Let’s Talk About Mental Health: December

Voices From The IBPF Community 

This December we launched our new weekly health talks amongst our Facebook community as a way to keep up a conversation about mental health with one another! You all responded with much enthusiasm which tells us that there is much more to be discussed and so we will be continuing these talks going into 2018! Here is some of what you had to say as 2017 comes to a close:

What are your mental health New Year’s resolutions?

Kim P. says, “Keep a small circle of others that accept and understand me !”

Joan B. says, “I hope and pray to have patience with my patients.”

Anne S. says, “Keep up a steady routine with my work. (I’m a freelancer controlling my own days, and I’ve noticed that when I have a few bad days and allow myself to stop, I tend to, much like a shark, sink.) So the goal is to structure my days, follow the plan, work enough to keep my head mentally above water (and earn enough money!), while not overworking myself. It’s a really difficult balance.”

Tina M. says, “With Finally getting my Official diagnosis this year… continue to educate myself, improve myself and continue my treatments.”

Caroline R. says, “Talking about core issues with my therapist.”

Brandyberry N. says, “To track my moods, habits, and sleep to see if I can get a wide picture of my cycle and how different things affect my mood.”

Stefanie R. says, “I want to increase my mindfulness and listen to the cues that I need to do better on my self care.”

Deb H. says, “I want to get better, so i can go back to work”

Tegan W. says, “Trying to accept who I am and not constantly beating myself up because I can’t do what others can”

Paul A. says, “To keep up with my meds, avoid alcohol (5 years since my last drink) and work on the learned behavioural mania I still feel from time to time and to find a solution to the periods of low productivity which as a self employed person can be financially harmful.”

What were some of your mental health victories were during 2017!

Brandie B. says, “I have been able to pull myself out of EVERY depressive episode within 4 days!”

Jacquata I. says, “I’ve managed to keep myself together, not going into a ‘ mad rage’ over simple things. A few times, but not nearly as many. And I haven’t just stayed in bed all the time. To me, that’s a big accomplishment”

Gabrielle S. says, “I recognised the symptoms of an episode before it took hold and got help quickly.”

Catherine M. says, “Finally getting an accurate diagnosis, after 40 years…”

Cassey B. says, “Have finally seemed to crawl out of a 4 month depression period. Med changes, therapy, and lots of love and support from family and friends helped me see it through to the other side”

Dave D. says, “Been taking it way easier on myself, saying no to over time and giving myself a day off here and there when I feel my problems creeping back up on me and keeping up with my therapy and exercise and eating right. Been a strong year for me and I’m looking forward to 2018. Never underestimate small steps taken consistently”

Lisa M. says, “I’ve been able to recognize the onset of episodes and interrupt their progress; and I’ve also begun to stand up for myself better.”

Wendy E. says, “I got through my dad’s death in July without a breakdown. It hurt and still does, but I coped, and I’m proud of that.”

Jess R. says, “6 months without a manic of depressive episode.”

Karleen L. says, “1). I was honest when I needed to be, and got the extra help I needed after a major trauma in February. 2). I survived.”

Share a holiday message of hope and support to those in our community!

Aubrey G. says, “Sending love and support to all of those who need it most right now! The tough times are temporary!”

Lynne M. says, “I have to say that this holiday I made it as easy on myself as possible, but I still feel a great sadness at not being able to share the holidays like everyone else. I am feeling lonely and struggling with a personal relationship, thank you Aubrey for saying the tough times are temporary!”

Judith A. says, “Had been feeling so low and dad about everything,,just knew I would be staying home by myself today…I woke up and realized I was feeling GREAT !!! Spent the day with family,,,,Thank You God !!”

Autumn B. says, “I have actually made it for the last six years with only two times in the hospital. Last Christmas I missed everything but this year I am home, using my therapy light, and sticking to my medication routine. I still get down and have anxiety but dealing with it better than ever before!!! Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.”

How has living with mental illness made you a kinder person?

Christine D. says, “It makes me much more empathetic to people who might be having a bad day. It also makes me want to be a giver. A giver of hope, of happiness, and whatever else I can give to make someone’s day better.”

Dani W. says, “I wouldn’t say it’s made me kinder as much as I get it. When someone is struggling I know where the appropriate reactions go and to whom (if that makes sense). It also allows me to better understand how somethinh so small can be something so big.”

Kim Parry says, “I can appreciate and accept that many other people struggle like I do and since my sons suicide ( also bipolar ) I am so much kinder and supportive of everyone because I realise that anybody could find themselves in situations they never thought possible ( homeless , alone etc ) We are all “ faking it til we make it “ to some extent !”

Mesdames J. says, “It made me understand those people who suffer from mental illness as I do than before when I was still undiagnosed with bipolar II. It made me a strong advocate of mental health and illness in my own small way.”

Chris F. says, “Fighting every day for stability makes one a natural fighter… and, for me, that fight includes compassion and understanding towards others because they are fighting too. Even those who don’t struggle with mental health issues are fighting some sort of battle. Daily. So that makes it easy to be kind. People have a hard enough time getting through this life without compounding it with being mean or with unnecessary anger. We’ve all got something going on… why not acknowledge that and help one another?”

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