One crucial ideal in my life, living with Bipolar Disorder, is my never-ending support system that will not go unnoticed. My support system includes my Mental Health team (my shrink and therapist), my online support group, my family, and friends of course. Normally when I'm in a session talking about my supports I reference my immediate support system, being my friends and family. These are the people I can turn to at the drop of a hat when the $h*t$ about to hit the fan. So far they've never let me down.
Although I love them very much and I know they will support me no matter what, I've come to realize I shouldn't always rely on them for support.
Let me explain............... I feel there comes a time when you just need to learn how to stand on your own two feet, and let them catch you when your knees grow weak. In other words there's definitely a time when support is appropriate, but other times when you need to learn to rely on yourself, and have or gain confidence in your abilities to be your own support.
I feel like that has been my new project. After finally stabilizing on my medication, it was like my reality became so much more clear. My thought process, the racing thoughts finally stopped, and the best blessing of all - finally feeling like I have some control over my emotions. I spoke in an earlier post (http://fromaprilwithlove.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/save-me-from-myself/) aboutthe importance of educating myself on BD, and probably only mentioned a few of the many proactive changes I've made in my life to achieve stability and happiness. One of the most important and helpful tips I found was identifying triggers. Now that I can see things much clearer and have a new-found control over my life, I feel like this is propelling me into adulthood and my identity. The soul-searching is becoming a lot easier now that the storm in my mind has settled, and identifying my triggers has only helped.
To clarify: When I say identifying triggers I mean the external factors that are going to trigger a mood swing. I really whole-heartedly mean it when I say that I am stable on my meds....just ask my shrink. I decided to continue with therapy because I wanted to learn how to cope with this disorder instead of medicating every little symptom or mood swing. Remember it's like my therapist Janice once said : We're all a little Bipolar sometimes.
My biggest trigger right now is drama. As a teenage girl this was a natural way of life. As an (stable) adult I find myself rolling my eyes, tell myself I don't have time for this, and just let it go. This once enjoyable adolescent past time is now just so unappealing and childish to me. When other's bring it; I let it go (or with the mouth on me now, I speak up about it).
Another huge trigger for me is other people's baggage. I'm the friend who tends to drop everything and come a running night or day for any problem no matter how big or small because that's what a good friend does, especially if your calling me your friend - not anymore. Does this mean I'm dropping the ball as a friend? Not entirely. I'm just learning that not every situation is a crisis, and although I want to be there to help the one's I love fix their problems I can't allow that to distract me from fixing mine. What good am I going to be anyways helping someone, when I can't even help myself?
Oh boy.....other's opinions. When I was unstable (not stable on my medication, and in a beyond failing relationship) if I found myself in a pickle I would often as other's for their advice to help me process what was on my mind, or tell me if I was over reacting. Now that I am stable I am much more confident in capacity, I don't feel like I need to consult with others as much about (for example) how I should approach a particular situation. If I'm the one that's going to be experiencing it, there are probably key differences than how what that experience might be like for other people. Lately, even though I said I haven't been asking for other's opinions about things; sometimes, I get it anyways. I try telling myself that like the mouth that I've got others are entitled to their opinions also ; even if I don't agree. But this is my life and I will own it, no matter what others think. I will do what make's me happy as long as I see fit, and what is best for me and the direction my life is going in. I've learned to just let it be, let them have their opinions and turn the other cheek. I'm not going always make people happy, people are always going to have their opinions about my life, but I choose to worry about myself and not their two cents.
Relationships. Barf. I've also blogged about my recent relationship that ended. I knew that this relationship was a trigger when I realized I had to pop a Xanax every time I went to see my ex because the relationship was seriously causing me that much stress. Walking away was one of the best decisions I made; and one I will never regret. It felt good to stand up for myself and not stand for the way I was being treated. When he wouldn't make me a priority - I made myself one.
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