I’ve come to realize bipolar disorder is a condition, not who I am. Many times bipolar thoughts consumed me; researching how’s and why’s of the illness, aggressively searching for something that would help me get better. All the while, the psychiatrist told me, “Take your meds, eat right, get fresh air, exercise.”
I didn’t totally believe him. If my brain was so completely screwed up, how could these every day, obvious things be of any use? What about past life regression, or exorcism? “There are less mysterious ways,” he told me. No doubt these MAY help to varying degrees, but there is something to be said for common sense.
Take your meds. We love to skip meds; just something we like to do. Too well to need it, tired of it, too sick for it to be of any use, we forgot … we come up with many reasons. The routine of taking medicine, doing something good for myself is comforting, so now I try to always take mine and on time.
Eat right. Nowadays this seems easier said than done. We are busy, and packaged foods and pizza make things quick and easy. But when I really stop and think about all the nutrients and vitamins in fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, well, that makes sense too. If it is going to nourish my body, then of course it will nourish my brain.
I feel much better with fresh air. It is easy to try to block out the sun. With regular sunshine the darkness doesn’t have room to come, and the fresh air helps keep it locked out and warms body, mind and soul.
Exercise! It's hard for a depressed person to get out of bed, but if we can exercise while we are well and make it a habit, the depression is less likely to come.
So after all my research I am finding the doctor is right! Now my research doesn’t consume me. I am free to be myself, and I am not bipolar: I have it.
Keri-Lynn is a mother of four children and two "step-men" and has been in the print industry for 20 years. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 11 years ago and has a keen interest in sharing her wellness strategies with others.