I have a friend who says that when he was younger, his mom had an expression she would say all the time when things got a little frantic and she got stressed out as they sometimes do when you’ve got kids: “I don’t know if I’m coming or going!” I can see how a mother could feel that way at times. I can even see how someone with bipolar disorder could feel that way, too. With extremes in mood swings and other issues that surround their disorder, and uncontrollable emotions sometimes, they could easily feel like they don’t know if they’re coming or going. Things can get pretty confusing for the person who has bipolar disorder. That’s why they depend so much on their supporter. Your loved one depends on you for a lot of things. Especially to help them when they’re feeling like things aren’t exactly within their control. Those times when they don’t know if they’re coming or going. Those are the times when you need to know what’s coming AND going.
You need to always be in control. So you need to be emotionally healthy. You can’t let your emotions (feelings) get in the way of being able to handle things. That means that you should be dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. Such as talking them over with your loved one. Or a friend or family member. Or someone else you trust, such as a clergy person, or a therapist. If you don’t have someone you can talk to about your emotions/feelings, you should at least be writing them down in a notebook or journal. This way you still get them out and don’t stuff them. Otherwise they would just come out in unhealthy ways (like fighting with your loved one).
You also need to be physically healthy. You should be exercising regularly, at least three times a week, for at least 30 minutes each time, in a way that gets your heartbeat up. This could be in any way that you like – even walking would work, as long as you do it with regularity and consistency.
Also, make sure that you take care of your physical concerns health-wise. Get regular physical check-ups with your doctor, and see him/her for anything else that concerns you in between those regular check-ups. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet that is low in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars, and take a multivitamin to supplement it.
You should also be mentally healthy. You should do things that occupy your mind and challenge you, like work. Now, work is definitely a challenge sometimes, isn’t it? But you should also enjoy your work, and it shouldn’t be a source of stress for you. If it is, you should consider another job.
You should also find ways to be stimulated creatively. Like in the hobbies you choose. They should be creative outlets for you, and you should enjoy them.
You should also be spiritually healthy. This doesn’t mean that you should pray or go to church or temple all the time. But many people find that prayer does help. And many find that meditation also helps. Having an active church/temple life can give you an outlet where you can have friends outside your loved one and their “bipolar world.”
I know I’ve said an awful lot of “should’s” today, but if you do them, you’ll be a lot happier and more able to handle the comings and goings that go along with bipolar disorder.
Well, I have to go!