How To Stay Afloat – Self Care Reality Check

Sometimes, bipolar or not, you fail to recognize signs and symptoms of a sinking ship until its completely submerged. You think that because you are still able to breathe (even if its labored), that you are ok and are able to keep trucking on. Sometimes you think that the overwhelming feelings you are having are just part of your illness. Sometimes, they aren’t. ┬áSometimes they are just part of life and all the cards you are dealt. The decisions you make just weigh you down and then the quicksand starts sucking you under. Before you know it, you don’t even have a free hand to grab for help and you can’t breathe. That is when someone else has to tell you what to do because the decisions you are making are either not helping, or just contribute to your sinking. People like to say things like being an overachiever is what sets you up to fail. However, being an overachiever does not always set you up for failure. Sometimes, instead of life dealing its cards in a steady pattern, it decides to change the game to 52 card pickup and drops all 52 on you at the same time leaving you with no other choice or nothing left to do except react the best you can to the avalanche.

So, here I am; reacting. I have had many hands reaching out, but I am unable to grab them because I don’t have the strength. At times like these, decisions need to be made. This website is about helping others, educating others, and providing support. For this reason, I have decided to take a leave of absence from the site. One thing everyone needs to know and understand is the importance of self-care. No matter what our doctors give us, the medications we take, the advice we seek and use, we use that advice to keep ourselves well and then we pass that on to others to help them too. But, would you take advice from someone who is a sunken a ship? Or is being swallowed whole by a pit of quicksand? Mostly likely not. I know that I would question advice from someone in that position. Self-care is the most important thing to all of us. It keeps us living our lives the best that we can. All of our authors here at Ask A Bipolar know the importance of self-care and making sure that we do as much as we can to keep ourselves healthy and functioning as well as possible so we can help our readers too.

Which is why I have to make the decision to practice self-care. I will be taking a short leave from the website and my duties at Ask A Bipolar. If we can’t “practice what we preach,” then what kind of advice are we truly giving right? So, this is a perfect example that even us authors practice those things we suggest and the advice we give. ALWAYS make your own health a priority and practice self-care as much and as often as you can.

I have to step away from my duties on this site to practice self-care. What are your stories or examples? When have you had to practice self care? What things have you had to do for self-care?

4 thoughts on “How To Stay Afloat – Self Care Reality Check

  1. This is health related,which is sorta bipolar health as well,because it affected me at the time,and a perfect example of having to take care of one self.
    In 2007 I moved from Phoenix, AZ to Colorado Springs.
    I had a new job there as an Assistant Director- I came down with a very very BAD case of salmonella. The doctors didn’t know til almost the very end that I had salmonella. I kept getting passed off as having a horrible flu virus that wouldn’t go away. Needless to say I could not go to work,however that did not stop me from trying. When i thought I was well enough to go I was so concerned about my job. There was no way no I felt good enough to take notice that it was me that was more important. I showed up at my work, (i thought i looked okay) but i was sick as a dog looking. I barely even made it there in the first place. Someone had to give me a ride home,and told me I wasn’t working that day,because I couldn’t even see straight. My body was thrown into lithium toxicity-because i couldn’t absorb water-which is very much needed when taking lithium. anyways-it was so bad,Why do we put ourselves through the ringer of responsibility,when it can be solved by taking a step back and realizing it takes just as much strength to step back,as to stay in the, “I have to,or else the world will fall apart”, mode?
    Having salmonella and been toxic on lithium was not by choice,but I could’ve chosen the path to let go of my NEED to be there for others,and put my NEED to LOVE myself first,instead of pushing my self to an unhealthy place.
    A hard lesson to learn;everyone has waves of emotions,and waves of logic-when we don’t balance them, we get waves of chaos. My waves are all over the map,I know I’m not perfect-but guess what,that’s okay!!, because they are MY waves,and now I know how important it is to take care of ME,and the balancing part is up to ME as well, nobody else.

  2. One thing about having bipolar disorder is it makes many of us very aware of ourselves, unless of course we are in denial about our illness. Christi it is good that you have enough insight into yorself to know its time to take a leave of absence from the askabipolar website. I agree that our health needs to come first because if we are not stable or continue to remain unstable that will only hurt us in the end rather than make things better. Take care, Vicky…..

  3. Thanks Vicky. Yes, sometimes its hard to to remove ourselves though, even though we know its best. I also took a leave from International Bipolar Foundation. My blog will still be published in the book, but I have had to put the Terri Cheney interview on hold, since I’m to be taking a rest from anything having to do with the illness; reading or writing. I wish I was the one who was aware enough to make the decision on my own, unfortunately this came at the direction of those outside my situation. Hopefully, this leave will bring me back with renewed insight and fresh new ideas and ways to help on this site. I do feel quite bad bc I feel like I am not only abandoning everyone at the site, but that I have just thrust the weight of the world on MB. ­čÖü I’m sorry MB!!!!!!!! I will be back super soon!

  4. I am new to this diagnosis and not sure what to expect. I have been better since on medication but still have lows…I think I am drinking too much…have met a nice “normal” guy and dont want to screw it up…what can I do to help myself more? I see a counselor and a psychiatrist for my meds…any help or advice would be appreciated.

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