I got this email lately and I wanted to share it with you, because this woman makes several good points:
“It has taken me years to realize attitude is everything not only with BP, but with life in general. I lost my father when I was 15 years old and went through periods of manic followed by depression with periods of extreme anxiety. It was not until I reached the age of 24 that I was diagnosed with BP disorder. For many years I felt like I was stuck at the age of 15 and although I was in denial about my mental condition, I knew something was terribly wrong. Yes, I had periods of suffering in the past, but I am beyond that now. Today, I am 67 and understand my condition and I am no longer in denial, yet I have discovered I can be a happy productive person and enjoy my life…Also, I have learned…that I can recognize when I am going to have an extreme mood swing and control it. Over the years I have discovered tools that are so helpful such as Meditation, exercise, and reading positive thinking books…Everyone does have the power to change their attitude and transform their life for the better. I think change is a process…My life feels normal most of the time, and I have discovered a new kind of contentment and happiness. Also, I have grown spiritually as well in the process. I no longer allow labels to define who I am. –Joy”
The first point she makes is that: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. And I totally agree with that.
In fact, I’ve talked about that on several occasions. Attitude can determine whether you have a bad or good day. It can also determine whether you have a bad or good life. Like Joy says in her email, “…attitude is everything not only with BP, but with life in general.” If you have a good attitude, things will go much better for you. On the other hand, if you have a bad attitude, things will be much harder for you.
The next thing Joy talks about is how she was in denial. When you’re in denial about things, it makes it that much more difficult to cope with them. That’s because it’s necessary to accept something before you can cope with it, and denial interferes with the acceptance process. That’s how it is with other things, not just bipolar disorder. But it is especially true with bipolar disorder. But Joy says: “Today, I am 67 and understand my condition and I am no longer in denial, yet I have discovered I can be a happy productive person and enjoy my life…” So one of the ways to get out of denial then is to understand your condition. And I’ve always said that about denial: That you need to get educated so you won’t be in denial any more. And if you do, you too like Joy can be a happy productive person and enjoy your life. It means that you accept your disorder. Then you can go on toward stability. And then recovery. And recovery is when, like Joy says: “Also, I have learned…that I can recognize when I am going to have an extreme mood swing and control it.” If you can do that, you are in control of your bipolar disorder and not the other way around.
Then Joy ends by saying: “I no longer allow labels to define who I am.” Now that’s real stability.
Well, I have to go!