Bipolar Disorder and Honoring Commitments to Yourself
You know when you feel accomplished honoring commitments to yourself? Yesterday was one of those days for me: I wrote for a few hours in my local coffee shop; I did some grocery shopping and cooking; and I called by therapist and my psychiatrist for appointments. I was most pleased by making plans with my treatment team because I'd fallen off for a while and the calls made me feel like I was getting back on track. I'd also stopped going outside to write, so getting out of the house for a period of time was an accomplishment in itself. You may wonder, to what do I owe this burst of self-care energy and why did I honor these commitments to myself. Well, I did it for a man. (What?)
Others Can Help You With Bipolar and Honoring Commitments to Yourself
I've been struggling with a rough bipolar depression for a long time, think years. Most of that time has been bad, some of that time has been spent in a psychiatric hospital, and only a handful of moments have been legitimately good. One of those moments was meeting my new friend, Ken.
Ken and I talk every day and, during a recent conversation, Ken made mention of an organization that he works with for people with disabilities. Since I've seen him in person, I knew that he didn't have a physical one, so I figured that he had a psychological disability and I was thrilled. Not that he has a mental illness, but that I could feel comfortable sharing about my bipolar disorder. I all but said, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."
Turns out that Ken has an anxiety disorder which affects him on a day-to-day basis. I told him that my bipolar tends more towards depression but that I'm good and healthy now. And as soon as I said it, I knew that I was lying. I hadn't been in therapy for months. I'd had two days of depressed teariness and I hadn't contacted my psychiatrist. Basically, I'd called my treatment team not because I felt bad, but because I felt bad about fibbing to Ken and I wanted to be able to tell him good things about my prognosis.
Honoring Commitments to Yourself with Bipolar Is Sometimes Difficult
Getting yourself to take care of yourself can be a struggle, especially if you have bipolar depression. Even being in mental health recovery, I still have breakthrough symptoms and general malaise. Those are times when I'm not doing all I should to help myself recover. In those moments, sometimes I get tired of trying, tired of taking care of myself, tired of walking around being tired. And in those moments, I sometimes need external motivation to get well.
Sometimes motivation comes from an event to anticipate. Sometimes it comes from the need to take care of a pet. And at other times it comes from a man who's a friend who you'd like to have as more than a friend. I'm not terribly ashamed that I'm trying to get healthy for a man, or for a relationship with a man. I'm glad that I have something in my life that makes me happy. And I know that any positive step I take with my mental health will eventually make me better, and when I'm better I can remember to be good to myself for myself.
Lloyd, T. (2015, December 17). Bipolar Disorder and Honoring Commitments to Yourself, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/relationshipsandmentalillness/2015/12/bipolar-disorder-and-honoring-commitments-to-yourself
Author: Tracey Lloyd
Good luck with your male friend and your overall happiness. Maybe your next blog will tell us the wedding date?
You do got to find your own happiness. Movement and activities do help.