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Practice Gratitude? The Science Says – Yes.

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Although we are all individuals and we need to find what works for us as individuals there are things that prove to be universal. If there were no universal symptoms for bipolar disorder, we could never be properly diagnosed.

Science is now proving another universal truth, repeatedly finding things to be grateful for in our lives has amazing benefits. I have attached the best-researched blog post I could find in the blog of the week that explains the benefits of gratitude.

Science is also proving that finding things to be grateful for is one of the things we can use to help rewire our brains. Something I talk a lot about in this blog. Bipolar disorder is a disease of the mind and we need to fix our minds.

In all of the studies, it is stated over and over that as the name suggests practicing gratitude is not a once and done deal. You must practice being grateful. There is also a specific way you need to practice gratitude; you have to write it down. To this end, there are now a plethora of gratitude journals and apps on the market. This week I am attaching a second blog post to the blog of the week giving the nine best gratitude apps.

Here the controversy starts. Do you write the things you are grateful for daily or weekly? How many things should you write down? Three, five, ten or more?

To find what really works I turned to the people that have been teaching how to practice gratitude long before the science caught up, the twelve-step programs.

They say to write down three things you are grateful for every day. They also have a rule, you can’t use the same things twice. This causes you to search for the things you are grateful for after you have written down the obvious. If you write down that: 1. you are alive, 2. have a job 3. have a good boss. The next day you have to find three new things. This is how you rewire your mind by having to push yourself to look beyond the obvious.

Practicing gratitude is finally scientifically proven to help. Something that many people have known and taught for a long time. It is nice when everyone is on the same page. I encourage everyone to bring the practice of being grateful in their lives.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

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.

Recommended Products:

Gratitude Journal: Journal 5 minutes a day

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The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude

https://amzn.to/2RPciMr

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

Important Notice: Join me on 365daysofbipolar.com’s Facebook page on February 17 to 21 as I share my first eBook, “365daysofbipolar.com’s Meditations For The Bipolar Mind” for comments and feedback. “Like” the page while you are there.

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 blogs which are both from happierhuman.com. A site I recommend.

Make Your New Years’ Resolutions Come True 2

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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This is part two of making your New Years’ resolutions come true. Last week I shared the definitions that mattered.

Most New Year resolutions are about stopping or starting a habit. A habit is defined in psychology as: “any regularly repeated behavior that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition.”

That means that any habit can be learned or unlearned and if we make a resolution to invoke this change in our lives it can happen. Do we really understand what a resolution is?

The definition of a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

For the most part, we do not take our new year resolutions seriously. We say them but do not develop the resolve to carry them out. We do nothing to reinforce that initial decision. The tactic for making my resolutions come true is to make that initial decision into a mantra which reinforces my commitment to the initial decision. In stopping addictive behavior such a smoking, alcohol, drugs and hyper fixation habits outside help may be required as no mantra by itself will overcome these. I believe creating a mantra that requires actually thinking about the decision you are making and putting into words really helps to reinforce that decision. But even if we reinforce the decision with mantras there remains the issue of making the habit itself stick and that can only be done with action. The definition does say a habit is an activity. To really establish a habit we must both reinforce and repeat it. That is the action, repeating the activity. Although I can find no scientific studies to back up this next statement: my personal experience and experiences shared by other bipolar sufferers indicate, it takes substantially longer for bipolar sufferers to establish a habit. The common understanding that it takes twenty-one to thirty days to establish a new habit is not true for most bipolar sufferers. The realistic time frame seems to be three to six months before that habit becomes our new behavior without having to think about it. But armed with that information it is easier to keep up the commitment until our new habit becomes an ingrained behavior. The habit will get established it just takes us a little longer for that to happen.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

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.

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020.

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 Debbie Jacobs originally featured in BPHope Magazine

A Christmas Message

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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It seems odd to me that Christmas day falls on my regular day to post a blog. Christmas, what does that mean? To someone who has battled bipolar disorder, all his life Christmas has had its ups and downs, literally.  I think that is the point of this Christmas message. We have bipolar disorder this season and this day affects us. Some more than others, but if we are honest, we can admit this season does affect us.

For me, Christmas has become a season of self-care, practicing boundaries and knowing my limits.

Self-Care Secrets:

  1. Do less – realize you are not the energizer bunny.
  2. Look for the humor – Learn to laugh when things don’t go exactly as planned.
  3. Check your motives – Why are you doing what you are doing? If you are doing something simply to please others it will only make you unhappy.
  4. Get enough rest – trying to be here, there and everywhere is tiring. Make sure you are getting enough rest.

Boundary Secrets:

  1. Be honest and direct – If you know going to your wife’s uncle Joes will be a disaster say so and don’t go.
  2. Give your self permission – If people, places, and situations are not going well give your self permission to leave.
  3. Be Assertive:  Assertively communicate when others have crossed a boundary.

I can share no secrets on knowing your limits as they are your limits. By practicing self-care and boundaries, you will find you may not be as stressed. Allowing you to have a “ducky” Christmas.

That is what I wish for everyone – A “ducky” Christmas.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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.

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 Crazy Little Things

https://crazylittlethings.site/2019/10/23/your-path-is-not-my-path

Why Changing Perceptions is important

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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“There is no test for depression or bipolar disorder, as there is for cholesterol or blood sugar levels. In most cases, success is determined by patients’ perceptions and behavior. If they say they feel better, and act like it, then they are. No psychiatrist bats 1.000, and there is no X-ray to prove a mental break has been healed.” Quote from an article by Neely Tucker a Washington Post Reporter.

I have never found truer words to describe what I have tried to get across to the readers of this blog. You can successfully deal with bipolar disorder and heal the mental break if you find what works for you as an individual. Finding what works for you makes you feel better then you begin to act like you feel better and your whole world changes. This takes effort and to make the effort worthwhile you must retain the hope that you can feel better.

Are medications required? The purpose of medication in treating bipolar disorder is to stabilize the mind and moods. Medication alone will not fix you; medication just gives you a stable platform on which to fix your self. There are a lot of medications (57 at last count) used to treat bipolar and new ones are appearing regularly. Finding the one, or combination of ones, that work for you can be both frustrating and challenging. In my case, it took a couple of years and the trialing of over fifty medications or combinations of medications to find the mix that worked for me.

Is therapy required? Defiantly, therapy and a therapist are needed to challenge our thinking and help us overcome the trauma we have suffered. As well as to confront the false beliefs that our bipolar disorder has instilled in us. There are several types of therapy and several styles of therapists that are recommended for bipolar disorder.  Finding the therapist and type of therapy that works for you is also challenging. I had to kiss a few frogs before I found the prince that saved my life.

The only other requirement: Learn about and try the tools used in the management of bipolar disorder. Then adopt the ones that work for you. Adopt and develop good habits like eating and sleeping regularly plus regular exercise. Changing your diet, stop using drugs and alcohol and changing other harmful lifestyle habits are necessary for you to manage your bipolar disorder. The more you discover what works for you eliminate what doesn’t the more enjoyable this journey with bipolar disorder becomes.

As bipolar sufferers, we must do everything we can to change our perceptions and behaviors and adopt new habits that make us feel better so we can be better.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Linda Sapadin Ph.D

https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-importance-of-practice-and-preparation

It is what we concentrate on

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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This blog may turn into a rant, if it does that is not my intent. …

The focus of my thinking is always towards mental wellness. I focus on wellness, on better outcomes and solutions in my day rather than what is wrong in my life. In many places, by many writers and by the universal law of polarity we are told concentrating on the illness creates more illness. Concentrating on the opposite, in this case, mental wellness creates more wellness. I have taken this lesson and seared it into my mind.

Bipolar is a mental illness that can be overcome, not an excuse. We can choose to work towards mental wellness, or we can use our illness as an excuse to stay the way we are. Those are our real choices, but those choices can only happen once we know what our problem is. When in the throes of our illness we may suspect there is something wrong, but we are powerless to really do anything. Having been misdiagnosed for over 40 years and trying to fix what was wrong with me by solving the symptoms of ADHD, I can attest to that. It is only when we get in a situation that causes us to be given a proper diagnosis do our choices appear. It is what we do after our diagnosis that is important. I have started looking at this issue of pre and post-diagnosis quite differently. I used to beat myself up severely for all the insane things I did in my illness.  When I was in my illness, I was sick. I can no more blame myself for that as I can blame myself throwing up on the floor when I wake up with severe nausea. It is what happened and was unavoidable.

I quit beating myself up, period. I came to understand that all the things that I condemned myself for were either the result of my illness or the result of trying to learn this new way of living on the path to mental health, I knew nothing of this way of life and I made a lot of mistakes learning this new way of living. Mistakes are just learning experiences, not God condemned sins.  I have learned a lot about myself and the underlying causes of my inappropriate reactions to others. There are other issues in my life besides my bipolar disorder, or maybe because of bipolar disorder that were the result of trying to kill the pain and deal with the trauma in my life. These other issues that my illness caused before I learned there was a real cause for the pain and trauma must also be dealt with as well.

Our shared illness is not an excuse to remain as we are. It is something that is to be dealt with and overcome by learning who we are and connecting with our authentic selves. Bipolar disorder makes us self-centered, but we can actually get over that if we do what is recommended after our diagnosis such as take our meds and use counseling. Once we have a diagnosis, we have choices and it is the choices we make that place us on the path to mental wellness or leave us stuck in our illness. It is always our choice.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Laura Fisher

The Most Frustrating Conversation

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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This week’s post speaks to a common problem that we as bipolar sufferers face. I have covered this problem from the aspect of when our professional support falls into their routine of this should work for that symptom failing to see us as who we are in this post and in the blog of the week I have attached a wonderful post by Natasha Tracy on toxic positivity another side of the same coin.

Here is the scenario: you go to your psychiatrist or your therapist because your bipolar management plan is not working and they say to you, “Take this or do that and it will work for you.”

You reply, “I have taken that or done that in the past and it did not work.”

Then you get that blank stare from your psychiatrist or your therapist.

That is when you know that your psychiatrist or your therapist is not seeing you.

You may be in their presence, but they are not connecting with you. They are just going by their routine saying this symptom or behavior requires this med or this action.

Psychiatrists and therapists are people just like us and they fall into routines just like the rest of us. That is when it gets frustrating. Because it then becomes our job to make them see us. To see us not as just another patient but as a real person.

Now it is wrong to expect that every time we walk in the door of our professional support they are going to be as attentive as they were when we were a new patient. That is an unreasonable expectation. It is reasonable to expect that when we come into their office, they should know who we are.

Let us replay that conversation again:

You go to your psychiatrist or your therapist because your bipolar management plan is not working and they say to you, “Take this or do that and it will work for you.”

You reply, “I have taken that or done that in the past and it did not work.” Then you get that blank stare from your psychiatrist or your therapist.

Our normal bipolar response to this situation is to complete the appointment and never go back because we think that the psychiatrist or therapist does not care about us. These are the lies our bipolar mind tells us to destroy helpful relationships.

Since these are actual conversations from my life that have happened with both my psychiatrist and my therapist, I can share how I learned to respond when it became my job to make them see me.

My angry response is, “I have told you over and over to never say, “this will work for you.” You are not me and you have no idea what will work for me.”

That usually wakes them up. Being bipolar and the fact that I am there because my management plan is not working, I am usually angry.  But I do have a calm response as well.

“Look, we have tried a lot of stuff, so you are not going to remember everything we tried. How about we try something new.”

Sometimes it is our job to make others see us as an individual, not just part of the crowd.  It is difficult but we can learn the skills to make it happen.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Natasha Tracy

The Tool to Change your Destiny

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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One of the things that shocked me into changing my thinking and challenging my beliefs was reading a quote that was attributed to Margret Thatcher, but a further study shows the author is unknown or possibly Loa Tzu of Toa Te Ching fame. The quote reads:

“Be careful of your thoughts, they become your words.

Be careful of your words, they become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, they become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, they become your character.

Be careful of your character, it becomes your destiny.”

When I looked at this quote it struck me that I had the destiny of an insane person (the hospital stays, lost jobs, lost relationships) and if I did not change my thinking things would never get better and that destiny would continue to its inevitable end. I did not want that destiny that said over and over “life is not worth living.”  I wanted something else, a life worth living and that simple quote showed me it was possible to get it. The question was how?

To save you the pain of how my bipolar mind concluded the “how” I will share the simple answer. The simple answer is I had to change my words. The words I said to myself and the words I said to others, even the words I wrote. By working on changing the words I thought, spoke and wrote and by challenging the lies my bipolar mind told through the help of a therapist – Lies are made up of words. Just saying – I have been able, over time, to change my thinking and thus I have changed my destiny. My destiny today is one of inner peace, serenity, and joy. The three things that are worth more than money.

What I find interesting is that science is now agreeing with what my bipolar mind came up with all on its own. Science has confirmed, “If you change your words you can change “you” right down to your genetic level.”

 In their book “Words Can Change Your Brain,” Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

Another great book on this topic is Andrea Gardner’s, “Change Your Words, Change Your World.” Which is basically her story and provides some great tools to help with incorporating positive words into your inner and outer speech.

The other aspect of implementing this change of words is to place a guard at the gate of your mind. It is one thing to become conscious of what is going in and out of your mind verbally, but it is equally important to become conscious of what is going into your subconscious from other sources. To put it bluntly, if everyone and everything you are listening to, reading and seeing reinforce the false beliefs you hold then you will make little progress.

This is a multi-faceted subject, but if you start with what you have total control over, the words you think, say and write, you will find that things will change.

That is the “how” of changing your destiny and if you begin to practice changing your words you will begin to change.

 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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Dr. Deborah Serani Psy.D

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/two-takes-depression/201702/why-self-care-is-hard-depressed-individuals

When Post Day And An Important Aniversary Collide Or Lifes Struggles

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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This is probably the hardest post I have ever written. When I noticed that November 6th coincided with having a post due and a very important anniversary, I knew I had to write this post. This is essentially my story.

Thirty-four years ago, today, November 6, 1985, I lost my first wife to a drunk driver. Today I remember Ellen, but I also remember the twenty-five-year tailspin this loss sent me into. Some ten years prior, March 1975 I had my first hospitalization for mental illness and where I had been misdiagnosed with ADHD and OCD. A diagnosis that I was stuck with for the next thirty-five years, September 2009, until I finally got to see a psychiatrist who not only questioned the diagnosis but did the work to properly diagnose me with bipolar 1 disorder.

Today I tell people that I am thirty-four years sober, I sobered up, August 2, 1985, only a few months before Ellen died, and nine years sane. The reason I say this is because I may have been sober twenty-five years when I finally got my proper diagnosis, but I was far from sane. I could not have been sane not knowing what was wrong with me. To say I struggled all those years before my proper diagnosis is a huge understatement. For that all that time I was helpless and hopeless, going from one emotional crisis and loss to the next. I just could not find any hope.

What I want to share are the struggles since getting a proper diagnosis. Struggles that were based on finally knowing what was wrong with me and the hope that by knowing what was wrong things could get better and are getting better gave me. That is why I write this blog to share that hope

These are my struggles since my proper diagnosis and in the end I will share what I have learned. I struggled for two years to find the meds that worked. I struggled through a further two years of therapy as I learned about me. I struggled to overcome the things that stuck to my bipolar disorder.  The comorbidity of our illness. Things like complicated grief disorder, which masked the seasonal aspect of my bipolar and the aspect of this illness I am currently learning to overcome. I struggled with addictions to sex, video games and anything else that relieved the pain without booze and drugs. I learned that I suffered from Self Love Deficit Disorder, the new name for codependency and how to overcome that. I struggled to overcome the negativity bipolar disorder creates in our thoughts and words and I struggled to overcome the constant suicidal thoughts I had.   

In struggling through and overcoming all these things, this is what I have learned:

  1. A proper diagnosis gives you something to “WORK” with and gives us hope.
  2. Proper medication gives you a stable mind with which to do the “WORK.”  Proper medication does not fix you.
  3. The “Work” is solely on yourself, to create change in you and you are the only one who can do it. Randy, my therapist said it best, “You are the one with bipolar not me. I can suggest things, but it is you that must do them.”
  4. The only thing you must change is you, your false beliefs, your thinking, and your attitude.
  5. There is only ONE GAOL – to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds and emotions. A statement I have chosen to end each post with,
  6. By taking control of our minds and emotions we can learn to connect with our authentic self. An authentic self we can truly fall in love with.

Today I still struggle but it is never in the constant emotional turmoil that untreated bipolar creates. I have found the more I learn about myself and the more I come to love and accept myself the less I do struggle. That is the hope, someday the struggle may end, and living can begin. Today I have way more life and a lot less struggle.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds and our emotions.

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Janice Webb Ph.D.

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2019/04/20-things-people-with-childhood-emotional-neglect-often-say

From glued to the bed to walking underwater.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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I know every year somewhere from the middle of October to the middle of November the seasonal aspect of my bipolar disorder is going to strike. Sending me into a deep depression.

This year it struck last weekend. It had been creeping up over the previous week, the irritability reappeared. A bipolar symptom that is the harbinger of my depression to come.

This year I slept a lot on Saturday and missed my usual Sunday morning breakfast get together. But I also made a great supper for my girlfriend both days, did the dishes both times and cleaned my apartment. Even though it felt like I was walking underwater. Walking underwater is the only way I can impart the slow sluggish feeling that moving while depressed feels like. Everything is in slow motion, your thinking, your movements. Sometimes even your speech as your thought to speech transmission slips into neutral. It is a struggle.

This annual slide into depression is the most debilitating aspect of my bipolar disorder.

This annual slide into depression is also how I judge my progress. For most of my life, this annual slide into depression would destroy my life. I would be glued to the bed for months. A couple of times this depression spanned a couple of years. Due to this depression, I was unable to do anything. I lost jobs or if I was able to keep them, I phoned in sick a lot.

I learned a lot about myself studying this slide into depression and work.  I thought that I was well suited to farming as where I live the growing season goes from May to October. But mania used to rule my life during the summer back then. So, that didn’t work out well either. I did learn that if I took a job, I could not work the day shift. Either I worked afternoons or nights, or I could not keep the job. For the past decade, I have worked four to midnight at the same place, the longest I have kept a job in my life.

It has been while holding this job that I have been able to study my progress from glued to bed when the depression hit to walking underwater.  I did this by practicing what I preach a lot today, “You can take the initiative against depression.”

Do not doubt that I am depressed as I write this, I cannot even tell if this is coherent. The big lesson I have learned is this, our brains tell us we must do some great thing to defeat depression. The truth is it is by doing little things even if it feels like we are walking underwater that really works.  Doing something for someone else also seems to help as well. When I listed my weekend accomplishments at the beginning of this post, they were not huge things. I made a couple of meals and shared them with my girlfriend. I did the dishes both times and I cleaned my apartment and I felt like I was walking underwater the whole time. But I also felt like I was doing something worthwhile.

If you get up and do one little thing even if it feels like it is the greatest weight you have ever lifted, you will find that feeling of doing something worthwhile. Then you can build on “taking the initiative against depression.”

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Sharon Davis

bipolar.newlifeoutlook.com/yoga-for-mental-health/

Do Not Speak Death

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

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In his short story “What Men Live By” the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy gave me one of the great secrets for my mental health. The secret is said in many ways in many different languages, but it was in this short story that I finally heard the secret and learned from it. My hope is that in telling this secret in my way that some may hear the secret and learn to practice it.

The gist of the story is a poor man went to the store to get something and not only did he not get what he supposed to, but he also brought someone home with him for supper. A scenario that would anger any wife. There is more to the story than this of course.     

Near the end of the story, one of the characters says, “I entered the house and a woman came to meet us and she began to speak………. the spirit of death came from her mouth.” That line stopped me cold and I had to go back to the beginning of the story to find what the woman said.

She said, “her husband was a drunk, she hated him and should never have married him. The man he brought home was as worthless as her husband. She dragged in things that happened ten years before. She talked and talked and at last flew at her husband in her rage.”

To my bipolar mind, this was a pretty typical husband and wife argument and very well written, where was the “death” in that. Then I focused on two words, hate and worthless. Words I spoke every day about myself and every person, place, thing and situation in my life. That’s when the secret jumped out at me.

The secret is a simple statement, “Do not speak death.” What does “do not speak death” mean – that we should eliminate the words that kill our spirits from our spoken words. This, in turn, will remove these words from our thoughts as we become conscious of them.

With those two words, “hate” and “worthless” I started on a journey. The journey was to eliminate all the spirit killing words from my vocabulary. My first step was to track how often I used those words. On a typical day, I used the word “HATE” a remarkable one hundred and ten times. The word “WORTHLESS” only about thirty times. As I became more and more aware when these two words crept into my spoken language, I began to look for words that I could replace them with. For “hate” I chose “like” which over time became “love” and “worthless” I chose “useful.”

Here is a concrete example. On June 10th, 201O I said, “I hate my job,” out loud fifty-two times. That does not include the number of times I made that statement in the confines of my mind. In that mindset, I did not want to go to work.

On June 10th, 2019 I said, “I love my job,” sixteen times in conversation and another twenty-three times to myself. The thing is it is the same job. Nothing has changed but me and how I speak of my job and now I want to go to work every day.

As time went on, I found more and more spirit killing words and using the same process eliminated them from my spoken vocabulary. In a future post, I will compile a list of the common spirit killing words that we use in our everyday speech.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 Wednesday. Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/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 Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/are-you-making-these-4-communication-mistakes-in-your-romantic-relationship

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