365daysofbipolar.com

Where We Learn To Connect With Our Authentic Selves.

Category: bipolar disorder (page 1 of 4)

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2020

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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Happy New Year from 365daysofbipolar.com. My hope with this site is to help you have the best 2020 you can possibly have. I know as a fellow bipolar disorder sufferer that battling this illness is never easy. The goal for 365daysofbipolar.com for 2020 is to provide a resource that you can turn to that provides helpful information, suggestions and tools that will make your 2020 into the best year you have ever had.

My first suggestion is that you 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.

The first thing that is different in 2020 is this, originally it was boldly stated that 365daysofbipolar.com is: “dedicated to living with and overcoming #bipolar disorder. Because life, even with #bipolar disorder, should be ducky.” That is still what this site is dedicated to, living with and overcoming #bipolar disorder, but we have narrowed the focus. The focus of this site is now: “learning to connect with our authentic selves.”

Why is this important? In my own life and in talking to hundreds of fellow bipolar sufferers over the past few years what I have learned is that bipolar disorder is a great deceiver. Bipolar masks our true identity creating an identity crisis of epic proportions. I am not a doctor and therefore cannot comment on medications only to say medication has a purpose and is necessary.  I am not a therapist and therefore cannot comment on the therapeutic side of this illness. Again, all I can say is that therapy is necessary for battling this illness. What I can comment on, and provide a guide for, is overcoming that identity crisis that bipolar disorder causes and help you connect with your authentic self. So that has become the focus of this site, providing information to help us connect with our authentic selves.

As we head into 2020 together, I want to share something I recently learned from YouTuber Sunny Lenarduzzi. This is Sunny’s formula for getting what you want in 2020.

  1. What You Really Want. If you are reading this blog, I would say what you really want is to learn to manage your bipolar disorder and connect with your authentic self so that you can have that “Ducky” life I talk about on this site.
  2. Plus, How Hard Are You Willing To Work To Get That “Ducky” Life? Managing bipolar disorder requires work. It requires learning new skills and putting in place new positive habits. As you practice these new skills and put into place these habits, there will not be so much work, but in the beginning, it is a lot of work. The harder you work the more results you will see. But remember, the work is entirely on yourself and it takes time. As I always say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”
  3. Minus, Any Distractions That Stand In The Way Of You Getting That “Ducky” Life You Seek. Roadblocks are another way of saying distractions. If other people, places, situations or other external things are standing in the way of you getting that “ducky” life you seek, well then, they have to go. It is that simple.

To reach our goal of a “ducky” life we must develop the self-discipline to take control of our lives, our emotions, and our minds. This three-part plan is how we will get there.

Please comment below on what you would like to see presented on this site in 2020.

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 lives and 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 Beth Kurland Ph.D. published in Psychology Today.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-well-being-toolkit/201906/how-not-get-sucked-electronic-time-warp

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

The Importance of a treatment Plan

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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Bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it. We must find what works for each of us individually to be successful in managing our bipolar disorder. To find success in the treatment of bipolar disorder many sufferers often have created their own personalized treatment plan that works for them. Any treatment plan be if for medication, therapy, or lifestyle needs to be designed specifically for you with the aid of professionals.

All treatment plans contain certain elements:

  • The patient’s personal information, psychological history and demographics
  • A diagnosis of the current mental health problem
  • High-priority treatment goals
  • Measurable objectives
  • A timeline for treatment progress
  • Space for tracking progress

The important aspect of a treatment plan is your participation in the creation of the plan. Remember these are your objectives and goals for your illness. The professional helping you create this plan does not need these objectives and goals. Another aspect of treatment plans is who controls the plan. Yes, it is your plan but my suggestion is leave them in the care of the professionals as they have filing systems.

It is important to understand that your treatment plan is not carved in stone and will change as you discover new ways of managing your bipolar disorder and you progress towards mental wellness. In other words, as you progress your needs will change, and your plan must adapt to those needs.

My treatment plan has progressed from a plan based on medication and therapy in the beginning to one that is mostly about finding my optimum lifestyle choices. I had to progress through learning about my triggers, emotional intelligence, my boundaries, my needs and my values in my second plan which was strictly a therapy plan.  My focus today is on learning nutrition, exercise and advanced management techniques in self-care and meditation which involves a nutritionist and a therapist as the professionals.

I attribute a lot of my success in learning to manage my bipolar disorder by having professional support that insisted on developing a treatment plan with stated objectives and reachable goals right from the start.

Although bipolar is as individual as its sufferers having a treatment plan is for everyone who suffers from this illness.

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 A Guest Author on Healthy Place.

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2019/12/we-can-all-emotionally-heal

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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