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  • Christine

The Resilience And Strength I Have Found While Living With Bipolar


Strength and resilience will see us through.
Those of us who experience mental illness are very strong, each taking different paths, and striving for a peaceful life.

I have discovered over the years while trying to overcome complex trauma and live my life while experiencing many mood episodes each year, that I am a strong and resilient individual. All of us who are journeying through life with the disability of living with mental illness are courageous. It can take a lot to walk forward into our complicated lives. Sometimes it is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. I believe most people on Earth are walking around wounded from trauma and if you add a mental health diagnosis to the mix, symptoms will be exacerbated. This I have found to be true in my experience.

There are many events, social settings, and family gatherings where I just suit up and show up regardless of how I am feeling. I am learning how to say no and put boundaries in place. There are some gatherings that I can not attend when I am going through a difficult time.

I have been experiencing a mood episode for the past four months. I realized today that the last time I posted a blog was in June of this year and it is now the end of November. I have been struggling, and all the while I have been sticking very close to my therapist and psychiatrist. My ability to blog was removed as I tried to take good care of myself. Self-care has been my priority. And the basics of getting solid sleep and changing my diet to nutritious foods have been very helpful. I told my nutritionist that for decades I have been eating like an unsupervised ten-year-old. Bingeing is another of my coping mechanisms which never fills the hole inside of me.

This mood episode started with mania after two nights of very little sleep. The symptoms that presented were extreme paranoia with visual and auditory hallucinations. It was terrifying, there were multiple harrowing nights. It has been four months of rapid cycling (cycling between depression and mania, for example, four days of depression with suicidal ideation, six of mania and repeat) and sometimes ultra-rapid cycling (I could be depressed, tearful, and, hopeless at eight in the morning and then racy and manic, on top of the world, within two hours). The combination of these moods is exhausting.

Today is my fourth consecutive day of feeling back to baseline. I'll take any amount of time I can get. A few weeks ago I thought I had put together four days of stability and when I looked back I realized my energy level was very high and I had been experiencing hypomania. It may take me months to return to baseline but I always reach stability. We need to be courageous and resilient. There is always hope even if it is hard to acknowledge at times. I know I hope to never stop growing and learning about myself.

You know what?......I had hoped by writing about my experience with bipolar disorder that my blog would reach those that needed it. It is already successful as I am helping at least one person. Me.


Take good care,


Christine


"Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too." -- Lawrence Bixby

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