Smyla | smylan

4 tips for surviving bi-polar

May 29th 2012 at 12:24 PM

4 tips for surviving bi-polar

Hello, my name is Myla, and I have had Bi-Polar since I was @17. I am a second gen survivor, MY father has bi-polar since he was in his early twenties late teens. I am going to give you a few guidelines and tips that have worked wonders for me. But first let’s talk about your self-esteem.. For me like most bi-polar people our self-esteem changes without warning as fast as we cycle or feeling about ourselves change.

The first thing I think about when I wake up is my coffee, then my meds. Medication... Such a deep subject. I took Dr. prescribed meds for 12 years. Mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, sleeping pills, anti-depressants, they all did the same thing: took me away from me. I always felt like a zombie or very disconnected. I slept a lot and could hardly function. I longed for the days of racing thoughts, not that I like my mania, but I wanted to feel SOMETHING.  When I discovered that herbs might help me, I was in a full blown manic episode. I hadn’t slept more than a few hours in a few days and was running on empty, I knew I needed to crash but Hated to take a pill to sleep.  I made some tea out of a few herbs that I had in my cupboard( mostly chamomile and Mellissa) this concoction put me right to sleep with no trying to fall,  no laying there counting sheep. Well I was hooked. I began looking up all kinds of recipes and the more I looked the more I found. . I’m going to tell you right now, DONT stop you meds without consulting your physician. If you have bipolar, you know what I mean. Why even chance it? I am not a Dr. and I cannot diagnose or treat anyone.   I’m just telling you what works for me. That being said, I don’t take pharmaceutical meds. I use an Herbal tincture that I make. I use several Herbs that work for me and I urge you to do your own research to find some herbs that will work for you.

The tips I told you about:

Make sure that you are sleeping right. If you are not sleeping right, you are setting yourself up to fail. One of the biggest things that set off an episode is lack of sleep. . Sleep deprived people do not have the speed or creative abilities to cope with making quick but logical decisions, nor do they have the ability to implement them. This from an article about sleep deprivation published 2008. Even People who don’t have bi-polar need sleep. Think about how much more important it is for those of us living with it.

Exercise is important! If you aren’t getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day you are going to lose out on a great way to de-stress.  Exercise releases chemicals in your brain, I know right? As if you didn’t hear that enough about your brain, not enough of this, too much of that, what goes on up there? Exercise stimulates the brain to release you feel good chemicals, these lower stresses naturally helping you to feel more relaxed and more focused. Just working out 30 minutes a day can act as a natural anti-depressant.

Avoid stress whenever possible. Now you ask,” How can I do that? You don’t know my life!  Its stress incarnate!” I know life can be stressful and I know that most of that stress if beyond your control, but think for a minute, some of that  stress can be avoided or even gotten rid of all together.  Are you stressed out by driving? Take the bus or train you might find that your level of anxiety lowers if you are not in control of your transportation.  As bi-polar people we are more creative than other people, mostly. You can come up with great Ideas to lower your stress. The first thing to do is identify stressors.  Once you have a list of things that stress you, you break that down into ways you can avoid those things that stress you.. IT will not be easy, at first it feels foreign. You may just want to freak out, and that’s ok. You can do this you want to. Failing is not the problem, it’s not trying again.

Have a good support system and be honest with them. This is the most important thing you can have ever.( Even more than medication.) You must have a good support system.” How do I find that?” you ask. Well that’s simple... You already have your support system around you. You just have to enlist them. So make a list of your friends and family members. (They don’t have to be near you, with Video chat and the internet this is so much easier now than when I started.)

Keep in mind on your list you have to share with these people about your illness and your fears and your weakness and your shortcoming and your personal stuff so only put names that you know you can talk to. When you have your list complete, sit down and write or type a letter to teach and every person on your list. Tell them you are creating a better support system for yourself. Be honest telling them it’s for your bi-polar, kind of a fail-safe. You want them to tell you if they see or hear something not quite right with you. Some of your friends may live closer than others. Have the people that are near keep tabs on you. Like if you don’t call them to chat for a few days, maybe they call you.  You can have a weekly meeting with a friend just to rant and blow off steam. Your support system will be your biggest ally in a pinch if you can’t see you Dr. or therapist. Remember: they can’t help you if they don’t know.

So, now you have it, my great wisdom on living with bi-polar!  You have learned that you need to have a support system. You know now the importance of sleep and exercise. You know that you must identify stressors. I genuinely hope that this has helped you on you bi-polar journey

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