When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder my life felt shattered. I was struggling to be a teenager and live with a severe mental illness. I felt as though the walls were closing quickly and didn’t know how to stop the pain.
It was a long road to find the right therapy, medications and support groups to rebuild my life. There have been years of consistent effort trying to limit the impact of facing a mental illness. This long process has taught me so many lessons that I am able to share with others.
The first skill is to be able to overcome adversity. Since I faced so many problems in my teens, I have been able to deal with major life issues. When my own brother died last year, I was shocked. Even though the pain was immense I have learned intelligent ways to handle grief.
This includes learning to find positive influences. I spend much of my life learning about positive lessons. This includes reading, watching inspirational speakers and studying those who found success. I also take the time to do physical workouts often. This helps to remove stress and make my body stronger.
I chose to stop drinking completely over one year ago today. This is in honor of my brother and after the devastating effects I have witnessed in others. This helps me to face my feelings without having a crutch to lean on.
There are many other lessons that may be helpful when facing a mental health diagnosis. I look back on my life and think it is a blessing that I had to face serious problems at a young age. This has prepared me to handle many of the struggles that arise as an adult. I also know to take one step at a time and remember most progress in slow and steady.