The things I’ve learned since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder:
1) Naps are critical. Whether it’s because of a mood swing, medications or being tired, I often try to sleep through the worst parts.
2) I’m still trying to grasp the concept that people take drugs to get high. My medications make me feel normal.
3) My mental health is more important than any situation. If something doesn’t feel right. I leave.
4) Keeping a regular sleep pattern is a necessity. The more mature my condition gets, the more being tired affects everything I do.
5) Bipolar isn’t just a mental illness. It has some very real physical symptoms as well. Stomach pains and headaches are very common for me. And are mostly stress induced.
6) You tend to live in the moment. Which makes it hard to plan for things. Because you’re busy caring for yourself in the moment.
7) Your extremely in tune with your emotions. After 8 years of psychotherapy, I’m a practical dictionary of coping skills.
8) You need to take care of yourself in the moment and find little things that are natural antidepressants. For me it’s almond M&Ms, Mountain Dew and pineapple orange juice. Little things like that help get me over humps.
9) Whenever you bring a new friend into your life, you realize that one day you’re going to have to have “the talk.”
10) I’m the one who has the illness. People’s judgments of me are largely irrelevant. They don’t know and have no idea what it’s like to wake up in my world.