Bipolar Does Not Mean Bitch

073E0486-E7B7-44F0-8959-C4AB88DEBAE1Do you hear people say things like “that chick is so bipolar” when what they really mean to say is “that chick is a huge bitch.” It is not the “chick” who is ‘so bipolar,’ rather that person is just ‘so uneducated.’

Those kinds of statements make me think that the average person must assume that I am a huge bitch when I say that I have bipolar. I hate that, because it is simply untrue.

I have been lucky enough to get to know thousands of you also carrying the bipolar diagnosis. I feel that I can confidently assure the world that bipolar does not mean bitch. If anything, bipolar means compassionate, loving, understanding, concerned, supportive, strong, capable, awesome, badass! So next time I hear someone say “she is so bipolar,” I will assume what they mean to say is “she is so badass!”

Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health

734F3795-E44D-46EA-AE71-C5905BE0BC44.pngIf you had an illness that was slowly making you go blind, would you stop at nothing to save your eyesight? The same motivation should apply to our mental health.

If your current bipolar therapy and/or medications aren’t helping you, then keep searching for what does! Perhaps that means looking for a new doctor or counselor, getting some genetic testing done, visiting a wellness center, or if you’re like me— flying to The Mayo Clinic to get some answers.

Over the past few weeks I have received genetic testing, blood work, brain MRI, 48-hour EEG monitoring, and more than five different doctors’ appointments. All of this so that I can get my mental health stronger. I share this in hopes of inspiring others to stop being complacent when it comes to mental health. If there is never any action on our part, how can we expect to get better?

How do you feel like your bipolar therapies/meds are working for you?

Bipolar and Judgement

5120F8FE-A85B-49CE-AA75-F0DED3A0055E.pngSo much judgement is passed and all any of us wants is to feel loved. My hope is that we stop the judgements and accept others where they are and love them as they are — bipolar or not. But if you find yourself being judged by others, all the control is in your hands. You can choose to let judgements bother you, make you sad and bitter, or you can choose to move past the judgement and love people anyway. I hope we all have the strength and courage to choose the latter.

Will the Bipolar Feelings Ever End?

415A25DF-2257-47BE-86A2-B8DB161944F0Does it ever feel like your bipolar is really living up to its name? When gone is the day of feeling like you are at a baseline mood?

There are times when it feels like bipolar just wants to kick your butt. Whether it gut punches you with depression or slaps you in the face with mania, you’re left feeling defeated.

Sometimes bipolar will continue to slap and punch on you for months, never letting up. Leaving us to wonder: WILL THIS EVER END!? Many times I have asked myself that very question.

Because I have lived with a bipolar diagnosis for over a decade, the one thing I can tell you for certain is that it will end. The only variable is how long it will take. And the only thing we need to do is trust (know), and wait for the tides to change, because they will.

If you’re feeling beat up by bipolar, know that you are not alone, and that you will not feel like this forever.

The 5-Step Bipolar Manic-Plan for Married Couples

9FFA08A7-79D4-48D1-AAC9-11E4F3B006AFJust as we have fire-plans incase of a fire, so should we have manic-plans incase of mania.

During a time of stability a married couple needs to discuss what happens in the event of mania. Here is a 5-step sample start-up plan:

1. Call your psychiatrist for information on emergency meds that you have in place (especially in cases of psychosis, not sleeping, or if you feel he/she is a danger to his or herself or others). As always, if the situation permits, take him/her to the emergency room.

2. Credit cards/online account passwords need to be taken away or temporarily stopped if the person with bipolar goes on spending sprees. Nothing will bring on marital troubles more than huge piles of unnecessary debt.

3. All social media account passwords should be changed. So be in the know of passwords. While manic, social media posts can have devastating and embarrassing consequences.

4. Call in as much positive support (family, friends, coworkers) as possible, and let your support system know what will happen in the event of mania. Who will watch the kids? Can you have meals delivered to your home? Who will cover for you at work so that you can stay home with your spouse? Have a short-term and long-term plan.

5. The person with bipolar (during stability) should record themselves on video explaining why they chose to do all of the above steps and how this is for their own good. Their spouse can show him or her the video as a reminder during mania.

The above is only a sample plan. I wrote it in hopes that you and your spouse will put together a plan that fits your own flavor of bipolar and life. The bottom line is that when we are well-prepared we don’t feel so blind-sighted. We have a better chance of controlling bipolar, versus bipolar controlling us.

Do you have any more suggestions?

An Attitude of Gratitude

28A6C452-5E64-4035-BAEF-925FE1AC0F05This past week I was in a pretty bad car accident. The takeaway life lesson I learned is that of gratitude. Everyone involved in the accident walked away alive, thank God!

Sometimes life can feel like everything is going terribly wrong. This can often turn into self-loathing which usually begets the ugly cycle of depression. Not good for our mental health.

When we begin to self-loathe, we can put an end to it quickly by forcing ourselves to name ten, yes ten, things we are thankful for. Not only will this distract you for a moment, but it will also bring your brain back to positive-thinking.

It can be easy to live life on autopilot and take people and circumstances in our life for granted. We must guard ourselves against this.

I have started keeping an ongoing list on my phone called the “Gratitude Attitude” note. Throughout the day I jot down what comes to mind that I am thankful for, and thank God for it. Give it a try for yourself, it is difficult to be sad with an attitude of gratitude.

A chunk of glass got stuck in my forehead from the accident and I will more than likely be left with a large scar. If so, I will be so thankful for that scar! It will remind me to be filled with gratitude no matter my circumstances. There is always something to be thankful for.

What are you grateful for today?!