What I mean by the title is that by sharing our experiences of the highs and lows of bipolar and how we survive the storm or keep it from getting out of control shows that we care enough to pass on the information to help someone else.
Yes, I agree. I just wrote a mouthful, but now I am going to share somethings in my bipolar toolkit”
I use a small spiral bound index card book or a small photo album with something encouraging written on the outside like the word “Journey” is on one.
Every section is color coded so I know where to go when in “crisis mode“: emergency contact numbers like therapist, psychiatrist, names and numbers of people in my support that I can call and talk to. 911 if I feel like I am out of control and need help NOW and cannot reach anyone. If I feel a danger to myself or rage causing me to be a danger to someone else.
Another color and section is “maintenance“. These are things I must do everyday whether I feel like it or not, if I want to stay on the path of wellness. I have one thing listed on each index card. Ex: one card says keep appts whether you want to go out or not. Another reminds me to take my medication same time each day. It has a time frame when to take each med and remind me to eat breakfast so I can take my a.m. ,meds. Yes, I have to make a note to eat because I get up and get started on my projects or my work and forget to eat, therefore forgetting to take medication. Put whatever you can make a routine for wellness and put each item on an index card or whatever works for you. Most importantly, I sit outside on the patio and play a game. It frees my mind so it can have time to relax and I can reflect on what makes me tick and how to tick better with the battery (bipolar) I have.
“Depression” We know that being bipolar means there are times we will be depressed. When I started getting depressed I look in my toolkit because I don’t think logically or focus or want to do anything. But if I do one thing, I look in my toolkit under the depression section (remember, each section is color coded so I know exactly where to go). I do something written on one of the cards, like watch a funny movie, I even write the name of the movie so I don’t have to figure it out. I sit outside on the patio. If I am going to just sit, might as well sit outside and get some vitamin D from the sun and take in some air. It helps clear my head. Looking around me outside, reminds me I have so much to live for and so much to do, so get up and do something. The things I put in the toolkit tells me what to do, like call a friend who makes me laugh, do art therapy, look at myself in the mirror and make funny faces. All of this may sound illogical or nonsense but it works. Do what works before you sink into the black hole of deep depression. Remember, the medicine doesn’t cure us, it gives us a window of time to think and respond.
Now, the big one for me is “Manic“. I want to do everything, stay up all night, do every errand in one day. Stay out all day, trust me, I do find things to do. Talk excessively and on and on. When I get hypomanic, (the calm before the storm that lets you know a manic storm is coming). Toolkit time. Run to it. One card says in big letters: “When manic, do not drive”, another says “Do not Shop” another says Do Yoga.
These are some things in my bipolar wellness toolkit. I carry them with me so that when that light switch is turned on, I can get a jump on what is coming. No, it doesn’t always work, nothing does. But, it does help and I don’t go to the extreme end of the either pole, when I use it.
When it doesn’t work, that is what speed dial is for on the cell phone. Therapist, Psychiatrist and mom. Speed dial.
Purpose today, to have an awesome day, by doing at least one thing for yourself and to look in the mirror and smile. Smiling gives you less wrinkles. Depressed or manic, who wants more wrinkles.
Love to all of you,
Just call me peanut butter because my initials are PB