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Looking after ourselves

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Hi @Jenn4 ,

 

Thanks for your reply and kind words.  It sounds like you are doing a lot of stuff right and have a positive mindset.  I really agree with you about the swimming and you are a braver soul than most tackling rivers.  I found it helped get me through those early days of my diagnosis.

 

A group meeting would help and I probably need to look into it a bit more.  I did find a place in town where people catchup for a coffee and talk about mental health.  It's a challenge to find a good work/life balance.

 

Have a great day and take care Smiley Happy

 

 

Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Bipolar two has definitely stolen my identity. I was a corporate person. Degrees, titles, responsibility, job credibility and history. I was a ............ title (very important one too!!  Smiley LOL) All gone.  Can't go back. With hindsight I look at some of the things I used to do like sitting in peak hour traffic. Why would anyone in their right mind do that? Ive spent 4 months in hospital over the last 15 months. Not good.

I  don't suffer from mania. I sometimes function ok between the dips. The dips are random and happen often. Over time things have started to change little by little. Out of desperation and boredom I've started trying different stuff. Writing, drawing and back into music. Things have been turned upside down. I am now working on a new different me. Often I feel like a young child learning how to be in the world. Ive won a short story prize (for a few days I had trouble walking through doors with my big head!) So now im struggling learning about being one of them creative bipolar people. The hardest thing I'm learning is discipline and routine. This is clouded in mind chaos and punctuated with savage mood dips. WriterMelb

 

Here is an instagram meme I created regarding my mental state.

3D8FCDE0-90D9-4CB1-8055-AB48A011C85D.jpeg

 

 

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Hi @Jenn4 

I know where you're coming from. Sometimes I feel like I don't know what's Bipolar and what's me. As I've got older the bipolar characteristics seemed to have changed.

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Jenn4 

 

This is interesting to me. I was wrongly (probably) diagnosed with Bipolar and I definately felt this. Like... lack of insight is supposedly a symptom of Mental Illness sometimes and some mental health professionals totally used that to deny me my reality.

 

And I was constantly second guessing myself.

 

I guess I'd recommend... knowing yourself, working out what your symptoms are of a low, high so when people question you, you can check in with yourself and be like "no, yes" and communicate that to the people around you.

 

Also, tell close people your fears. They are less likely to cross your boundaries if they know it's a sensative issue. Like... maybe they'll speak up and say it in a more gentle way, or do it only if they're sure. And if they know you, they'll know you as you.

 

And... I started owning myself. If my Mental health is affecting my life negatively- I do something then. But it's still part of me. So my personality and my diagnosis are not seperate. Diagnosises are useful for insurance, and treatment suggestions. But totally not for identity. The sickness model is a bit of a problem in this respect. Find people who respect that, or can learn that.

 

Hope that's useful. 

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Gazza75  no worries at all. Yeah, I am looking forward to my group session (even if it’s via group video call (it’s not til May tho)). I think a specific bipolar one would have a lot of advantages bc bipolar is quite unique and niche in a lot of ways. please also take care Smiley Happy

 

@WriterMelb totally. Sounds like you’re on the mend tho, good on you, friend. Healing and recovery is 120% possible. I guess it begs the question of what you do tie your identity up with (this is something I ask myself - what is my identity *really* built on). I like, hard won insight. Thanks for sharing, all the best

 

@Imogen also totes. totally I feel this. And also I worry a lot that this will filter into others’ perception of me and that I can’t act freely bc of that. Like ppl will think, oh she’s like that, or behaving like so bc she’s “disordered”. It’s hard. I think I’m paranoid about it though. It’s something I’m working on.

 

@Knick thankyou for your suggestions and solidarity, much appreciated, that’s really helpful advice. Smiley Happy

 

This is something I’m totally still working through (just got diagnosed just over a year ago (I think I said that in my first post)). A funny story is that, over the past 6 months or so I’ve been kind of relationshipping with this guy, and I was worried that when I thought, “oh he’s so great, I think i could marry him one day” (I have a whole seperate post on this if you’re interested), “- ra ra ra”, that I was just getting carried away bc of mania and that wasn’t actually a true reflection of my feelings or the situation. And I talked to my psychiatrist (who I really like) about this problem, of not knowing what’s you and what’s bp, using this as an example, and she burst into laughter and said ‘Jenn, every girl is like, this, every girl does this.’ Hahahahahaha. It was a nice moment and reality check, when it’s so easy to feel removed from reality.

 

Thankyou all for sharing, and caring! much love and solidarity a todo

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Knick , @Imogen , @WriterMelb , @Gazza75 , @Shaz51 

 

hey fam, 

 

'what is me, and what is my brain being bipolar (and what is the meds)' is another side of the coin of my/this quandry that was also eating me up - but the good news is i just solved them both! i solved the coin! (some uneasiness and fear lingers but i think it will disappate more probably to nothing with more reflection on the below)

 

this is the perspective that works for me. hope it's helpful to some. shoutout to the SANE helpline email for advising me when i asked about this problem to talk more about it/talk it through. 

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 12.06.09 pm.png

 

hope you are all well <3 

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

These are some of the other techniques i think that help me to control my brain's being bipolar as i feel/need. (i am on really good meds as of like 7wks ago, praise Jesus)

-- Things that control mania apart from meds
Calming music
Food?
Reality checks, e.g. ‘y am I feeling like this?’

-- Things that control depression apart from meds
Reality check, e.g. ‘y am I feeling like this?’
Sun and fresh air
Listing, ‘three things I want to do’
Music
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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Great ideas!

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Truffles  thanks! Smiley Happy 

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Re: Bipolar as identity theft

my friend i sent all those messages to asked me to summarise - as though my hyper agile hypomanic thought train was not very clear hahahah

 

this is what i wrote her

 

   ~ 

 

i used to think there was 3 things at play, vying,

 

- the real, unbipolar me,

- my bipolar, or my brain being bipolar, or like malfunctioning or so

- and the meds

 

and i would get confused and frustrated and afraid trying to work out which was in the driving seat and causing my experiences. but now i have changed my perspective to a much more helpful and useful one that is, there is no real, unbipolar me (anymore), and bipolar isn't a seperate part of me. It is all me; the bipolar and the unbipolar are one. 

 

and i can control (e.g. using meds and other techniques as well) how my bipolar brain acts, like i can keep it in check and control it, i have power over it

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