Wow. It has been some year. I don’t mean a calendar from January 2014 but a year from last September until today.
I have been feeling really good without a visit from depression and with only a couple of small episodes of mania.
When things happened this year that normally would have set me way back in the past, happened, I bounced back quicker than I have in the past. Using the tools from my bipolar toolkit with additional skills learned from IOP last Oct and Nov and from COVA groups, I have been getting it together.
Understanding my illness better and knowing the difference between what is my personality and what is the illness has helped me grow as a person and has caused me to appreciate myself. I really care about and love me, all of me: the good, the bad and the not so pretty parts that are a result of the bipolar.
I am learning to control my anxiety better by recognizing when something does not feel right and addressing it sooner rather than later. To address an episode of anxiety, I try breathing exercises: if that does not work, I take my medication before it gets worse and continue to breathe and talk my way through it. I have to set boundaries with people that cause anxiety in me whether we are face to face or speaking over the phone. Communication with these people have to be kept to a minimal for my health.
I know that if I am in a situation (say a job) and start feeling anxious and breathing exercises are not working and I cannot calm down by talking with one of my support people, then I know it is time to remove myself from that situation. If I stay in it and have to take anxiety medication on a regular basis, it is time to remove myself.
Case in point: Over the summer I had a part-time job. From the first day, I got an anxious knot in my stomach but I thought it would go away. At the time I started the job, I had stopped taking anxiety medication. Soon after starting the job, I had to start back taking it on a regular basis. I started feeling heaviness on my chest the night before work and on the morning of. When taking 1 to 2 pills a day as prescribed did not help, I knew it was time to leave. I got it together quit and have never looked back,
Getting out of the house everyday (one of my goals for mental maintenance) and having a place to go that feels like home has help make a difference in my life. I am surrounded by peers who understand me without explanation and it feels great.
I have and continue to learn who I am, what is me and what is my illness. Learning helps me make better choices and when I can’t quite figure something out, I have people I can run things by and their suggestions give me food for thought. Making decisions are not based on circumstances alone or what may seem logical in general, but also on how they will affect my mental health.
I am getting it together. I am finally on a journey to living my dreams instead of just dreaming.
Depression and Mania, you are no longer in control. Though you might rear your ugly head, you will not win. I have weapons (tools and people) to fight you and fight I will.
You do the same.
love to all
pb aka peanut butter