Where We Learn To Connect With Our Authentic Selves.

Category: Individuality of BP (Page 1 of 2)

WHY WE SHOULD LISTEN TO OUR BODIES.

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

As Bipolar Sufferers We Do Not Listen To What Is Important.

I have never met a bipolar sufferer who does not have some type of Gastrointestinal issue if not several of them. In my case, I have ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

Not only that but heart or circulation issues are as prevalent as gastrointestinal issues. I also have high blood pressure.

Why is that? The short answer is we do not listen to our bodies and then suffer the consequences when our body begins to rebel causing us pain and other side effects of neglect.

Bipolar Disorder Makes Us Externally Focused.

Bipolar disorder makes us believe that external things are the cause of our discomfort while our body is screaming that our problem is inside us.

It is like those old horror movies where all the teenagers are looking out the windows for the scary monster and the scary monster is standing behind a group of them in the house.

Every week I end this blog with the statement, “Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.” I say this because bipolar disorder does not want us to look inside ourselves to find what is wrong. Bipolar disorder wants us to look everywhere else.

The Mind, Body, Emotion Conflict.

Where do our emotions come from? Is it our mind or our bodies? Could it be both or is there something else?

Those questions were posed to me about six years ago and sent me on a journey that is still ongoing. But I want to share what I have learned so far.

To me, it was obvious that our mind does not generate or control our emotions, especially the bipolar mind. To me, that meant our body must generate and control our emotions.

Then I read, “Three Brains” by Karen Jenson N.D., the subtitle of which is, “How the Heart, Brain, and Gut Influence Mental Health and Identity. When I came across this book, I was already convinced that bipolar disorder created an identity crisis. This book showed me not only did bipolar create an identity crisis but caused a conflict between our heart brain and our gut-brain.

Why We Should Listen To Our Bodies.

As the book states, we have three brains, two in our bodies and one in our head. Once you understand this it is not hard to figure out that there is more brainpower in our bodies than in our head. That makes our bodies worth listening to. In this light it also quite easy to understand the statement, “your body is quite intelligent.”

If you have a mind that is controlled by bipolar disorder it is even more important that you learn how to let the brains in your body take over.

What Of Emotions?

Bipolar disorder affects our moods and emotions. That is what seems to control us. For many of us, all we really want is emotional control. If we could control our emotions, we would have everything, right?

The fact is we will never have real emotional control without aligning our three brains or at least getting them to work together instead of being in a state of miscommunication.

It Is Imperative We Turn Inwards.

If you agree that it is now time to listen to the two brains in our bodies, how do we do it? Our body has always talked to us and even if you have not listened in decades your body is still talking to you. The problem is we do not understand its language.

 Our mind talks to us in words, our bodies talk in sensations and feelings.

We have to become open to that language.

The other issue is that of trust. We have never trusted our heart or gut. They seem to have led us astray way too many times and betrayed our trust. What if I told you your heart and gut never lied to you? Your bipolar mind wrongly interpreted the signals.

This brings us to my favorite word in bipolar management, “learning.”

To effectively listen to your body, you have to learn the language your body speaks in and even more importantly you have to trust what your body is saying. This will not happen overnight.

3 Simple Things To Start Tuning Into Your Body.

  1. Stop – for a minute stop and relax.
  2. Breath Deep – Take a few deep breaths.
  3. Acknowledge your feelings – The language of our bodies is feelings and sensations. If we acknowledge what we are feeling but do not respond. We will slowly learn to filter out the noise and hear what our body is saying.

The journey to reconnect with the language of your body is both interesting and worthwhile. The benefits are a healthier and happier you. This is a short blog post that I hope will interest you in embarking on your own journey of learning to connect your three brains, mind, heart, and gut and listening to your body.

There are many great teachers on how to listen to your body and in the last few years, many therapists are learning and passing on this skill. As a starting point, I have put a post in the Blog of the Week section below.

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. Please comment below as I am extremely interested in your opinion.

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 Amy Kurtz

https://wanderlust.com/journal/actually-means-listen-body

WHEN THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT, SOMETIMES WE NEED A NEW STARTING POINT.

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

WHEN THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT, SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO FIND A NEW STARTING POINT.

I believe that bipolar disorder is as individual as the people who suffer from it. This means that this illness affects all us of differently and we not only have to find what works. But what works for each of us as individuals.

This is my story and I hope that some of the things I learned may help you.

The first step to finding that new starting point is to make sure you are using the right words to define it.

As a bipolar sufferer, I spent a long time in a life that was not worth living. Nothing was working out in my life in any area. To find the life I wanted I have had to find a different starting point for many areas of my life. To find that new starting point I first had to redefine many words. Keeping the definitions that my bipolar mind told me was correct kept me in the same mindset and unable to find that new starting point.

If you redefine the things that drive, you.

For most of us when we think of what drives us two words that come quickly to mind, ambition, and success. In redefining one of those words I found a new starting point that has completely changed my life.

Like most people, I have always been ambitious and wanted to succeed. Unfortunately, I failed miserably at everything I tried. Why? The short answer is I had the wrong definition for the word ambition and therefore the wrong thoughts and feelings driving my ambition and thwarting success. 

That was my first lesson: the thoughts and feelings a word in your mind generates have an incredible effect on the result.

My idea of ambition had me believing that I would get something material out of it. The truth for me turned out to be that if I made my ambition to be useful to others, I always got a good feeling and not necessarily a material gain.

Over the past decade, since I made being useful my goal, I have found many ways to put that into practice.

Ambition has nothing to do with success.

Success for me was learning to manage my bipolar disorder. I have been fairly successful at that. My life is no longer ruled 24/7 by my bipolar mood swings and my bipolar mind. That does not mean that I no longer have bipolar symptoms, they show up and often at the most inopportune times.

I have made managing my bipolar disorder job one each and every day. Learning to recognize the subtle signs and triggers that bring on my bipolar disorder.

The byproduct of making managing my bipolar disorder job one is I have held a job for a decade with minimal sick time, consistently written this blog for five years, and written two children’s books. If I had not made bipolar management job one, I would be able to point to any of those accomplishments as a gauge to mental wellness.

I encourage you to find that new starting point that will lead to a life worth living.

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. Please comment below as I am extremely interested in your opinion.

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 Hilary Jacobs Hendal

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/22/what-toxic-stress-does-to-a-childs-brain-and-how-to-heal-it

IS MENTAL WELLNESS A WORTHY IDEAL

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

Is Mental Wellness A Worthy Ideal?

I came across this quote shortly after my diagnosis in April of 2009.

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Earl Nightingale.

This was the question I asked myself. Is mental wellness a worthy ideal? My answer was a resounding, “Yes, for me it is.”

Success Does Not Mean Perfection:

The lie my bipolar brain had convinced me of was, “If it was not perfect, I was not doing it right and therefore I should not do anything.”

It took a year and a really good therapist to convince me otherwise. In talking to many other bipolar sufferers, I learned that I was not alone in this way of thinking.

As a visual person this image did more for me to understand what success really looks like. Success has nothing to do with doing things perfectly. Success is about keeping your goal, mental wellness, firmly in your sights. The goal of mental wellness may seem a long way off and may even be unreachable, but I learned THE GREATEST JOY is really found in the Progressive Realization Of The Worthy Ideal.

There is a second part to the Earl Nightingale quote.

“Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person.” Earl Nightingale.

There is an important word in the second part of this quote and that word is “WORK.”

Jim Rohn supplied the quote that told me what I needed to work on.” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

Defining The Goal And The Work.

Bipolar disorder does not go away, ever. Bipolar disorder is now defined as a chronic condition which simply means that the knowledgeable people in society recognize that you will never get over bipolar disorder as well.

Having a goal of mental wellness does not mean getting over bipolar disorder. The goal of mental wellness means managing bipolar disorder to the best of your ability.

In last week’s post I pointed out the more of bipolar management was learning. That is the work.

It is by progressing along the learning curve of bipolar management that the realization of mental wellness happens. That is where joy is found, in the progress of learning to manage your bipolar disorder not in reaching the goal of mental wellness.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.  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. Please comment below as I am extremely interested in your opinion.

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 John Poehler

THE MORE OF BIPOLAR MANAGEMENT

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

There Is More To Bipolar Management.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip Toe if you must, but take a step.” – Naeem Callaway

Bipolar disorder is as individual as the people that suffer from it. That individuality is the reason that bipolar disorder management must be tailored to the individual. There are generalities that apply to most of us, but there are cases where none of the generalities apply.

I end every post with the same statements because they are true. The ones that apply to this post are,

“Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.”

“Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

Standard Bipolar Management Strategies.

When you check out the standard bipolar management strategies, they usually say:

  1. eat healthy,
  2. sleep properly
  3.  exercise.

Everyone is supposed to do that! That advice is not specific to bipolar management. Not only that, but you can eat as healthy as you can, sleep eight or nine hours a night, and exercise like a fiend, but none of those actions will fix your mental state.

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Medication.

There are now 50 or more medications recommended for the treatment of the bipolar disorder. Research is proving that there are many nutraceuticals (supplements) that are also beneficial in bipolar management.

Bipolar disorder is as individual as the people that suffer from it. This means it takes a commitment from both the bipolar sufferer and the medical professional to find the pharmaceutical or the combination of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, that actually work for the individual.

Medications, be it pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals, do not fix your mental state. Medications stabilize your mind giving you a stable platform with which to work on the real problem.

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Therapy.

There is a misconception when it comes to therapy and that is that the therapist is going to fix you. Nothing could be further from the truth. A good therapist is nothing more that a guide and sounding board. The therapist’s job is to challenge our thinking and help us confront our false beliefs.

Bipolar disorder fills our minds with misconceptions and false beliefs that are firmly embedded and only with help can we overcome these. These misconceptions and false beliefs act like walls that stop us from connecting with our authentic selves.

Managing Bipolar Disorder With Mood Tracking.

“There is an app for that.” There is no truer statement for the area of mood tracking. At my last count there are some 30 apps solely devoted to mood tracking and many more that combine mood tracking with journaling.

Mood tracking is more than just noting your highs and lows. Mood tracking allows you to see how outside influences affect your mood. Diligent mood tracking will quickly highlight the things that trigger your emotions.

The More Of Bipolar Management.

By incorporating all of the above, taking your medication, eating well, exercising, practicing good sleep hygiene, tracking your moods, and working with your therapist, you have a decent bipolar management strategy. This strategy may even give you a decent life. But if you want that “Ducky” life there is more and that more is learning.

Learning how bipolar disorder affects you as an individual.

Learning what works for you to manage your bipolar symptoms.

Learning who the person is that bipolar disorder hid away.

Learning skills like proper boundaries.

Learning to improve both your mental and emotional resilience.

The path to mental wellness is hard, it involves a good basic routine and lots of learning. It involves consistency and looking solely at yourself. Remember, “Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.”

Adding learning to your bipolar management is worth it, because if you do those things your life will change like magic.

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. Please comment below as I am extremely interested in your opinion.

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 Dana Arcuri

http://www.danaarcuri.com/blog/what-is-stealing-your-peace-of-mind

LET US TALK – SELF-CARE

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

During this time of uncertainty, we have a great opportunity. An opportunity to work on ourselves. To learn good stewardship of our minds, bodies, and spirits.

My basic premise, that bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it, is also true of Self-Care. The first thing I have to admit is I changed the word self-care to stewardship for my life. I am the steward of my life. My life’s one and only caretaker.
Why did I change the word I use to define caring for myself? A mentor made the greatest observation when discussing the topic of self-care. “Pretend you are a beautiful flower, say an orchid. Do you know how to take care of a beautiful flower, like an orchid?”

Of course, I had no idea how to take care of a flower or any other plant at that time. That was his point. Self-care is not something we inherently know how to do. We have to learn what works for us.

For me, taking the approach that I was outside myself and tending to me like I was a plant I knew nothing about really helped me in the beginning.

To be a good steward of the orchid I want my life to become I needed to develop some skills and knowledge.

  1. To learn what the orchid likes, wants and needs.
  2. To know what can attack the orchid or reduce its life.
  3. To not only love the plant but love caring for the plant.

This interprets into knowing, protecting and loving ourselves and loving the act of caring for ourselves when we apply this to our persons. The thing is we have no idea about these things, and we have to learn them.

One other issue that caused me to change my terminology from self-care to stewardship is that this has allowed me to shut out all the noise that has become the self-care industry. Don’t get me wrong there is fantastic information out there under this topic but lighting candles and taking bubble baths did nothing for me. A lot of what is sold as self-care is just being momentarily good to ourselves and has no long-term effect on us. Self-care is a topic is sliding towards instant gratification rather than long term results. If you are the steward of something it instantly connotates you are in this for the long haul.

This is a difficult time for all of us. To help us get through this we need to be good to ourselves and love each other. If this post and this blog can help you learn to be good stewards of your mind, body, and spirit I am overjoyed.

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.

Related Products:

Self-Care for the Real World: Practical self-care advice for everyday life.

https://amzn.to/2xzvGqG

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.

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 Lachlan Brown.

https://hackspirit.com/self-love

LET’S TALK – BIPOLAR AND EATING

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences in the hope they 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). 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.

Please read my full disclaimer and privacy policy here:

A Special Post:

This is a special post, please check out the special blog of the week, as it is a guest post from my friend Pamela Gold.  Pam is the creator and administrator for the Facebook Group “The Bipolar Experience.”  I want to thank Pam for agreeing to do this.

Bashing the Bipolar Diet Hype:

You see it all the time, “this is the perfect diet for bipolar,” “start on the bipolar diet today” or some similar sensationalized statement. I think there is a perfect bipolar diet but not in the way that they are advertising it. I think one diet that helps with everyone’s bipolar disorder as unlikely as one medication that stabilizes all bipolar sufferers. This illness affects each of us so different and we respond to treatments so differently that one way of eating to help with bipolar does not seem logical. 

Being Bipolar, Single and Eating:

I was a single man when I started this journey towards mental, physical and spiritual health and I remain single to this day. Yes, I have a girlfriend, but we do not live together and when we are together, I do most of the cooking. The reason I say this at the outset is people say it is hard to cook when you are single and have bipolar. I am proof it is not. 

My position is, as with everything that bipolar disorder has touched in our lives, we need help. Eating and nutrition is one area that is not talked about enough to know where to find that help. To provide that help is why dietitians and nutritionists exist. They seem to be the greatest untapped resource in the bipolar battle. Dietitians and nutritionists can help to change your mindset concerning eating and food. Dietitians and nutritionists can teach you the skills you need. But as always you have to do the work.

My Journey With Bipolar Disorder And Eating:

Where we started:

In 2011, I met a lady named Calista Adams, who is a nutritionist. Mainly it is her advice that I going to share with you when it comes to proper eating habits. Before I met Calista, like most bipolar sufferers, I did not have any eating habits. I plain didn’t eat or ate seldom.

I am a five foot ten- and three-quarter inch male in his mid-sixties. When I met Calista, I was 56 and weighed a whopping one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Ten pounds heavier than I did when I was hospitalized the first time 38 years before. My weight had fluctuated between one eighteen and one fifty-five in the intervening years. I knew I was heading back to the hospital again if I did not fix my nutrition problem.

First, we discussed the issues, 

  1. When I was depressed, I did not have the energy to eat.
  2. When I was manic, I didn’t have time to eat.
  3. When I wasn’t depressed or manic, food had no appeal.

Calista listened but didn’t say much except for prodding questions. At the end of our session, she went to her desk and handed me a little note pad with a pencil attached. She asked me to put a mark every time I ate, and we made another appointment in two weeks.

When I returned two weeks later, I had 10 marks in the little book. Calista asked one question after she looked at the marks.

“Were these meals eaten in the morning, mid-day or evening?”

“I usually eat in the evening.” Was my response.

She said, “Ok then, I want you to eat a meal every evening from now until our next appointment and don’t forget to mark it down.”

We made an appointment for two weeks later. I had 14 marks in the book when I showed up. 

What Calista Taught Me:

Over the next number of months, Calista taught me: 

Meal Prep – for when I didn’t have the energy or inclination to prepare food. Preparing meals ahead and freezing them allows you to just pop things into the microwave. She taught me to make a meal prep day. 

Slow Cooker – I bought and still use a slow cooker. Use a slow cooker is easy just throw everything in and turn it on. To get fancy I got a slow cooker recipe book 

Grocery List: – “To properly meal prep and use that shiny new slow cooker, you have to have something to prep with and to put in the slow cooker.” Calista said.  

She taught me the easiest way to make a grocery list was to plan what you wanted to eat for a week and make the list from the ingredients needed for those meals. 

Breakfast – Calista did not approach this as “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Calista simply pointed out that I had medications that needed to be taken twice a day with food. She suggested instant oatmeal with some fruit and toast. I buy a big bag of frozen fruit and thaw enough for a few days and keep that portion in the fridge. I buy the instant oatmeal packets. 

The Canada Food Guide – We talked about the Canada Food Guide. We talked about incorporating fruit and vegetables into my meals. This is what was never discussed – eating healthy. Not once. But as I gained more knowledge, I made healthier choices on my own,

This is the link to the Canada Food Guide, which has been updated in 2019 and therefore is not the one I was introduced to.

https://food-guide.canada.ca/en

The Results:

Today, I eat two meals a day, a breakfast of instant oatmeal, fruit, and toast, although I change it up sometimes. A supper, that includes meat, starch, and vegetables. If I have lunch it will have some kind of leafy green included. I buy my groceries from a list.  

I weigh between one seventy-five and one eighty-five. My weight still fluctuates but remains in a healthy range for my height and build.

Now, I enjoy cooking for myself and others. I also make sure my bipolar girlfriend eats too. 

The Truth About Bipolar And Eating:

Calista encouraged me to take baby steps to change my eating habits. She never said it that way but that is what it turned out to be. If we progress a little at a time it is more likely to become part of our lives. It is only our bipolar mind that makes us think we have to progress from not eating to perfection overnight. 

Eating has become a habit. It is not so much about what I eat but the fact that I do eat and eat regularly.

That is what eating has to be – a habit. Once it becomes a habit you can fancy it up any way you like. Just make eating a habit first. 

I said at the beginning of this post, “I think there is a perfect bipolar diet.” There is, it is a diet you create for yourself, that considers your needs as an individual. But first, you have to make eating a habit. 

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.

Related Products:

This is not my slow cooker, as mine is not made anymore, but this is a good one. and inexpensive.

https://amzn.to/2PxMap2

Slow Cooker Recipe Book.

https://amzn.to/2TpcPFZ

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.

A VERY SPECIAL 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 Pamela Gold. Pamela Gold utilizes her Bipolar Type II diagnosis to inform and educate others both with and without the illness. She’s a contributor to many online mental health publications and leads a support group on Facebook called The Bipolar Experience. Pamela is married, an all-boy mom, a grand-momma to a vivacious little girl, and lives in Denver, Colorado.

Pam’s Post:

The Bipolar Confessional

I’m tired of being told how strong I am.

I’m not.

Not an ounce of strong resides in this body.

Sometimes, for reasons unknown, I’ll leave the room and have a silent cry.

Is that part of what makes me strong?

The idea that I can have a total meltdown without making a sound?

That I can return to the room and you have no idea how weak I actually am?

If only you could hear the racing thoughts swimming laps in my head.

Constant addition in milligrams and ounces. |medication|

Constant wondering of…How high is that structure? |to jump|

Constant planning of when and where. |suicide|

Strong, continuous constants.

I’m as weak as they come.

I get that sometimes you’re unsure of what to say to me so you turn to building me up.

You don’t realize that sometimes it does a hell of a lot more harm than good.

I say thank you because it’s the right thing to do, but I’m really trying to just move it along. To move you along.

What does strength really have to do with getting through day after day with Bipolar Disorder?

It’s not strength.

I call it powering through.

Everything in my life is a struggle right now.

Telling me how strong I am, makes me feel weaker than ever.

Do you even know what I’m going through?

Do you know what my illness is?

Do you realize I’m going to have this forever?

Bipolar depression isn’t situational.

Bipolar (hypo) mania isn’t fun (for me).

My Bipolar Disorder is medication (I’ve tried over 30), therapy, ECT (10 plus years of my memory has been erased), hospitalizations, suicide attempts, crisis hotlines, not wanting to take care of myself, not wanting to cook or clean or leave the house, severe-everlasting-depression, mania (it isn’t always creativity–sometimes it’s anger), avoiding friends and family, irritability, careless spending, reckless behavior, anxiety (sometimes crippling), zero concentration, and on and on and on. 

I know you’re trying.

But I also know, if you tried harder, you’d get it right.

Disclosure: Of course, not everyone with BP experiences the same symptoms, gets the same treatments and/or feels the way I do. This is my perception. 

What Is Connecting With Your Authentic Self?

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

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). 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.

What is connecting with your authentic self?

We all have to find our own best way of living. None of us do this exactly alike. By connecting with your authentic self, the best life for you becomes intuitive. You no longer have to think about what is best for you.

By connecting with your authentic self, you will:

  1. Know yourself, your needs, your values.
  2. How to protect yourself
  3. How to love yourself.   

The Most Important Step to Connecting With Our Authentic Self – Lean-to Manage Your Bipolar Disorder.

Realize that bipolar disorder is not going to go away. Bipolar is the mental equivalent of diabetes. Once you have bipolar disorder the best you can do is learn to manage bipolar disorder to alleviate the symptoms. No one can eliminate all the symptoms of bipolar, but by learning to manage your bipolar disorder in a way that works for you the symptoms will no longer rule your life. The management of our bipolar disorder is job #1. It is the most important thing we can do. You can not find your best way of living if bipolar disorder and its symptoms are ruling your life.

Bipolar Causes A Crisis of Identity:

Bipolar disorder creates roadblocks to finding our best way of living. To connect with your authentic self, you have to remove the roadblocks that bipolar disorder has set in your path. That is why I have named bipolar disorder a great deceiver. Bipolar disorder causes us to believe things that simply are not true.

It is impossible to live your best life if you have no idea who you are, what you need, what you value or how to live the life you want.

What is a crisis of identity?

The dictionary definition of a crisis of identity is: “a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society.”

Bipolar causes us to lose our role in society.

We can’t hold down a job or work in the field we were educated in. As such we cannot be identified with what we do.

We are not good at relationships, be it as friends, family members, parents, children, husbands, and wives. We cannot be defined as the best or even good in any of those categories.

Bipolar destroys our role in society.

Bipolar destroys our aims in Society:

When we were young, we all wanted to “be” something. Bipolar disorder stole our dreams and ambitions.

Bipolar disorder makes us believe three things that are entirely untrue:

  1.  we are no longer worth anything.
  2. That we can no longer connect with others.
  3. What we want is no longer available.

By making us believe these three things Bipolar Disorder aims us in completely the wrong direction. Causing us to become externally focused which kills our ambition.

How to connect with your authentic self:

To connect with our authentic selves, we must learn to manage our bipolar disorder and overcome the identity crisis bipolar disorder has caused in us. To do this we must focus on ourselves and develop the necessary tools, skills, and habits to accomplish this goal.

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. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

Related Products:

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BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Hillary Jacobs Hendel

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/22/what-toxic-stress-does-to-a-childs-brain-and-how-to-heal-it

The Importance of a Treatment Plan

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

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). 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.

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

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

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). 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.

“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

Ten Things to Think about

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.

————————————————————————————————————-

Although bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it, there are many common traits. This week is I propose ten things to think about on how we treat our best friends better than we treat ourselves.

  1. We can always trust our BFF. Yet, we never trust ourselves.
  2. We would always be accepting of our BFF. Yet, we always have trouble accepting ourselves.
  3. We would never lie to our BFF. Yet, we always lie to ourselves.
  4. We would never judge our BFF. Yet, we are always our biggest critic.
  5. We would always listen to our BFF. Yet, we seldom listen to ourselves
  6. We would always forgive our BFF. Yet, we can’t forgive ourselves.
  7. We would always make our BFF feel wanted and included. Yet, we isolate ourselves.
  8. We would always celebrate the successes of our BFF. Yet, we instantly downplay anything good we ever do.
  9. We don’t have to try to do things with our BFF. Yet, doing anything in our own life is a chore.
  10.  We are always kind to our BFF. Yet we are seldom kind to ourselves.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday.

Like and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com.

Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Margarita Tartakovsky M.S.

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

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