Sometimes I think being diagnosed with bipolar has made me better throughout the years.
I wonder if it has done the same for you? I know after reading the title, your going to think I’m crazy, but keep reading so I can shed some insight on what I mean.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in January 2000 and faced a lot of struggles throughout my life. I’ve had to work harder in certain areas of my life i.e work, relationships, lifestyle, and social circle. Living with bipolar is tough because anything can trigger a manic episode, and this can negatively affect different aspects of your life. For example, I would work hard at getting a job, and after a month would ruin everything because I didn’t feel like working anymore. Or, I couldn’t handle the stress of a relationship and would avoid seeing the person again. For anyone living with bipolar, you know exactly what I mean.
But, there comes a point after a few years where you decide to take control of your mental illness, and future. In my case, it pushed me to improve myself and find ways to control my manic episodes so I can make progress going forward.
Here’s the thing,
It takes a while to understand that even with bipolar no one is going to give you any chances. You have to be the one to go get what you want in life, but, this will take hard work and constant improvement. For example, I started reading a lot more, incorporated meditation and found creative ways to handle situations which bothered me. My most valuable lesson was that much of what we go through in life has to do with the way we define situations. If you have an argument or some big event which stresses you out and you think of it as a bad thing, then you’ll attract a lot more negative energy to yourself. This will continue to stress you out, and we all know how continually stressing about something can trigger a depressive episode for those with bipolar. Here’s something from everydayhealth.com –
“One of the most common bipolar triggers is stress. In a study published in June 2014 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, negative or stressful life events seemed to trigger mood swings. “People with bipolar disorder are seven to eight times more likely to experience an unwanted, extended period of extreme mood shift — failure of their ususal coping mechanisms — in response to a stressful life event,” says Dr. Bennett.” – everydayhealth.com
However, I feel it can work both ways because thinking of the situation as a growing process making you more smarter, and aware can attract positive energy reducing the stress and anxiety you suffered. By doing this, I’m able to control how often I have mood swings.
Keep in mind, this is something I’ve learned over time and only because I live with bipolar. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have any reason to find ways to control situations which stress me out.
Next, one of my main reasons to exercise 3-4 times a week is because it’s good for the mind, and helps control my mood swings. Bipolar pushes me to take care of my health, and exercise more than some of my friends who aren’t bipolar. As a matter of fact, living with bipolar is the contributing factor for changing my diet, and have a solid exercise routine.
Here’s a question for all of you – How many of you are careful about the friends you choose? Having bipolar has forced me to question the people I hang out with. Here’s the thing, people in your life who stay positive are great for you because it keeps your mind clear. This was also a learning process for me because growing up through my twenties I had a lot of negative people in my life. They would do things that stress me out, and I would feel horrible about it afterward for days, and this negativity would contribute to my mood swings. Therefore, I’m careful about who I bring in my life and this helps control my mood swings keeping me more positive.
Here’s what you have to understand,
We have no control over being diagnosed with bipolar, but we do have complete control on what we do because of our diagnosis. It’s either we let it slow us down, or find ways to manage and live with it. The starting point is to accept that your bipolar and how it affects your life. Personally, bipolar forced me to read motivational books, meditate, start working out and change my diet. It also forced me to be careful when selecting the people I bring into my life.
Over time, it’s made me a perfectionist in my work because it’s hard finding a job when living with bipolar. Now I work harder than those who aren’t bipolar, and this has opened up a lot of opportunities for me.
Ask yourself this question –
How has living with bipolar changed you? How has it changed what you do, and how you do it?
I’m sure you’re stronger, more aware, and have become more of a positive person.