I wasn’t always the positive, optimistic person I am today. In fact, learning how to cope and deal with the reality of having bipolar disorder was a hard-fought lesson for me. I was stubborn at first, and I wanted to “do it” MY way. It took a while before I admitted that my way wouldn’t work and I was willing to try it the doctor’s and therapist’s way.
Of course, that didn’t come until I’d gone off my medication several times because I wanted my “highs” so badly. I was one of those people who believed that medication would take away the “real me,” so I was reluctant to take it. So I battled it longer than I should have. Until my life was in total chaos, in fact. Then I finally gave in and stayed on the medication.
It was amazing how quickly my life came under control once I stayed on the medication. It was like magic! And all it took was a little submission on my part, and the willingness to believe that maybe I wasn’t right all the time. What a blow to my ego! But I was just so desperate for all the drama to stop. I was sick and tired of it.
The drama did stop. My life did quickly come under control, as did I once I got on the right “cocktail” of medications to control my bipolar disorder (which didn’t happen right away). I didn’t have any problems accepting the diagnosis, as I knew without a doubt that something was wrong with me – one look at my life would tell you that.
The doctor gives you a lecture when you get diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He tries to tell you what he thinks you should know about it. But it falls way short of being a comprehensive study on the subject. And you leave with more questions than you came with. But at least he tries. And usually he gives you a brochure that explains at least a little bit about the disorder, so that’s a start. But oh, there is so much more to learn about this dragon that has devastated your life for so long.
And nothing the doctor tells you or that you read about in that little brochure actually prepares you for the reality of having bipolar disorder. Once you come down off your “highs,” you have to deal with all the negative emotions that come flooding over you, and I found that I was very negative indeed.
One thing I found was that I used words like always and never in my vocabulary a lot. When you do that, you generalize more than you should, which can taint the way you see your reality. It can cause you to be a negative person and to even have an attitude, and that’s what happened to me.
I would think things like, “I’m never gonna get better.” Or, “I’m always gonna be this way.” And that kind of thinking isn’t exactly healthy for your emotional well-being or conducive to bipolar stability. I had to stop using those words.
Eventually, though, as I got more stable, I did change my attitude and stopped fighting the reality of my diagnosis, and became the positive, optimistic person I am today. And I am much happier and less stressed out because of it.
Wishing you joy and stability,
Remember God loves you and so do I,