Today is a good bipolar day. Nothing exciting. Nothing new. Nothing happening at all, in fact. So what makes it such a good day? The fact that my bipolar disorder seems to be “in remission” is what makes this a good bipolar day.
Today I have no active symptoms of my bipolar disorder. And that, to me, defines remission. Just like with cancer. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have bipolar disorder any more, because of course I do, since there is still no cure for the disorder. But it means that I am managing it (instead of it managing me, like it used to).
So what am I doing that is working so well that I am able to be in this glorious remission (and for so long)? Like so many other people, I’d say that it starts with clean living. One of the things that is so very crucial when it comes to bipolar disorder is to stick to a strict sleep schedule. I go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. And I get 9 hours of sleep every night. I know that lack of sleep, especially good sleep, was responsible for many of my manic episodes in the past.
I also eat a good diet. It’s not only healthy, but it helps me to feel good about myself, and self-esteem is important when it comes to bipolar disorder. I also exercise, which helps for the same reasons.
I try to stay productive. I can no longer work full-time, and I accept my limitations in that regard. I know that a full-time job brings with it too much stress, and stress is one of my greatest triggers to a bipolar episode, so I need to avoid it. Also, being around too many people. But I am able to work part-time from home, which helps financially and also gives me something to do that helps me stay productive, while not being too stressful. It also helps me stay stable with my bipolar (it also helps that I work for a bipolar website).
I have a great support system. Both my mom and my husband have the disorder, so they are great supporters. They definitely know what to watch for, especially in me, to keep me out of a bipolar episode. So many times they have been able to tell me that my behavior is a little “off,” and I’ve been able to talk to my psychiatrist and just get my meds upped temporarily and avoid the hospital and a full-blown episode.
One of the biggest things, I think, that keeps me stable is my attitude. I accept that I have bipolar disorder, but I don’t let it get me down. And I don’t let it stop me. There was a point where I felt helpless, and this led to me even being over-medicated, but then I got empowered, changed psychiatrists, got off half my meds, and got better. I am much stabler now.
Every day that I don’t have an episode, I am grateful to God. Just to have peace in my life, I am grateful, for I remember when every day was a crisis, when my bipolar was out of control. Peace and stability are both important to me now, and I cherish both. I pray that you have them as well.
Thanks for commenting on my blog. I understand what you're saying about the cave, used to live there myself. But when we come out of it and start managing the bipolar disorder instead of letting it manage us, we become safe and comfortable in our own right, and life becomes better for us. I hope my positivity rubs off on you, too!