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Dealing with Adversity and Bipolar Disorder

Posted May 20 2009 12:43pm

Hey, y’all –

I’ve been “up and downing” it lately, and dealing with a lot of adversity, so it’s not all my fault that my moods have been swinging like the seats of a child’s swingset.

That’s what brought up the topic for today:  Dealing with adversity and bipolar disorder.

There is such a thing as toxicity when it comes to bipolar disorder — toxic people and toxic situations — and for our own health and mental well-being, we have to avoid both.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  There was someone who was mentally “bullying” me — pushing my buttons, so to speak.  First he would cry on my shoulder, and I would console him with friendly advice.  But then he started taking up more  and more of my time, which I eventually felt was wasted time, because I started to feel like he only cared about himself and was using me.

He would tell me all about his problems, but when I would start to share about mine, he would either completely shut down, or tell me he didn’t want to hear about it or, even worse, would tell me off about them.  He would even tell me that I shouldn’t feel the way I did (now, no one should tell you how you should or should not feel — feelings just are), but in a real judgmental way.

Things just got worse and worse, and I started dreading his phone calls, because he would always upset me.  It got to the point that I didn’t even want to talk to him.  Whenever I would see his number on the caller ID on my phone, I would get anxious, and be afraid to pick up the phone. 

I finally had to just get this person out of my life.  Do you know why?  Because he was a toxic person to me, and he was making me sick — affecting my bipolar disorder in a negative way.

There are toxic situations as well, such as a bad work situation.  Some of you can relate to that.

If you are in a toxic situation, or are around a toxic person (or people), you need to consider very strongly getting away from it/them, or you will suffer from it, like I did.

Adversity is not a package that comes tied up all pretty with a nice little bow.  If it becomes toxic, if it is not dealt with, it can cause your bipolar disorder to get out of control, and you will go into an episode.

I knew I had to deal with this adversity in my life, in my past, as well as lately.  You may not do it like I did, but you have to do it.

I have a prayer partner.  Whenever I feel overwhelmed by adversity or a toxic person or situation, I go to my prayer partner (I call her, she doesn’t live here), and tell her what’s going on, and ask her to pray for me.  It always works to calm me down, to help with the stress and anxiety, and it always keeps me from going into a bipolar episode.

There are other ways, too.  Some people use meditation.  Others use stress relief exercises.  Walking and other exercise can be good for relieving stress from adversity as well.

The best thing (besides prayer) that I’ve found for dealing with adversity is first to face it, and then to remove myself from the situation and/or the person causing me the stress and anxiety. 

I never said it would be easy, but sometimes we have to face difficult decisions and take action on them if we are to stay stable with our bipolar disorder.

We have to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally, no matter what it takes.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Michele

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