Finding Your Passions

Passion – noun 1. Strong and barely controllable emotion.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT??

If I could give a single piece of advice to every single person, it would be this: Find your passions, and start doing them for a better life! I know that seems sort of broad and simple, so allow me to explain.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

What an awesome example to live by! I take it a step further… not only thriving with passion, but thriving in part because of those things I am passionate about.

Life can get brutal. We all experience the ups and downs of life throughout the years, oftentimes we take great note of the downs, and can easily forget the ups. Doing so can certainly make you feel overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, defeated, etc… the list can go on and on. If you already suffer from mental health issues, the intense swings of life can become quite unbearable. How can we all combat this little fact of life? I have found the personal answer to this question and am overjoyed to share my experience with you!

~It all boils down to passion~

Many people have families, children, friendships, work… these things alone can keep you very busy, and steal the minutes in your day. However, even though we are busy with these things that we love and enjoy, there is a huge number of people who are unhappy and completely discontent. Why do you think that is? A better question is; Can being unhappy and discontent change? The answer, as I have learned myself… ABSOLUTELY! You do not need to get stuck in that rut. -smile-

It is very easy to get caught up in the daily rituals of life… allowing them to take over every moment of free time you may have. Then, when you do actually have free time to yourself, you spend those free moments selflessly, reaching out to help others within your inner circle. While helping others is commendable, helping yourself is just as important. For some reason, many people feel as though they are being selfish when they put their needs/wants before others in their household. This is far from the truth. Taking care of yourself comes with many fantastic perks to your mental well being, and in fact, is more of a necessity than you may think. Why is that, you ask? When you put others’ needs before your own, you are telling yourself (aware of it or not) that you and your needs are not as important as others, and this dramatically affects your self esteem. I will write more about the importance of Self-Care in a follow-up blog post. For now, just know that taking time for you is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Everyone wants to be content and happy, but unfortunately those two things don’t always just happen on their own. It is up to each of us as individuals to find the things that evoke passion within, and then to follow through, incorporating those passions into your daily life. Isn’t your happiness worth it?? When you find the things you are passionate about, share them with others, and instill this with your loved ones. Become the perfect example of living a positive life, doing what your passionate about, and help others find their own personal passions. By practicing these things, you will help those around you to be happier, healthier, and live a more content life… on top of making you more happy, healthy, and content.

You are worth it!

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NIMH Bipolar Disorder

“Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of  Bipolar Disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar Disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But Bipolar Disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

Bipolar Disorder often develops in a person’s late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.

Bipolar Disorder is not easy to spot when it starts. The symptoms may seem like separate problems, not recognized as parts of a larger problem. Some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.” ~ Sited from NIMH

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I would like to start off by saying I do not think the name “Bipolar Disorder” does justice to the illness… and almost seems to belittle the disorder, and make it seem less significant in relation to other mental health disorders. Manic Depressive Illness is a much better description of the disorder, thereby being a more appropriate term/name as a whole. Manic alone is a single word offering a very precise description, as is the word Depressive. Therefor, Manic Depressive is less confusing, more blunt and to the point, with a certain er of importance and respect. Some people think “bipolar” simply means you have two sides to your personality, two “you’s” so-to-speak… and this thought process is incorrect on many fronts.

The chronological order of my documented personal illness began in the year 2000, where I spent five minutes with a Psychiatrist who then prescribed medication for Major Depression. In hindsight, this diagnosis was incorrect as I was already experiencing rapid cycling, and hypo-mania. Five minutes is NOT enough time to assess a patient with any type of Doctor. After many life changing events: divorce, not having custody of my children, and the final blow of an Ex’s suicide, my diagnosis was upgraded to Bipolar 2 Disorder (in 2003), along with the normal “piggybackers” anxiety, and insomnia. However, all of this fell on deaf ears as I refused to believe anything was wrong… and of course, I did not continue with therapy of any kind. Pharmaceutical or otherwise.

I finally had some reprieve for a couple years, and felt somewhat well, and what little medication I would take from time to time, I discontinued completely. Then in 2007 I became manic, depressed, anxious, psychosomatic, suffered brutal panic attacks, and became paranoid I would die in my sleep. Can you imagine how my world flipped upside down?? Sleep was suddenly terrifying… it became a monster out to get me, and no matter what I tried to do, no matter how exhausted I became, sleep totally eluded me. Each time I would lie down to sleep, as my body would drift off, when I would suddenly have a jerking motion, I would wake up completely, thinking I had just jerked awake preventing myself from slipping into death. This paranoia became my downfall. This paranoia caused me to make very poor choices, ending my 2nd marriage, and because of circumstances out of my control, I once again did not have custody of my children. Alas, prompting the next diagnosis of Bipolar 1 with Psychosis.

This nearly destroyed me, I felt like I was going to break at any moment… a break in which I could not come back from. It took accepting I was Manic Depressive, accepting therapy, accepting medication, accepting that even-though I wanted my children with me more than anything in the world, I had to accept that they were healthy, and happy with their Fathers, and I had to accept that I needed to work on myself so I could be the Mom they needed of me.

Education is so important. I am not speaking of the kind from a college, but rather of life and learning about your true self, and educating yourself about the challenges we all have. Learn about mental health issues, and then share that knowledge! This is insanely important to do. Not only are we helping ourselves, but we are helping others in doing this as well.

Lets start discussing mental health… open a dialogue with all those you know. This will help with the stigma associated with it. Personally, I have learned to be a chameleon… I can throw that happy face on faster than anything else I can do… I believe most of us are very good at that. Why?? So nobody can see the storm raging within.

If you love someone with mental health problems… keep looking for that storm. After-all, nobody wants to suffer… and I think we all would welcome the anchor that you have the potential to become… I know I certainly would.

©thebipolarmuse2018

 

What Doesn’t Kill You

The very beginning… written in April of 2010… coming to terms with poor mental health, a diagnosis of Bipolar 1 disorder with psychosis and comorbid disorders such as anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and many Psychosomatic symptoms.

~~~~So is it true that whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? I am leaning more towards the “whatever doesn’t kill you will only wear you down until you break into a billion little pieces” idea of the matter. Everyone has a story right? Well, so do I. And in this world of anonymity I will take advantage of telling my story within my 10 seconds of “bloggy” fame.
I have no clue how to blog, or what the hell I am getting into but I do believe it will be therapeutic….especially important to me because I can no longer afford the therapist I have been seeing…
And ohhhhhh the venting I shall accomplish. It’s brilliant….
Welcome to my wild, ridiculous, adventurous life… my wild ride. The beautiful disaster I have come to be.~~~~