The other day Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. who is an Associate Editor at Psych Central posted an excellent article titled “The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in Managing My Bipolar Disorder.” Upon reading the article I was pleased to find that I pretty much learned the same lessonsr. Below are each of the lessons she listed and, of course, how they pertain to me.
I flip flop with this one. There are many times that I have no idea what state I’m in. I’ll be laying around the house for days while not showering and refuse to accept that I am depressed. Then there are the times that I’m manic and refuse to accept that’s a problem out of my fear of crashing and burning and going back to depression. There are two times that I feel blessed that I knew where I stood. Both times I realized I was severely depressed and went to the hospital because I felt I was a danger to myself. The first time I was in lock down for 10 days and I’m grateful I sought help, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.
Having a Great Support System
I hear so many horror stories people tell me about the lack of support they receive from friends and family. It makes me thankful. My husband Maurice understood from the beginning that my bipolar is a disease and that I’m not just lazy, nor am I crazy. My friends are supportive and all the members of our church, in which we are very active, have shown me nothing but love. I believe being open and honest to everyone has made the road much smoother for me.
Committing to a Treatment Plan
It took three years to find the right balance of meds that work for me. I have no plans to go off my meds. I’m not taking herbs or any other type natural products that are supposed to help me. I don’t like taking six pills a day, but I wouldn’t consider going off of them unless some of them stop working for me. Should that happen I would work side by side with my psychiatrist to find the new balance. What I’m doing now works and I have no plans to go back.
As honest as I am on this blog is as honest as I am in the outside world. I won’t allow fear or stigma to prevent me from telling the truth about what’s going on in my life. I was the guest speaker at church when our minister was on vacation this past spring. My sermon was about my bipolar disorder and I received nothing but love from the congregation.
Being Kind to Yourself
I try, but I’m not so good at this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Taking A Holistic Approach
I walk, walk and walk some more. It is the best form of exercise for me. I also try to eat right and joined Weight Watchers to help remove the weight gain I received from medication. So far I’m 50 lbs less than my max weight of 303. I have about 100 more to lose and feel confident that I’ll achieve that goal.
Having A Routine
I use to create a schedule each week of things that need to get done. The days and times were pretty routine from week to week, I scheduled my meds for each day and went to bed at the same time each night. This had a tremendous, positive impact on my stability. I haven’t been doing this lately, and it shows.
If you’d like to read the full article, you’ll find it here: