Don’t let others negativity bring you down. Being diagnosed with and dealing with bipolar disorder on a daily basis is already a lot to handle. It’s hard enough to keep your moods in check and on an even level. It’s already difficult to have to take medicine for the rest of your life just to feel “normal.” Add to that the stigma and misconceptions about your illness and it’s enough to push even the strongest person to the brink. That’s why it’s so important to take control of what sort of people and level of toxicity you let into your life.
I struggle with my bipolar disorder every day. Some days are easier than others but it is a constant struggle. Lately I’ve been battling the depression portion of my disease. For some reason this time of year always gets me down. The sun sets earlier and rises later; it’s gloomy and colorless. Plants are dead, no flowers are to be found and the cold chills my bones. The financial strain of the holidays has me down because I couldn’t afford to do for everyone the way I wanted to and I have to fight to keep from burying myself under the warmth of my covers until this ugly part of the year has passed.
On top of all of that, lets add family drama. My older brother has been in and out of prison for issues related to his heroine addiction. He’s currently out and clean but started stealing from my dad and step-mom again. Not a good sign. My youngest brother is on about his 10th round with rehab for his meth addiction and couldn’t make it to my wedding in October because it would be too emotionally overwhelming for him, however managed to make it to his grandmothers’ funeral a couple of months later. Like that wouldn’t be too emotionally overwhelming. And then there’s my mother. She also suffers from bipolar disorder or what I mean to say is, we all suffer from her bipolar disorder. She refuses to get on medication because she’s convinced that the chemical changes she went through during menopause “cured” her. Lucky for all of us, we get to deal with it.
My mother is currently not talking to me because she feels she wasn’t in my (4 minute long) wedding video enough. She feels it was on purpose since it was my cousin who filmed it and my mother hates my uncle so by default, it must have been my cousin’s way of getting back at her. I finally had enough of my mom’s constant drama, he said she said, ulterior motives behind everything, and conspiracy theories and stood up for my cousin. Now my mother is not speaking to me.
I decided that the only way to keep from falling into a deep depression is to take control of whom I interact with. While I am a huge proponent of family and would normally never suggest cutting them out of your life, if your family is poisonous and brings you down, get rid of them. It’s hard enough for me during the winter; I don’t need the drama bringing me down. There’s always someone who cares about you and wants to see you succeed. For me it’s my husband and daughter. Even if your support group is only one person, it’s 1000x better than a pseudo-support group wanting to see you fail. Since removing all of the toxic people from my life and letting go of things from the past so that they no longer hold a power over me, I’ve found it’s much easier to control my mood levels and that I have an inner strength I never knew I had.