Defeated?

Defeated?

What do you do when you feel defeated? I don’t mean losing a game or a bout with someone. I mean when life seems to kick you around when you’re at a low point and leaves you at the curb. This might sound abnormal, but is this feeling “normal” for someone living with a mental illness?

Living with Bipolar Disorder, it seems like there are days when feeling defeated comes easy. It’s a low point that I tend to go through. It’s easy for someone to say, “Get over it”. How do I get over of it? I don’t. I go THROUGH it.

Going through a low point is the process of using coping skills to move you through the valley, or low point to get you back to feeling good again. Getting over it? It doesn’t happen. It’s like ignoring that it’s even happening. Going through it, is acknowledging the low point for what it is and moving on.

Living with a mental illness is challenging. Living with a mental illness isn’t for the weak. It’s a way of life that takes a lot of work. In my own life, I can feel defeated but my illness doesn’t defeat me, it challenges me. In the good times it’s great, in the low times it’s hard. Again it’s a challenge.

Learning coping skills is important. Mine is writing. As I write this, it shows what’s on my mind and helps me realize if there’s going to be a challenge. I can tell you there’s no challenge right now, it’s just acknowledging that there is a low point and I know it’s seasonal.

How do I know it’s seasonal? Because I’ve been writing for years and now I know myself through my writing. My suggestion is, if you get a defeated feeling with mental illness, learn some coping skills. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

Living Life On Life’s Terms

Living With Fear

 What do you do when you’re living with fear? It’s time to evaluate your life. What are you afraid of? I’m afraid of living life on life’s terms. That statement haunts me. I need control over my life. I know that control is an illusion but I still look for it today even after 20 years of recovery. How do you move on from control issues? Control IS an illusion. Acceptance is the start.

Acceptance

 How do you accept to live life on life’s terms if you need to control your life? It’s hard to fathom, but if you’re in recovery, acceptance is the first step. Lets take it a step further; acceptance is the key to letting go of fear. Fear is the enemy. When I hear myself saying this, I have to let go and let God. I know I’m using a lot of 12 step sayings but they’re all true.

Letting Go

Letting go is the way to freeing myself from the control that I try to maintain. When I say, “try” to maintain, that’s the illusion. I need to let go of the STRUGGLE of trying to maintain that sense of control in my life, which leads to fear. Why fear? When I have to live life on life’s terms, life can feel unstable. While living with Bipolar Disorder and addiction issues I want that feeling of being stable. Which leads to trying to have that false control, it comes around full circle.

Letting God

Blind faith. That’s what I need. To believe that fear is the enemy and that God is in control. That alone, is freeing. To know and believe in a power that is greater than myself has the reigns is humbling. Being someone who tries to have control, I need to be humbled. How? Simple, let go, let God.

 

 

 

 

Working With a Healthy Routine

My name is Jason Insalaco. I have been living mentally well for over 13 years. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 and addictions to drugs and alcohol in 1995. From 1995-2002 was a real struggle for me to keep a job for the long-term. In those seven years I’ve had every job imaginable and have lost every one of them. Why? I didn’t have a healthy routine.

A Good Recipe to Lose a Job
I know now in hindsight that I need to take my medicine at the same time everyday and get enough sleep during the night to function daily. In the first seven years of my recovery I would take my medicine when I remembered to, which wasn’t at the same time and I wouldn’t get a good nights sleep. What would happen? I would sleep through my alarm, miss work, and eventually lose my job. It was a revolving door that wouldn’t stop.

A Healthy Routine is a Good Start
What does this mean for me? Well, I needed to get on a healthy routine. I started to take my medicine at the same time everyday and get a good sleep pattern. It took time but it was good for me to be proactive about it. The result was that I had more energy during the day so I can function better. Not perfect, but better. As a result of feeling better and wanting to work, I had to choose the right job.

Choosing The Right Job
I think that when choosing a job, you need to work with your likes and dislikes. This will reveal if volunteer, part-time, or full time work is what to look for. I believe looking for a job is an extension of your personality. First, I would ask myself a few questions. Do I like to work with people? Animals? Computers? Do I like to work indoors, like an office or warehouse? Or do I like to work outdoors?
I believe that instead of aimlessly looking for a job, it is important to sit down and make a list of your likes and dislikes. This list could be a basis of where to start looking for your next job.
In closing, being a healthier you can be the momentum in getting a job. My advice is to make that list and start looking for a job that is filled with more likes than dislikes

Freedom is Love

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In the center is peace,
It pumps life.
Life can pull you in many directions.
Follow the pull inward.
Get in touch with your inner self.
Feel the pain of sorrow,
Feel the joy of happiness ,
Follow the peace.
It starts from the center,
Moving outward towards freedom.
Freedom is love.

“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” – Rick Warren

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
When symptoms appear, are you aware of them? What are some of the signs? I sit here today knowing that when I go to a prolonged length of time, being tired and not getting a good night’s sleep, I get agitated. This agitation leads to other symptoms of my bipolar disorder, such as, zero tolerance.
I begin to have no patience of all the little things that normally have no effect on me.
If this sounds trivial, it’s not. Because when I’m not rested everything bothers me and it’s not healthy for me or anyone around me. I think that when I’m aware of the symptoms, I need to evaluate what I’m doing. Am I taking my medications at the right times every day? Again, am I getting enough sleep? For me, not enough sleep has been the cause of a lot of trouble in my recovery the last 10-12 years. It’s not the only thing but its a dominant one. It throws off my balance. I think stress has a lot to do with it too. If I’m stressed out, symptoms can appear and stress can also tire me out which can cause the circle of symptoms. It all goes hand in hand. Stress leads to being tired, being tired and not getting enough sleep, leads to symptoms. How can you avoid prolonged symptoms? I think the only way is awareness and coping skills. To be aware of yourself and know what to do when symptoms arise. Maybe therapy, speak with your doctor, support groups, or a good support system.
If you agree, let’s get a good night’s sleep, tomorrow is a new day.