Hi. For those of you who are new here, let me catch you up. I live with mental illness and I am a voice for those who are finding theirs. I am in no way a doctor. In no way am I giving out medical advice. I am sharing my story and what works for me. I live with Bipolar Type 2, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder. I daily fight the demons in my own head. Finding my strength, I hope will help others find theirs.
So, here’s the truth. I’m not the healthiest person sometimes. At times I can be involved in toxic relationships. I try really hard to stay on the healthy end of the spectrum more often that not. Part of staying on the healthy end of things is setting up parameters to stay healthy. Protecting my stability at any cost.
I’ve learned what my body needs over the last 20+ years of having a diagnosis. I’ve learned that rest…good sleep…is a huge need. That means I can’t stay up at night. If I get off schedule with my sleep, the wheels fall apart at the spokes. 8 solid hours of sleep is crucial for me to maintain stability.
Taking my medication as prescribed is another huge thing. Y’all, I aint going to lie. I hate taking medication. I hate it. It is a royal pain in the ass. Especially when the medication stops working, which happens every few years. Why take medication if it isn’t working?! So here’s the deal. It is vital that if you have a mental health issue you stay in touch with your doctor. Your doctor is your lifeline and they will at some point save your life. If they don’t listen to you, get a new doctor. AND TAKE YOUR MEDS AS PRESCRIBED. I know. It sucks. Just do it. And don’t listen to those who say getting off medication is a good idea. You know your body. You know your meds keep you stable. It’s not a matter of bootstraps. It’s a matter of if your doctor has ruled there is a chemical imbalance, YOU LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Your doctor will save your life. Trust me.
Another behavior that is vital for my health is developing healthy relationships and interactions with people. When relationships are toxic, they no longer grow. Those relationships just make you feel crazy and like you are the one losing your mind. Yes, we all have things we can work on. Yes, you and I have defects. In healthy relationships, you are able to work on improving yourself and your defects. In toxic ones, no growth happens. At all. Build up the healthy relationships around you. You will need them. Let the toxic ones go. Learn how to interact and trust. Learn how to lean on others. Go to therapy if you need insight. Your therapist will help you clarify which relationships to move forward with and which ones to let go.
Most of all, be your own advocate. Know your body. Know your mood shifts. Know your vital needs. Speak up for yourself. If you don’t, no one will. And know that when you take care of you and do the work, things WILL get better. Even your darkest day will be a stepping stone to a better life. It’s about learning how to navigate the waters of mental illness. I hope this tidbit of love and advice helped you. If it did, leave a comment below.