If you're a single person with bipolar disorder, surviving can be hard. Last time I outlined why this is in a piece about being alone with bipolar disorder, but this time, I'm focusing on successfully dealing with being a single person with bipolar disorder.
I’m Sammi Caramela, and I’m excited to join HealthyPlace as the new author of "Trauma! A PTSD Blog." I’ve lived most of my life in survival mode, but it wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I realized I was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from early childhood trauma. Learning why I was suffering was crucial to healing from the extreme anxiety and depression I coped with on a regular basis.
Because I grew up with the label of shy instead of anxious, there are a lot of things I didn’t realize I do because of anxiety, and no one ever recognized them as anxious behaviors. It took me reading about them somewhere else or hearing someone else say them for the lightbulb to go off.
Two weeks ago, I embarked on a massive life change. Moving away from the town where I got sober to begin a new chapter flipped my world upside down. I had to face my fear of change and part ways with the people, places, and things that kept me grounded for three years. My comfort zone was demolished, forcing me to start afresh.
Fear is an emotion I used to view in a negative light. However, understanding how fear influences my emotional state has helped me to harness its power and use it to my advantage. In certain situations, overcoming fear helps me achieve my goals, contributing to feelings of accomplishment, happiness, and a more vibrant life experience.
I have learned so many important lessons and revelations in the course of my interminable healing from anorexia, but one stands out above the others: I cannot take a day off from eating disorder recovery. Sometimes I want to, of course. Sometimes I'm convinced that enough time has passed since my life was at risk—or I have enough experience and self-awareness at this point—to ease off the accelerator and simply coast for a while. Sometimes I even feel confident that I am fully "cured." But the truth is, I need to be vigilant and intentional about my healing at all times. I don't have the luxury of checking out periodically. This might be an option for others, but it's never worked for me. The minute I grow complacent, I start to notice those restrictive anorexic tendencies creeping back in. If I want to avoid a relapse, I cannot take a day off from eating disorder recovery.
Yesterday, I noticed an eyelash on my finger. I asked my husband Tom if wishing on eyelashes amounted to magical thinking, even though I already knew it did. I just wiped the eyelash away instead of wishing on it. I am trying to stop most forms of magical thinking.
Last time, I wrote about setting goals and using tasks to focus on to help channel my anxiety. But what happens when things get less busy in my life and it is time to relax?
I live alone with bipolar disorder, and recently, someone asked me how I do it. I have rarely thought about such a thing as we all just work with the life with have, but let's talk about how I survive as a person living alone with bipolar disorder.
How often have you heard people say or imply that suicide is selfish? Well, if you are a netizen like me or have lost a loved one to suicide, I am sure you have been exposed to this line one time too many. Not only is this statement hurtful, but it is also completely untrue. I want to be clear: #suicideisnotselfish. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
you continue to inspire me. Looking forward to your next post with the hope that I can pick up some healthy coping mechanisms.
Thank you so much for reaching out to share your experience. As the blogger here at "Surviving ED," as well as someone who has dealt with anorexia for almost 20 years (the last five of those years spent in eating disorder recovery), I can empathize how you feel. I know how much courage and vulnerability is takes to be honest about where you are currently at in the healing process. I also know how uncomfortable it can be to submit to the advice of a therapist or nutritionist when you have been living with the mindset and behaviors of an eating disorder for so long. The ultimate decision to heal is yours, but I would encourage you to continue seeking out the help of trained clinicians and listening to their expertise. I understand this is hard, but I want to commend you for making an effort. If you would like more information or resources, please check out the HealthyPlace Eating Disorders Community page (https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders) or our list of confidential hotline and referral numbers (https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer…). Once again, thank you for sharing.
"Surviving ED" Blogger