Growing Stronger

It is something we all can do. Over time we can actively be growing stronger. That doesn’t mean perfection, but even small steps forward can enhance you quality of living.

Have you been in therapy? Have you had to check in to the hospital? What about medication? Are you on the right combination of medication for you? If you answered yes to even one of these things, you may be growing stronger.

There are many coping mechanisms you can try. Deep breathing, journaling, meditation, hobbies, prayer, reading or writing, exercise, and all are great ways to help yourself.  This list is definitely not an exhaustive list. And I am sure you can think of many other ways to help you cope.

One step forward, two steps back. This has happened to me many times, but over the years I finally am at a point of strength. I have not arrived, but I have put tools in my belt.

It is hard for a person who is depressed to lift themselves out of it. I definitely don’t want to put down those who feel they have made no ground. I sympathize.  Even mania can be uncontrolled and if you are paranoid like I am, you can be in a lonely place.

Count every victory. Surround yourself with positive people. If you are in need, reach out for help. Don’t give up. Know that you are special not matter what your dilemma.

Try not to repeat patterns that bring you down. You are a student in the school of bipolar and you can rise above. Again, I don’t want to sugar coat my experience. I have really struggled over the years. I have been in really bad places. But, twenty years later, I am still making improvements in my life.

I can’t stress enough to find out what makes you experience joy in life. Do these things. I do the best with routine and structure.  I love to express my creativity by writing.

I do not do well with change, even in the slightest. But, I know that about myself and I make the adjustments I can control. I know myself better than anyone else. I am my own best advocate with my mental health.

So, hang in there. Like they say, every day is a new day. I like to use clichés, as they are so true and time tested. Keep on growing stronger and never give up. Good luck, and good mental health to you.






The Strain of Bipolar

The strain of my bipolar illness, was enough to kill my marriage after five years. My wife and I coexisted the next ten years and finally separated and divorced. Neither of us was perfect, but my ex-wife grew tired of having to care for me. Always wondering when I would have my next manic episode.

I could stop right there and it would almost be enough of statement for my readers to understand. And, I know that there are healthy relationships that last a lifetime. I just wanted to touch on my experience here.

The times I was hospitalized, we not only had a big bill to pay for it, but we were also down to one income. We racked up credit cards to pay for groceries and other expenses. Eventually we had to file for bankruptcy. I struggled to hold down employment after being fired from a good full time job. In my marriage, I would never return to full time work.

As I have shared in past articles, I went missing persons not only once, but twice. The last time was near the end of our relationship and it was the deal breaker. I walked away with no notice, on a mission for God.

My religion became more of a stressor, than a beautiful picture of love. My wife had to worry every time I spent the day reading my Bible, or watching multiple sermons online. Worse yet, I grew paranoid.

I had powerful delusions of grandeur. I couldn’t resist this compelling urge to be a special agent for God, always thinking that I had to sacrifice everything that was important to me to prove my loyalty to God above all else.

It was a lot for me to ask of a partner, but I can’t take all the blame. I didn’t ask for the illness. I didn’t want to hurt my loved ones. I had the best of intentions. But, love ran out.

Some of you may be thinking, “I got this, my relationships are great” and as a reader you can’t relate at all. But some of you might think my story hits close to home.

I needed a strong dose of forgiveness and a huge amount of tolerance. My ex-wife was not perfect and after five years, she was always angry and I couldn’t do anything to rekindle our romance. I just made small efforts and it wasn’t enough.

I could only see my side of things and neglected to consider her suffering. It didn’t work. And I could go on, but I think I gave a good overview of our struggles. I wish I had good advice, but now that I am single, I will make darn sure I am stronger before trying to enter another relationship.

Thanks for reading this snap shot. Can you relate? Share your struggles and victories. I would love to get your reaction.




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