What is most helpful?

What has helped you to manage symptoms you experience with bipolar disorder?  What is the least helpful thing another person can do for you?

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There are so many different things I have done to cope with my symptoms, I couldn’t begin to tell you what they all are… And some things that have worked for me in the past no longer work for me, just as things that never used to work, work now… I know for me, I have to constantly be diligent about my coping skills and using them when I need to, as well as using them correctly…

I don’t really have any one skill that has helped me manage all my symptoms… Well, one that’s positive and that I can actually recommend anyways… However, I have noticed that a lot of the skills I have kind of center around one thing-getting out the emotions and feelings I am having at that moment… Be it talking to someone, writing, screaming, etc. venting is a good way to get out all your thoughts and try to make sense of them… True, my rants don’t always make sense… (Oh, who am I kidding, they rarely make sense!!! lol) But it does feel good to get the words out of my head… My best sounding board is my dog, because she will listen to my whole spiel and never tires of it… She even follows me from room to room when I’m all over the place!!!

Venting seems to help best when I feel I’m getting ready to freak, manic, anxious, or just have a lot of pent up crapola… Something that helps me when I’m depressed or unfocused or have racing thoughts is to color… Yes, I said color… I can sit for quite some time and color… It gives me something to do without doing anything… Confusing, I know… It’s kind of like having an excuse to zone out, while still being in the moment… Painting is nice, too, but I don’t really keep those around the apartment… I guess this is where gardening, lounging in a warm tub, playing music, and other “mindless” tasks would fall???

When I’m in the midst of a freak out, it’s important for me to attempt to come back to the moment and stop my mind from wandering too much…
I try to use some relaxation skills such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation… Yes, I know these are the old, cliché techniques that everyone is told, but they actually can help if you practice them often enough and learn to do them in a way that works for you…

Try practicing when you are not in a wildly manic state, or having an anxious meltdown, or whatever else it may be… Practicing your skills
every day makes it easier to draw on them when you really need them…

On the flip side, there are several things others can do that really set me off-things they say and/or do that just make me want to haul off and throw something… One thing that irks me more than anything else is when people tell me that others have it worse off than me… I know there are people in worse predicaments than what I am in… I know I’m lucky to have my own place and have a little money and insurance… And yeah, I’m grateful… Immensely… But seriously??? I don’t want to compare my life to theirs!!! No, it’s more than that… I can’t… I’m not too sure why, but my life is hard enough not having to constantly think about how hard others’ lives are… Maybe it’s just me being selfish, but I don’t like it… I do my share to help them whenever and however I can, but I’m not Mother Teresa!!! I can’t save them all!!! It’s hard enough to save myself!!!

Hope that answers your questions some!!! God bless!!!

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