I start by sharing that medication has helped me manage my mental illness. I know that years in a mental hospital prove I have a severe health condition that needs medical treatment. I have been on medication for over 20 years and this is a piece of my ability to function. I also have learned that there are many additional steps and tools which will impact my ability to reach my potential and enjoy life. Over the last several years I have developed many behaviors which have helped me move forward.
I’d like to share something very honest with you since I believe the truth is important. I spent yesterday with my family and the day was going well. I was watching my one year for much of the weekend. I did not have the opportunity to work out for several days. This lead me to feeling edgy and aggressive. I finally reached a point where I knew I needed to leave the situation. I decided not to stay at my parents for dinner and quickly left. I did not yell or say anything nasty. I chose that for my mental health I needed to have a break. I went home and worked out for almost an hour. I did push ups, squats and much physical activity. I also hit a pillow to let out any feelings of anger. At the end of the night I spoke with everyone and told them the truth. I had too much energy and did not want to take my frustrations out on them. It might have seemed strange that I left but it was in everyone’s best interest.
I have had many clients who say horrible things or hurt others when feeling upset. They lose control and take out their emotions on those who are closest to them. I have many times earlier in my life done this and it sucks. You end up ruining relationships and damaging those you care most about. I now understand that it is better to be alone and let these feelings out in a positive way. You do not have to make others the victim to your problems. I also know there are many healthy ways to relieve stress. This includes deep breathing, yoga, walking, jogging, playing tennis, writing, dancing, listening to music or just sitting silently. When you choose these healthy ways to handle life you become more balanced. You may also have the ability to change situations. When I felt myself becoming upset I went and chose to take time to handle the emotions.
In all the years of living with bipolar it has become clear that most of my health is up to me. Those in my life are important and valuable. It is always our choices which determine how well we do in our lives. You can blame your parents of family for why you are facing a mental illness. You may even be right that some of it is genetics which comes from them. You may also know that they have their own issues which are part of the history of why you became sick. This does not justify abusing them or ruining your own life. You have the power and potential to develop your own coping skills. Those in your life probably love you more than you know. They also have their own issues and are certainly far from perfect. This does not give you an excuse to harm them or make them feel bad when you are upset. I am so happy I have learned to not take out my pain on those I love. That is simply not fair and will never help me develop my own abilities.
You may also come to a place where you need help. I have been in therapy this year since I lost my brother at age 27. I am planning to go back since I know it is always helpful to continue working on our lives. If you ever need support we provide a fantastic coaching program. My wife and I do much of the coaching and we live with depression and bipolar. Much of what we teach is based on hard earned years of life experiences facing the same type of situations you deal with. There is not much talk about hard it is to live with these issues. When you throw in financial stress, being a parent, and so many factors it takes a great amount of strength. My goal is this website gives you hope because you are not alone. I fight the good fight each day to rebuild and grow mentally. I have been diagnosed as mentally ill for 20 years now. I am proud of the successes I have earned and the growth I continue to strive for. I admit I am far from perfect but I always keep trying and never give up. I pray you keep going on your journey and it eventually becomes easier. Many times the skills we learn help us make better choices. I know last night I made better decisions than I would have when I was first diagnosed. This comes from years of work and not letting my mind take away those who are closest to me. Thank you and I wish you a wonderful week filled with hope, happiness and healing.