Working Toward Mental Wellness

By: Tosha Maaks

Remaining balanced when you live life with bipolar disorder isn’t some magical trick and it isn’t some tricky formula that only those who have super powers have figured out. However, stability I can say is a magical place to be after years of living in the rat race of mood swing after mood swing. It took years of practice for me and I am just now to a place I feel mentally strong enough to return to the real world of employment and job-related stress and the rest of the real world after a psychosis episode of mania caused by a job that went poorly. It took me a good two and half years to recover from that episode, but I managed to do it with-out a hospital stay and with the help of my doctor and supportive family and friends. I, however, had to do the work to get well.

The key I think is learning mental strength. Setting yourself up to be mentally strong. I must do things that I know for my disorder is going to help me in the long run. For me one of the key factors is sleep. I don’t sleep with-out medications. So, working with my doctor and getting the proper meds to make sure that I am going to get enough sleep to ward of mania every night is very important to my care plan. I sometimes even then have a difficult time staying asleep. I will sometimes fight the urge to get out of bed because I know it is better for me to get the broken sleep then it is for me to get up and not sleep. Mania is always lurking and not sleeping is my main culprit.

I exercise pretty much daily. Exercising is so good for me and it can give me such a natural rush of energy. It can make me instantly in a better mood and I will always feel better for it if I can just make myself just get to the gym. Somedays it maybe all I can do to get on the treadmill but afterwards I know that I will not only feel better, but I will be proud of myself for taking care of my body and putting my health as a priority in my life.

I take my medications as prescribed every day. I don’t miss medications ever. I always take my medications and I take them like I am supposed to take them. I have a system with my husband who is my biggest supporter to help me remember to take my medications that works for us and with his help it has been a very long time since I have missed any of my medications.

I never miss my doctor appointments. I go to every doctor appointment I set up. My doctor appointments are not options to miss. My doctor is very important to my care plan and he is a good reason to why I am so stable currently and I know that I need to continue to see him even when I am stable.

I continue to learn cognitive behavioral therapy and put the practice into play. By doing so I learn to better understand myself and I can better control my thought patterns and I am able to control my moods easier. I have many negative thoughts about the ways others view me and CBT is helping me overcome the thoughts and helping me control this from taking over my life and helping me to regain stability in the long run.

I don’t allow myself to get caught up in a poor me attitude. If I allow myself to have a pity party for myself I will continue to feel bad about the things that may have happened in my life. I try hard to move forward from things that have happened in the past and grow from the things that have happened. Dwelling on past mistakes isn’t anyway for someone to grow or become stable and doesn’t give you any balance in your life it just causes you waves when you really need to find a way to just let go.

Stability and balance is the main goal with bipolar disorder and it is something that I strive for every single day. It is somedays a far reach. However, I feel that by preparing myself to remain mentally strong

I have the best chance of becoming stable and staying that way. Teaching myself the skills to remain stable is the key to a better overall life and I am determined to achieve it.

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