness journey, I started mood tracking and journaling with no knowledge of what I was supposed to track. Tracking moods and feelings does not show you are making progress towards your goal of mental wellness. Day after day of writing depressed/angry, depressed/angry, depressed/angry does not improve anything it just shows you are always depressed and angry.

It was not until I changed how and what I was tracking that consistent improvement began.  When I added tracking the events that affected my mood then I could see constructively what sparked my moods. When I added writing out ways to learn to cope with those events and practicing those coping strategies on paper that real progress was made.

“There are only two ways to handle triggering events in your life. Either you learn to cope with the event or you learn to avoid the event.”

The internet is a wonderful thing and we are so lucky to live at this time. We can search out coping strategies for all kinds of things.  It was by studying and practicing coping strategies at home that I suddenly noticed a drop in my stress level. The biggest breakthrough in this area was when I made a mistake at work and knew that I would be disciplined for the mistake. Normally this would cause me to call in sick for a week or quit the job. This time with the help of a friend I practiced coping strategies and learned to handle this type of situation. The result is that today I have lost my fear of making errors. Which surprisingly has led to making fewer errors and given me far more confidence.

By tracking the events that trigger us and practicing coping strategies, we also quickly find the events we need to avoid. No matter what we cannot learn a strategy that will allow us to cope with that or similar situations. I have found that as my skills and coping strategies improve there are some events that used to have a negative effect on me that I can tolerate in small doses, like concerts and large crowds that used to send me into severe mania. There are still people, places, things and situations in my life that need to be avoided, but the list is getting smaller and smaller as I learn to cope better with life.

It is only by trial and error and constant evaluation of ourselves that we find our own joyous version of mental wellness.

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.

 

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 Blogger Ivy Rose.

8 Easy Ways To Make Exercise Suck Less

 

Seasonal Affected Bipolar Disorder 2

Learning to manage any aspect of bipolar disorder on the individual level is going to be by trial and error. Some people find what works quickly, like when their Psychiatrist prescribes a medication that works without side effects right away. These people are quite rare. For most of us learning manage our bipolar is a struggle of trying this or that until we find what works. What I encourage in myself and I also encourage in others is to embrace that struggle. Enjoy learning how your bipolar disorder affects you and how overcoming this illness makes you a better, stronger person. What works for me and helps me manage my bipolar may not work for you. However, what works for me may give you a starting point.

On the subject of seasonally affected bipolar disorder management, this was for me a many year journey. Even today I am tweaking my management system of what I need to do to ward off the winter blues. As I write this I have my sunglasses on and am bathed by the light of my Litebook Edge therapy light. This light was added a year ago when winter set in really early and what usually worked quit working or didn’t have time to work.  Another pitfall of bipolar management is sometimes our management system quits working and we have to develop a new one.

Today my management system for the fall/winter part of the seasonally affected bipolar disorder is very simple. I take 2000 IU of Vitamin D and 50 mg B6 + B12 starting in early August. I introduce 15 minutes of light therapy in early October.  I keep this routine up until the middle of May. Which is about when spring begins to come about where I live.

I want to point out why I take both Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 as well as B6. It has been scientifically proven that if you are low on Vitamin D you are more than likely low on Vitamin B12 as well. I take Vitamin B6 because of its scientifically proven link to cognitive function.

When spring has sprung this requires a whole new management system. The first requirement of this portion of the management system is compete honesty with myself. Why? Because no one ever complains about mania. Mania is great, we get stuff done. We are usually happy and excited about life.  I have had a handle on quelling the summer mania for a lot longer than I have the winter depression. For me, when the first urge to buy every garden tool in the Johnny’s seed catalog strikes that is my sign to have a talk with the doctor to decide this year’s course of action. Most years it has meant an increase in meds for a period of time. Some years it has only meant increased diligence on my part to do the tips set out later. This is when I need constant monitoring by my professional and non- professional network. This is my program for managing seasonal affected bipolar disorder. It works for me.

Bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it. The treatment of this illness in every aspect, be it medication or seasonal affected bipolar disorder, has to be individual as well. We each have to develop our own ways to manage our particular bipolar disorder.

Last week I promised some tips and techniques for dealing seasonal affected bipolar disorder. The first tip I want to offer is:

  1. build the best professional and non-professional support team you possibly can.
  2. build the best professional and non-professional support team you possibly can.

I can not stress this point enough. We are not rocks, and we cannot fight this illness alone, despite popular belief. If you have bipolar you inwardly believe you are alone.

We are the ones that have to do the work, but we need the best team we can put together to cheer us on and give us advice when we need it.

Tips for dealing with depression when your meds don’t seem to be. This happened to me last winter until the light therapy started to work.

  1. Take the initiative against depression. Get up and keep moving even though you feel like one of those deep-sea divers in the big suits walking through molasses. Force yourself to eat and wash the dishes. Make a gratitude list of 5 things you are grateful for every evening, try to do 5 different ones every night.
  2. Learn what triggers your depression besides the change of seasons. As a lifetime sufferer of seasonally affected bipolar, when I started to learn to manage seasonal depression I found other triggers that elevated that depression. Anything that I perceived to negatively affect me compounded my depression. When my management system was working if something negative happened I still became depressed. This is what I touched on last week.
  3. Make a commitment and keep on keeping it. I found this one very helpful. I hang out with a bunch of people every Sunday morning for breakfast. No matter how low I am I force myself to attend. Actually, if I am not there they come looking for me.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up for how you feel. This one is hard to get over. I practiced self-encouragement for a long time before I was able to use it effectively when I was deeply depressed.
  5. Do not let your mind convince you that you have to do some great thing or be perfect to beat your depression. It is by doing the simple things, some of them badly, that we overcome depression. Sticking to an already set routine does wonders for beating depression. This is similar to #3 but different. This has to do with a commitment to yourself the first thing that used to go when depression struck was my morning routine of daily reading of inspirational material. Now it doesn’t matter, I go through the motions of coffee and books no matter what. I may not comprehend what I am reading all the time, but I am there in body every day and I do it.
  6. Don’t let your mind create catastrophes that do not exist and thoughts of self-harm. These thoughts of loss, disaster and self-harm are the true dangers of depression. This is when we absolutely have to reach out to others. I also know that when these thoughts happen we most want to isolate. We can, with help, learn to defeat these thoughts but it takes time and effort. What we must quickly learn is to reach out whenever these thoughts appear.

Tips for dealing with Mania.

  1. Learn what triggers your mania. As I said earlier one of mine is wanting to spend.
  2. Monitor your thinking. Our feelings of self-importance start to grow when manic. Our thoughts begin to race. We are bombarded with one idea after the other. We become more mentally creative. These are all signs of mania. Learn yours.
  3. Watch your behaviors. Mania causes us to engage in risky behaviors and behaviors that will threaten our lives and relationships more easily.
  4. Keep your regular sleep/eat schedule. This is not easy. I don’t sleep, and I don’t eat when manic. Forcing your self to bed and to eat can reign in a manic episode.

Unfortunately for most of us, medication is the only way to effectively deal with mania.

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 facebook/365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on twitter @365daysofbipol2.

 

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 Hillary Jacobs Hendel.

https://www.hilaryjacobshendel.com/single-post/2017/09/26/Beyond-Life%E2%80%99s-Disappointments

 

Things to Meditate On

I feel that I am the luckiest bipolar sufferer in the world for several reasons. The most important, besides finally getting a proper diagnosis and finding medications that work for me, is the instantly accessible team of professional support I have. This is something few bipolar sufferers have access to and I am always grateful that I have this.

The other reason I feel I am so lucky is I have been allowed to learn, through unobtrusive means, certain ideas that have helped me in my growth towards mental wellness. The unobtrusive means are very large statements that have been placed on the walls of my work place that I can meditate on at my leisure as I work. I want to share these statements with you so you can meditate, on them as well.

James Allen wrote, “Mediation is the intense dwelling, in thought, on an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and what so ever you constantly meditate upon not only will you come to understand, but you will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, it will become your very self.”

“What you say and the things you choose to do are 100% your responsibility.”

 

 “To live the life, you want action is required.

You can think and dream about what you want for your life,

But unless you actually do something to make change

things will stay the same”

 

“You can’t change another’s behavior but you can change your response to it.”

 

“Happy people are constantly evaluating themselves. Unhappy people are constantly evaluating others.”

 

“Your body is the only place you have to live.”

 

“Attitudes are contagious, are yours worth catching.”

As I have meditated on these statements over the past few years I have found that I have changed. My hope is that these statements may help you change as well

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. 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

The Effects of Lack of Sleep on Bipolar Disorder

 

 

Tolstoy Was Right

Count Leonov Nikolayevich (Leo) Tolstoy (1828 -1910), in his book “What I Believe,” set out five principals of earthly happiness which no one can deny. Although in his book Tolstoy uses how rising in the Russian upper class cuts you off from these five principals. I will show how our shared illness of bipolar disorder cuts us off from these principals just as deeply and how finding and embracing these five principals we can finally live and find the happiness that has eluded us for so long.

“The first condition essentially necessary for happiness has always been admitted by all men to a life in the link between him and nature is not destroyed – that is life in the open air, in the sunshine, in communion with nature, plants and animals.”

Today study after study are proving the benefits of connecting with nature for mental health. Google: “how nature helps mental health” and see what I mean. The key is connecting. Bipolar disorder shuts us in and shuts us off. In Mania, we are too busy to notice and in depression we are too down to care. However, if we truly make the effort to connect with nature, be it in local park or our own garden or at some great place like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, we will find that that this connection soothes us and slowly brings us back to happiness.

“The second indubitable condition for happiness is labor – congenial, free labor, physical labor, which gives a man a good appetite and sound invigorating sleep.”

Today, I must admit there is little work that can be said to be congenial, free or physical. Having gainful employment is helpful to mental health, but being stuck in a job you hate is just as bad for your mental health. I think my activities last weekend portray more what Tolstoy was getting at and in 1870 when this was written there were more of this type of activity available. I spent last weekend helping friends restore an old garden at the house they just purchased. It was once a beautiful garden, but had been neglected for many years. Each day was spent raking, pulling, cutting and hauling. You were thirsty, hungry and at the end of the day too exhausted to care. It was fun to share this work with good friends and the work made us happy both in the doing and seeing the result. This kind of work does lead to happiness, because it makes us feel useful and productive. To feel useful and productive as a bipolar sufferer is one road to happiness.

“The third condition essentially necessary for happiness is family life.”

Bipolar disorder destroys family life. Bipolar makes the sufferer selfish and self-centered. Bipolar makes the family members unsure of what is going on, what is right or wrong and ultimately angry.  Yet if the sufferer can overcome their illness the joy they find in their families after mending the hurts can not be over stated. Families can provide the greatest happiness.

“A fourth condition essentially necessary for happiness is a free, friendly communication with all men.”

Bipolar disorder causes isolation. When manic most of us are the life of the party and we collect a bunch of fair weather friends. When the crash happens, and it always does, our friends are no where to be found and we are alone with our pain.

In stability, we can find happiness through our friendships and our circle can grow and grow.

“The fifth and last condition essentially necessary for happiness is health and a painless death.”

Bipolar causes the sufferer to be mentally, physically and spiritually unhealthy. We suffer from all sorts of secondary issues that are used to kill our emotional pain. But we can be restored to health. With a proper diagnosis and proper medication, we can become stable allowing us to fix our physical and spiritual maladies. Allowing us to live a good healthy life and pass on to the next without regret.

All in all, Tolstoy was right, if we can embrace even a few of these five principals for happiness, we will find that happiness that has eluded us. I know I have.

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/2017/02/20/experiences-beyond-the-classic-5-stages-of-grief/

Easing Into Self Discipline

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When we concern ourselves with ourselves, by this I mean concerning ourselves with our way of thinking and our internal reactions before they affect others, we find the route to self-acceptance and self-growth. We learn we can defeat the poor me’s and find ways to overcome those bouts of feeling sorry for ourselves that seem to appear for no reason. By looking inside ourselves, we find that those bouts of poor me appear for a reason and are caused by our programmed negative thinking that we buried like land mines in our mind. Those thoughts that are triggered by seemingly benign happenings, but erode our self-worth just the same. Like a mine sweeper we must diligently find these buried thoughts and remove them. Replacing them with more uplifting self talk.

When we concern ourselves with ourselves we can awaken from within potentials that we had no idea existed within us. One of those potentials that seem to appear from nowhere is self-discipline. We seem to ease into self-discipline, one day it just seems to appear. The reality is, because of small consistent actions, we find that we are disciplining ourselves. It is these little and hardly noticed actions that one by one build self-discipline within ourselves.

We eased into self-discipline when we took our meds as prescribed on day two and then day three and kept on taking them.

We eased into self-disciple when we made and kept our appointments.
We eased into self-discipline we put that “Oh-so-wanted” item back on the shelf and saved up the money to pay cash for it.

We eased into self-discipline when we realized we had done our daily readings, or daily meditations for a year and never missed a day.

We eased into self-discipline when we realized that our self-talk had transformed from the voice of a nasty, abusive parent to the voice of a trusted friend.

We eased into self-discipline when we maintained a healthy sleeping and eating pattern into the second week and beyond.

We ease into self-discipline when we start a simple exercise program and find in a year we are still doing it.

It takes discipline and commitment to do and change all those things. But we can ease into becoming disciplined and build on each accomplishment. If we just do every day what we are supposed to do, with no long term vision or thoughts about the actions we are taking.  We ease into being that self-disciplined person. We find we have become the person who has awakened potentials within ourselves.  We did not plan it; it just seems to happen.

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://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201606/18-things-mentally-strong-people-do

Internal Reflection

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Bipolar disorder is a mental illness. So it stands to reason that our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things. Battling bipolar is a totally internal battle, we may be triggered by external things but it is what we do internally before we respond to that trigger that makes the situation a great one or disaster.  Do you know that there is a choice in that statement? There actually is, we can choose to, or not to, do something internally before we respond to that external thing that is triggering us. In the English language we also have two different words we can use depending on whether we do something internally or we do not. If we do something internally, it is called responding. If we do nothing internally, it is called reacting. I always reacted and it never got me anywhere.

What I found really interesting is that in learning to respond the trigger diminished. What I mean by that is; when I go internal to find an appropriate response, the trigger, no matter what it is, disappears while I look inside myself for the response. It is physically impossible to look two places at once. When I focus on the internal, the external disappears. That was a novel discovery for me and turned out to be the key to really managing my bipolar disorder.

By concentrating on my internal communication, before it became external, I learned I could find myself. Through this I learned that I could hear what my body was telling me. It turns out my body is my early warning system. If something is affecting me, my body is the first to react. Stress causes my digestive tract to revolt. Worry increased my blood pressure. In learning to listen to my body I can head off negative influences in the early stages.

By looking internally, I found my mind mostly lied to me and it was my job to root out those lies and replace them with truths.

Our illness causes us to look externally for both cause and cure. Yet internal reflection makes us realize that beyond our medication which created the stability to look inside ourselves, our causes and cures are strictly internal.

Please 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:

http://hubpages.com/education/How-to-Discover-Your-Best-Possible-Self

 

 

Self-Love and Our Bipolar Mind

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Its not that nobody ever told me it was OK to love myself, it was my bipolar mind never allowed that thought to penetrate to the point that this was an option. My bipolar mind actually convinced me to hate myself and everything about me. My bipolar mind made me deface everything about me and make me want to be anything but me. What made me think of this as a blog topic is the media hype going on about “Fake News.” You want to know the fakest news, the lies we allow our bipolar minds to tell ourselves. Things like, “self-love is selfish”. Narcissism is selfish, it is only through knowing and loving ourselves can we be truly selfless. It is hard to have compassion or empathy for others if we have never practiced these virtues on ourselves. We cannot know the correct inner feeling to express if we have not tried these feelings out on ourselves first. If we have never had compassion or empathy for ourselves we are just guessing about those feelings. In my experience, I mostly guessed wrong and hurt more people than I ever helped.

Learning self-love was a progression for me. I started with self-acceptance. Learning to accept myself, both good and bad. No longer lying to myself and exaggerating either the good or the bad. Accepting only that I am me, the only me I can be and believing I can always be better than I am today was the first step in the journey to loving myself. Accepting that I will always make errors caused my errors to lessen as I became less concerned about it. Accepting that I have BP 1 and that my illness will always try to lie to me, caused my BP to lose its control oover me. Oh sure BP still tries to take control but I can fight that today and mostly win as long as I do what I am supposed to do.

The next step on the ladder of learning self-love was to learn self-compassion. Bipolar makes us self-critical to the highest degree. We invent more ways to beat ourselves up or put ourselves down than most people can even imagine. It is just a fact that our illness makes us think very little of ourselves and shreds our self esteem. In this area of self-esteem, I agree with Dr. Kristen Neff, the Author of “Self-Compassion”, trying to repair our self esteem in today’s competitive culture, where the meaning of self-esteem has become “to feel special or above average” is not going to work. Dr. Neff’s comment, “we cannot all feel special or above average at the same time” made me smile and nod my head in agreement.  Since I already had enough false beliefs about myself it was not hard to see that I had to take a different approach to building self-worth. What worked for me was learning and practicing self-compassion.  What is compassion? Compassion is showing kindness, tenderness, mercy and leniency towards someone. Can that someone not be yourself? Of course it can. As I said earlier how are we to know those inner feelings if we have never practiced this on ourselves. How do we know if we are treating others tenderly if we always kick ourselves when we are down? How can we show others mercy when we judge ourselves to the gallows every time? In reality we can’t and we don’t, but we may think we do. I practiced showing myself tenderness when I failed, mercy when I committed sins, being kind to myself when I needed a hand up. I practiced and practiced these feelings on myself until they became the regular responses to my failings. As with self-acceptance, I learned through practicing self-compassion that I was lovable and in time I came to love myself.  I can look at the eyes looking back in the mirror and say, “I love you” and mean it. This ability I wish for all the world not just those of us with bipolar. Today I can look in the eyes of the man in mirror and know the I no longer cheat the man looking back, he is my friend.

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:

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:

http://mindfullybipolar.blogspot.ca/2016_10_01_archive.html

 

Parenting Ourselves

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One of my beliefs about bipolar is that when we seek help we become two distinct people or break into two parts, the part of us that wants to get well and the part of us that we currently are. The part of us we currently are is comfortable with its current thinking and actions, even if that thinking and actions always land us in trouble. It is, after all, all we know. The part of us that wants to get well does not know how to go about getting well and is easily drawn back into the old thinking and old ways of acting but clearly sees this is not the best course. The part that wants to get well is tired of nothing ever working out, not relationships, not jobs, not life.

Now the sage advice, and I even give this advice, is to go to therapy and build a team of professional and non-professional support around yourself.  To study and learn about yourself and this illness we share. I encourage everyone to do these things. I want to add one thing to this list of things we need to surround ourselves with and learn, that is we need to learn to parent ourselves.

I can hear every one going, “What is he talking about, parent ourselves?”

The part of us that wants to get well needs to learn to parent the immature, selfish, self-centered person we currently are. Although I do not buy into the inner child theory, I do know that when I decided to concentrate on mental wellness instead of participating in mental illness I was immature, selfish and self-centered. What needed to change was that immature, selfish and self-centered person I was. The part of me that wanted to get well had to learn how to help the person I was grow up into the man he was supposed to be. That is the job description of a parent, to help someone grow up. Thus, we need to learn to parent ourselves.

I will tell you why I think learning to parent ourselves and using that exact label is so important, these are the attributes of a good parent according to Resource.com, “unconditional love, boundless patience and the ability to set boundaries.” These characteristics are the foundation for good parenting, and all other qualities necessary to raise a confident, empathetic person come from them.”

Do you unconditionally love yourself?

Do you have boundless patience with yourself?

Do you set boundaries for yourself and others?

For the most part, as BP sufferers, the answer is, “no”. We are usually verbally abusive to ourselves, the exact opposite of love. We have no patience with ourselves and we have no boundaries. That is why I put this thought of learning to parent ourselves out there, first to myself and then here. Because if we can learn to practice these attributes of unconditional love, boundless patience and the ability to set boundaries on ourselves, we can maybe in time learn to practice them on others. We need to remember to practice them on ourselves first.

This concept of learning to parent myself led me to look for and find many helpful resources in parenting books and parenting internet searches. I have found learning to parent myself through the good ideas of others really helped me to learn skills that I am able to practice on myself that have improved my life. Skills like how to encourage myself rather than beat myself up. To set boundaries for myself and others and remove the victim mentality I had held for many years, plus many more.

The term parent ourselves may seem strange, but it is no more strange than the great teacher saying we need to be born again. We do need to be born again into a new life of mental wellness, but somebody needs to parent that new born child we become to grow up into the healthy man or woman they are meant to be. The only person that can is you.

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:

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Blending Truths and Absolutes

 

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What are our tactics for dealing with bipolar? Herman Gorter’s quote says that our tactics must be based on absolute truths or they would lead to defeat. That is why I shared my three absolutes and my five truths, my tactics for dealing with my bipolar are based on those things and they are absolutely true for me. Thus my tactics seldom fail and even when they do, I automatically reach out to someone to help me find a new tactic to add to my arsenal of tools and tactics that work for me. Failure then, is not really failure at all, it is just a learning experience.

The Five Truths have proven true for myself and many others, but they are usually too general to be absolute truths for everyone. It is only by finding what is absolutely true for ourselves, individually, can we find the tactics to manage our individual bipolar.

I find I can only explain this by telling my story as it relates to  those absolute truths on which to base those tactics, as they are my truths. But i hope to be a guide to help you find your own absolute truths to base your tactics on.

When I began my journey towards mental wellness, I had no tools and no tactics. I had only my illness. What was different? I had made a decision to change because I no longer liked living in this illness. My decision to change was the start of my first absolute, “I have BP 1 and left unchecked my life is a disaster.”  I needed to learn the things that would check my bipolar

Awareness, real awareness, is the beginning of all change. I had been aware that there may be something different about me, even wrong with me, since I was about 8 years old. That, maybe there is something but you can’t quite capture it, feeling.  That does not constitute real awareness. Real awareness is when the problem comes and slaps you upside the head. It is at that point real awareness kicks in. For some of us it took a lot for that to happen. The reason is we have to run out of other people, places, things and situations to blame and be faced with the stark fact we are responsible for what is going on.

It’s like the term, “situational depression.” Meaning if you weren’t in that situation you wouldn’t be depressed. I spent a lifetime being situationally depressed, because I was always putting myself in situations I was uncomfortable in and couldn’t deal with. I never learned to ask myself or anyone else, “what situation am I supposed to be in?” Or more importantly, “how do I stop getting into these situations?” One day there was just too much situation and too much depression, I needed to reach out for help.

One of the sad facts of bipolar is that few people ever seek help when they are manic.

There was nothing I could blame this time; I had done it. I had gotten myself in this predicament and now I needed to find someone to help me get out of this situation. This led me to the collision of my second absolute and my first truth.

To be continued…………………

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.

 

 

 

Employment and Careers – Ambition

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This is ambition in the eyes of many.

Where is his ladder? These are his ladder

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I have always been ambitious, in the way of wanting something. I wanted to be successful, to have money, adoration and possessions.  That is what I thought ambition was. Often described as climbing the ladder to success, based on that ambition I would self-destruct every time.  Using this analogy of the ladder, life became a game of snakes and ladders, I would always find the snake that led right to the bottom. What caused this? The answer was quite simple, in the analogy of the ladder we are not told that we need to construct our own ladder to climb. What is this ladder made of? The ladder is made out of the things that that make up human character. The stronger the human character, the stronger the ladder. There was nothing inside of me to support my climb and my ladder always collapsed. I had to change, I had to first build a better ladder.

Steven R Covey, in his book, “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, says that in the first 150 years of the science of success the focus was on Character. Character, he defines as clear principals for living. In the early part of the last century the focus changed to techniques of success. Techniques are good, a better, quicker way of climbing the ladder is always good. However, you still need a strong ladder to start with.

Then I came across a quote by  Bill Wilson, co founder of A.A., “True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the profound desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.”

This refocused my idea of ambition to being useful. This is what I needed while I learned to build a better ladder. While I worked on my character I could still do useful things and be useful to others, none of which required the stress of monetary strings. I could do things for others and in that way test out my new character traits.

Today, gainfully employed, my principals for living allow me to pass on to others the message of hope that was given to me.

I must point out that none of this change of focus and character building was possible without proper medication to stabilize the mind and the support team of counselors and groups I had made.

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