The day I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I created a private blog… an online diary if you will. I only used it for two weeks, but those two weeks were the hardest and most important in my recovery. Allow me share short excerpts for each day.
“Today I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Honestly, it did not come as much of a surprise. I am just happy to finally have words to describe the chaos that goes on in my brain. Something I can point at and say, “THAT’S WHAT THIS IS!” Something I can blame my emotional and mental state on.
Today was also my first day going to a Wellness Program. It is a three week program that teaches people will mental illness proper self-care and coping mechanisms.”
Although I was given the diagnosis from an initial psychologist in the crisis center, I still had to find a permanent solution. Finding the perfect psychologist was hard… It took months to find the perfect one. Day two was a struggle.
“Grrrr!!!! Today is NOT a good day!!!! I saw a psychologist today… what really upset me was when he started off saying, I don’t think you’re bipolar. You’re not doing A, B, and C. I started to laugh at the irony because he never asked if I did those things… When he stopped and stared at me, I almost screamed at him — YOU JUST DESCRIBED ME!!!”
Some days are just hard. Hard… and exhausting.
“Today started off a bad day, then a good day, then a bad day, and then a good day, and at this point, I really don’t even care anymore! I am just sitting here listening to music and trying to kill the passing minutes until it is bed time. I am just too tired.”
I skipped day four… the med changes wore me quite thin.
“I was pretty happy – and had a TON of energy… [The doctors and Instructors] are kind of concerned that I might be on a “manic high”… They’re going keep an eye on me to make sure I am okay.”
The blog post continues with a detailed list of goals, a photo of vision wall (literally the whole length of my room) and the plan to clean my room.
I started applying those skills I learned in the wellness program.
“I was pretty irritated and tired, but by the afternoon I was just determined to get some work done so I relaxed a bit and got a good three hours of work under my belt.”
It was a Sunday so I spend the day with the family and relaxing.
“I went to the Wellness program today. We are talking about Anxiety this week. We learned a bunch of relaxation tools today. They seem to be working”
Another bad day with a very unhelpful psychologist. I did however begin planning for my long term. I decided what program to go into for school. (p.s. I graduated last year!)
“Not much to say… Pretty stable… Had a boring day today but other than that I am good.”
“Today I stayed home from the wellness program… (I was sick). Feeling very lethargic today… not really interested in anything.”
“I was a bit down and irritable but I made it through.”
“I was miserable…. Super irritable. It kind of sucked but I got through the day alright.”
“Today was even worse… I am super irritable and miserable. I just want to scream and cry and throw things… This is not normal for me. I am hoping tomorrow will be better.”
One of the means of treatment that I used (and still use today) was going to the chiropractor and massage. I find I hold a lot of my stress and tension in my neck and shoulders. I always tend to feel better after that.
It’s been just over two years since I was diagnosed. I’ve learnt how to manage my Bipolar Disorder and I’ve been stable (with only a few bumps in the road) for most of that time.
A few things to remember during your recovery:
- Sleep is valuable!
- Be consistent with your medication.
- Find a good psychologist!
- Find a counsellor.
- Figure out what helps reduce stress in your life… and use it often.
- Surround yourself with people who support you and will hold you accountable.
What does your recovery story look like? Share in the comments below.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, business owner, daughter and friend. She has a Marketing Diploma and a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.