How does bipolar disorder affect your sex life ?

How does bipolar disorder affect your sex life ?

Consensual sex among two adults are one of the most important factors in a relationship. The key word being “one” of the most important. Sex makes people feel good, it’s healthy to have, and it’s fun (as long as it’s safe). It releases stress and invigorates you. Most couples can’t get enough of each other, and there’s nothing wrong with being intimate with your partner to show them how much they mean to you. Being intimate not only boots your partners self-esteem, but yours as well. Everyone wants to be wanted, humans are designed to interact sexually with others.

But, what happens to those who have bipolar disorder? What is their sexual life all about? Bipolar disorder tends to affect your sexuality and sexual activity. Your sexual activity can be increased and this is known as hyper sexuality, but it can also be risky especially during a manic episode. During an episode of depression, most people tend to lose interest in sex. These sexual issues can create problems in a relationship and can tend to lower your self-esteem and the self-esteem of your partner.

During a manic episode your sex drive and sexual impulses can often lead to sexual behavior that isn’t typical of you. Here are several examples of hyper sexuality during a manic episode. 1. Greatly increased sexual activity without a feeling of sexual satisfaction. 2. Sex with multiple partners (including strangers). 3. Excessive masturbation. 4. Continuous sexual affairs, despite the risk to relationships. 5. Inappropriate and risky sexual behavior. 6. Preoccupation with sexual thoughts. And last but not least, 7. Increased use of pornography.

Last semester, when I announced I had bipolar disorder, one of my classmates said her baby father also had bipolar disorder, and they had to break up because when he was manic he would have sex with just about everyone. Not just his babymother. At first, she thought of course, he’s a player, but once he was diagnosed she realized it was out of his control. Unfortunately, after trying to stay together they had to put an end to their relationship. He couldn’t help himself, and could you really blame him? Or her? Hyper sexuality is a troubling and challenging symptom if you have bipolar disorder.

I read in this article that stated, “Across several studies they found that anywhere between 25 to 80 percent (with an average of 57 percent) of people who experience mania also experience bipolar hyper sexuality. It also appears in women more than men.” Those numbers are pretty high. I can only assume women outrank men because they are more outgoing and flirtatious, but that’s just my opinion. Who really knows why those are the statistics.

Like my classmate, most adults ruin their marriages and relationships because they are unable to control their sexual urges. Teenagers and young children with bipolar disorder may display inappropriate sexual behaviors towards adults. For example, a student/ teacher relationship. Often this may include inappropriate flirting, touching, and heavy use of sexual context.

There’s others who experience the opposite of hyper sexuality, especially when they are depressed and having an episode. During this time they experience a severely low sex drive, which is known as hypo sexuality. Depression very commonly causes a lack of interest in sex.

Just like hyper sexuality, hypo sexuality often creates relationship problems because your partner doesn’t understand your sex drive issues. This is highly true especially if you have extreme mania with hyper sexuality behavior and then suddenly experience depression and lose all interest in sex. Kind of being hot and cold, which can leave your partner confused, frustrated, and rejected. How can you explain to your partner that it’s not them. It’s simply your brain chemistry. You can’t control these episodes, even if you try. Sometimes they just out beat us and we are left powerless and at their mercy.

Another thing we have to deal with is something called sexual dysfunction, which is caused by depression. For men this includes erectile dysfunction and for women this causes high levels of sexual distress. It’s no secret that medications can have an affect on lowering your sex drive. Even if the temptation exists, we all know that we mustn’t ever stop taking our medications. The side effects can be so dangerous. We know it can trigger either a manic or depressive episode, which we want to avoid. The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about the medication you’re on and if it is causing to lower your sex drive. If it’s lowering your sex drive way too much, your doctor can adjust your dosage or change your medication.

Here are some helpful tips to better understand & deal with your sexual issues caused by this chaotic disorder.

First: Recognize symptoms and triggers. Try learning the situations that may trigger your mood swings so that you can avoid them as much as possible. For instance, stress and alcohol might bring on depressive episodes.

Second: Learn the side effects of your medications. Talk to your doctor about which medications are least likely to have sexual side effects. There are also medications available that help individuals with bipolar disorder to have a healthy sex life.

Third: Get a better understanding of sexual health issues. Understanding your consequences of your sexual behavior and actions, so that you can protect yourself and your partner from unplanned pregnancy, STD’s, and HIV is highly significant. This is extremely important during periods of hyper sexuality.

Fourth: Consider behavioral or sex therapy. Behavioral therapy or sex therapy can help you manage sexual issues caused by bipolar disorder. Individual and couples therapy are both highly effective. I say do both, why not.

During a manic episode you may become sexually risky and unconcerned with the consequences of your actions. I’m not one to ever judge, I personally have been there, especially in my early 20’s, before my diagnosis. During a depressive episode, you might feel apathetic about sex or upset by loss of libido. To be quite honest, after my diagnosis and my medications, my sex drive was extremely low. I didn’t want to be touched at all. My sex life was pretty much non existent unless I was feeling hypomanic, which kind of made me feel alive again, because I wanted to have sex. I felt normal. Way too often I deal with depression, so sex is the furthest thing from my mind, but it’s not healthy; not for me or for my relationship.

You have to get your bipolar disorder under control because that is the first step to improving your sex life. When your mood is stable, it is usually easier to address these kinds of sexual issues. There are many people with bipolar disorder who have healthy relationships and very satisfying sex lives. The key is working with your doctor to find the right treatment plan and talking to your partner about any and every sexual issue you may have. Talking to your partner may seem impossible, but trust me if they love you they will understand and try to help. If they don’t, well kick their ass to the curb. Just because we have bipolar disorder doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a great sex life. We deserve to indulge in the sweet nothings of life. As long as we are safe, and aware of our actions – we can have amazing sex lives!

If you’re having trouble with either being hyper sexual or hypo sexual, talk to your partner and your doctor. I believe everyone should have safe, fun, and pleasurable sex.

Goodnight and God bless & once again thank you for reading chaoticmind.blog.

The semi colon tattoo ;

The semi colon tattoo ;

Today, on my day date with my wife I decided to get this tattoo. It’s a semi colon, but with a heart. For those of us who have one or more of mental health disorders – signs and symbols may mean a lot. An example of an important one is a semi colon. Though in language it simply represents a sentence the author could’ve ended, but chose not to. When it comes to mental health, we can associate this definition to ourselves. Meaning – “the author is you and the sentence is your life.” This tattoo means a lot to me. Mental health awareness is highly important to me and this represents my deepest & rawest feelings. Many times, especially in the hard times, we find ourselves in the most darkest places. We become vulnerable and susceptible to extreme levels of negative. During those low moments, we begin to think that suicide is the answer. No matter how scary it sounds, the idea of dying seems like a relief. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is as night is dark and day is light. Suicide is leading cause of death today when it comes from mental illness. It’s devastating and heartbreaking.

I, myself once attempted to commit suicide. I was in a really dark, emotional, unstable place. Thank God the knife that I used was dull. Of course, at that moment I didn’t realize it. My sister had walked into the kitchen, screaming as she saw me hysterically crying, sitting on the floor, trying to slit my wrists over and over again with this dull ass knife. That dull ass knife saved my life. My sister grabbed the knife and grabbed me into her arms.

Most people don’t understand the amount of pain a human being feels when they are even considering something like suicide. It’s enormous, and at times feels bigger than us. What we fail to realize is that, the pain is only temporary. If we just stop ourselves for a moment and think of all the people we love and the opportunities we can have – maybe we can stop ourselves. The ultimate truth is that nothing ever stays the same. Things are in constant motion. We evolve and so does the world around us. We have to remember that today our problem may seem as big as a mountain, but tomorrow if may shrink into a much smaller rock.

When I was 12 years old, my close friend and tutor, committed suicide by jumping off a building. I didn’t understand why. Till this day, I really don’t understand why he did what he did, but what I do know is that he believed his pain would never end. I wish I saw the signs. There are always signs and we should take them very seriously and pay close attention. Who knows – maybe one of us can save someone’s else life!? Maybe if I would have noticed the pain behind his smile, I could have helped him, but I was only a child then. I was oblivious to everything around me. I do pray he found his solace however, I wish he was strong enough to keep fighting.

I want people who are affected with mental health disorders – not just those with bipolar disorder, but all of us as a whole / to know that we have the power to change the narrative of our story. We don’t have to end it! We are the authors, and we all have the strength inside of us, even when we feel like we don’t. You must pull through the thoughts of suicide and fight for another day, another month, another year. Don’t give up on yourself. Your life is worth living, no matter what you or anyone else thinks. Your life matters!

Those of us who suffer from bipolar disorder and have attempted suicide before may have been in something called a mixed state. It’s probably because we are highly depressed but manic enough to actually go through with it. If anyone has ever been in that situation, I’m truly deeply sorry and I hope you failed at your attempt and are living a happier healthier life. Too many people die in this world as it is, we shouldn’t be trying to kill ourselves. We have to strive to be better, stronger, and live with hope.

This topic is highly sensitive as I am sure most of you would agree. I’m just truly proud of this semi colon tattoo and I wanted to share it with you – my friends. I will continue to support and bring awareness as much as I can, in any and every way that I can.

I will write more on suicide one of these days. But for now – I would like to leave you with some inspiration. Be a semi colon or whatever makes you aspire for change and strength. Believe in it. Only you have the power over you, so own that power and never give up on yourself. I hope everyone is having a happy and safe weekend. Thank you for reading. God bless ♥️

Self-hatred

Self-hatred

It is a known fact that most people in the universe have some type of self esteem issue. This can lead to self-hatred. Majority of the world’s population is exposed to this toxin. Ultimately it can impact your mental health and how you suddenly view yourself.

It’s no secret that in this modern world of technology – there are boundless resources to bask in one’s own self hate. Let’s take Instagram for instance… it is so easy to constantly compare oneself to the hot girl with 54K followers. Obviously she starts winning out. Something as simple as “she is so beautiful, she has all these followers” can quickly go to “I’ll never be good enough for anyone.” Suddenly you’re fighting to remain you. Checking yourself in the mirror, picking at small random things that probably only you can notice and creating an atmosphere of negative feedback. This cycle ultimately leads to frustration, anger and self-loathing.

For someone who suffers from depression and/or anxiety having feelings of self-hatred can cause a lot of distress. Especially in a situation like that of Instagram I mentioned. More than often individuals with these kind of mental health conditions are quick to partake in such negativity towards themselves resulting in a spiral of constant negative thoughts and poor self talk. Sure, it’s normal to compare your lives to your friends, families, co-workers, spouses, etc., but when you are constantly evaluating how you measure up to every single person, you’re really bringing harm to your mental state of mind.

There’s a few common symptoms you can look out for to make sure your “comparing” isn’t going overboard.

First: All or nothing statements.

Viewing your life as some type of list of ultimatums, which for the most part will end up sounding way over the top. For example, “If I write a horrible paper, I’ll completely flunk out of college and become a total loser.” Drastic much? But, it’s so true… I myself tend to play this kind of mind game and think the worst of the worst, even when it’s not even close to reality.

Second: When you’re only focusing on the negatives. No matter how great your day may have been you somehow ignore all the glitter and rainbows and only think about what went wrong. You could have gotten a million and one compliments on how good you looked today, but hearing one thing that may not be so appealing like your boss telling you to fix a mistake you accidentally made… well, damn your whole day went straight to shit.

Third: Believing a feeling is a fact.

You may have messed up at work, accidentally and hey, we all do time to time, but instead of “I feel like a failure” you say “I am a failure.” Whaaat ? Why? Why do we do this? Sure, you are allowed to feel like you messed up, because yeah you did, but that doesn’t mean you’re a total fuck up. You’re human.

Fourth: Low self-esteem. Ninety eight percent of people I know have a dose of low self-esteem, and if they tell you they don’t they are liars. Everyone has some degree of low-self esteem when it comes to certain aspect of their existence. It isn’t always looks or it isn’t always smarts. It may be a combination or something else entirely. Who doesn’t feel self conscious once in a while?!? I used to think I didn’t need a body (as dumb as this sounds) because I had a pretty face. Now, all I can think of are the scars around my eyebrows. That brings my self-esteem all the way down. It’s truly horrible. I avoid people, I don’t go out unless I have to, and yeah my confidence level has dropped to its lowest. But how dumb is that? Being someone who has depression and anxiety, this alone messes with my head on a constant basis. I cringe at looking at old pictures of myself because sometimes they make me cry.

Self-esteem is important because that’s where self-hatred tends to start. That is the root of the issue. You may feel like you’re not good enough to have a good relationship, you may feel like you don’t deserve new opportunities, or you think people don’t want to be around you because you’re not that charming. Whatever your issue may be, you need to know you’re worthy of love, especially from yourself.

The first step to get started on the road of self-love instead of self-hate is to address the problem. We have to understand where and when this started and why. Getting to the bottom of it will help you determine the cause of self-hatred. It’s the beginning of leaning towards self-love. This may sound lame but from experience this works. Getting a journal and sitting down at the end of your day, walking through your day mentally is a big help. Jotting down things like what you did, how you felt, who you were with throughout the day, etc., can expose patterns that may identify what triggers your negative thoughts. Once you’re able to identify some of those triggers, you can work on coming up with ways to avoid them or minimize them. Like the hot girl with all those followers, if she constantly makes you feel like shit, unfollow her. Rather, follow something or someone that motivates you instead of putting you down. Now there’s some triggers you won’t be able to avoid, but you can learn to work through them. I am still learning to work through some of my own. I believe everything will happen in due time and with patience.

Often self-hatred pops up when you’re not in a good place to journal or reflect. When that happens, having an internal conversation with yourself helps. Let’s say you think “I hate myself”, follow up with the question “why?.” If your response is something like “I’m such an idiot, I forgot to hand in my assignment.” Try challenging that thought… say something like “I’m not an idiot, I’m human, I forgot, let me ask my professor if I can email it in.” Standing up to your negative thoughts can seem dumb, but honestly it’s the only way to change the negative way you talk to yourself. Don’t be discouraged if the positive talk doesn’t always pull through, simply challenging those negative thoughts eventually (with lots of practice) helps reinforce the idea that self-hatred isn’t a fact or some sort of raw truth – it’s just a very bad emotion.

Self-hatred often comes in a moment when you don’t have compassion for yourself. If there’s a moment in your day that you’re feeling really good, try to write a list of things you love about yourself. Don’t panic if you’re at a low point and can’t seem to find even an ounce of love for yourself. Instead, maybe write down things you like or don’t hate about yourself. When I’m sad and journaling, I would write “I like that I’m so attentive” or “I don’t hate the eyeshadow I wore today.” Sometimes simple is all you need. They are like baby love notes to yourself, that are kind of cute. Men don’t hate me, but you know you want to get cute love notes, lol. Affirmations is where it’s at! Keep a small list you can see everyday, like a post-it on your bedroom mirror. “I look great in red lipstick.” That alone will make you smile and start you off having a good day.

When self-hatred thoughts start to possess your mind, stop and breathe and say out loud one of the items of your list. Build positive self talk into your daily routine. I learned this word today “reframing” and it’s a therapy technique that is used to address self-hatred and negative thoughts. Reframing simply means to shift your thoughts to a slightly different perspective. You have to train your brain to find and focus on the positive. For instance, instead of saying “I totally suck at being quick at work” you can say “I didn’t work as quick as I could have today.” Sure, it’s a minor change in thinking but the point is you’re taking an all or nothing statement and reframing it as a single instance. That helps the negativity not feel so overwhelming or permanent. There’s days at work when it’s so busy that you can’t work as fast as you would like. Then the key here is to understand that the feeling is temporary. Everything may shift the next time around. There is no permanence and therefore reframing would really help in this case.

Self-hatred isolates individuals a whole lot. Withdrawing from social situations may feel good at the moment, however it’s not a good idea. Connecting with other people is crucial for our mental well-being because social interactions helps us feel better about ourselves. It creates an environment in which we feel valued and cared for and honestly that’s what most people want, to feel that way. The best way in combating negative thoughts is to spend time with people we love and who love us. This may be the hardest thing to do but it is the most helpful way of diminishing those negative thoughts.

Self-compassion is a different form of self-love. It means accepting your negative thoughts, mistakes, failures, and understanding them as messy human situations. It means forgiving yourself the way you would if someone you loved hurt you in a moment of anger. The next time you’re spiraling down the self-hatred hole, cut yourself some slack. Acknowledge that you aren’t feeling great and remind yourself that that’s okay. Dwelling on certain actions you aren’t proud of isn’t good. Remind yourself that you’re human, and everyone makes mistakes. Those actions do not have to define you. Self-compassion doesn’t happen over night, but it is a trainable skill. Learning how to go from “I hate myself” to “I will do better tomorrow,” is one of the greatest life skills someone can have. It’s not easy, but nothing that is worthy ever is. So, stop with the negative self talk and whisper sweet nothings inside your ears. Self-love is the greatest love of all times.

Good bless everyone 🙂

Write yourself an affirmation on a post it and stick it on your bedroom mirror…I’ll start. “Having bipolar is my super power.”

Your turn ;)…

Dear September

Dear September

September is approaching fairly quickly and to be honest I am so freaking excited! I’m back at school and I cannot wait. Yes. I sound like a total nerd!

In all honestly school keeps me sane. The learning, the hard work, the research and papers, the exams, the pressure. I love it all. Yes, during this time I’m usually stressed but in a good stressed, because I know I’m working extremely hard toward my goals. I only have three semesters left till I get my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

I always loved to learn, however my upbringing wasn’t the easiest and honestly I didn’t care for school at all. Growing up and going to college has taught me a lot about everything, including me finding my one true passion. Being a Psychology major literally gets me going. I want to know the human mind and how it behaves and why people act and are a certain way. Though I have learned a lot, I do not stop when the classroom stops. I am beyond passionate about each class I take and I always follow up with learning more about the subject even when my grades are in. It’s never dull, and it’s always enlightening. Each branch of Psychology brings in different spectrums of knowledge.

I have come a far way from how I was when I was growing up, and not for nothing Psychology even helped me with my disorder, because it made me want to know more. It made me want to research everything under the sun about the disorder. It also made me stand up in a classroom last semester and tell a whole bunch of strangers during a presentation that I myself have Bipolar Disorder. So, in a sense it made me brave. I hate that we live in a world where stigma controls the minds of every individual into believing that people who suffer from mental illness are the worst kinds of people. It really breaks my heart and disgusts me all at the same time.

It’s no secret my mood swings have gotten the best of my life throughout the years, but I never let it stop me from wanting to learn more about the psychological factors of humans. And, I don’t want to ever stop learning about it. I don’t care if someone has a mental illness and it’s not because I do, but it’s because no matter what at the end of the day we are all human. If Susan, the “normal” girl in my class can get an A, then what makes me think I can’t? I can, and I have! Having bipolar disorder doesn’t mean that I won’t work hard to get what I deserve. I deserve to graduate and pursue my career in rehab.

I want everyone to know that their disorder doesn’t have to stop them from ever having their dreams come true. If you truly want something so bad, go out there and get it! It may take some us longer, and it may be even harder but that doesn’t mean we can’t achieve it. Everything you set your mind to can become real… you just have to give it your all and at the same time believe in yourself!

I have mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again. People with bipolar disorder have an amazingly creative mind and that’s not just me saying that as an opinion. That is a fact proven by science. So, with that said, our minds are more creative than the next person and with that we can do brilliant things if we just wanted to.

Don’t let this disorder ever stop you from getting what you want out of life. I know sometimes it’s hard especially if you’re manic or severely depressed. Those days will happen and they will suck, but you have to keep pushing. You can’t stop believing in yourself. You have to grab the bull by the horns and make it your bitch. That’s how we survive in this world. So, if you have goals and a dream… chase it. Don’t ever be mediocre, because you are far from it!

God bless everyone.

Black and whiteeee

Black and whiteeee

It’s so insane how emotions change up so quickly. It’s like one minute you hate everything and then in a split second you’re happy beyond words. That’s how most of my days are like. It’s all black and white, there is no grey area in my world. Yesterday I was feeling extremely depressed. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I had all these negative thoughts. I just shut down from the world. It wasn’t for any particular reason, my mind was just drifting in and out of the past and present. Sometimes it gets the best of me. I’m not a perfect person, although these past few months I have been working harder on myself to be better. I have an extremely bad temper and I have lost a lot because of it. It is one of my biggest flaws but hey, no one is perfect, and at least I can admit when I’m in the wrong.

Regardless, yesterday I hated everything and sometimes that hate shifts on to myself included. This is what happens when my mind goes into a dark place and depression takes over. It’s ugly. There is nothing like that deep, dark, empty rabbit hole. It influences you in the worst kind of way, to the point you feel like you’re drowning in nothing but sorrows and the air around gets so thick that it becomes hard to breathe. Sometimes you cry, but sometimes you just sit there starring into the darkness thinking the most awful and worst things about life.

Depression shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can consume a person to the point that they don’t want to exist anymore. I have had so many days like that, but one way or another I tried hard to climb out of that rabbit hole. I barely got any sleep last night but I woke up at 5am and went to work with the love of my life. I was happy, very exhausted but happy. Being with her and spending time with her made me happy. And, even though we just worked a 14 hour shift, I am happy I was with her all day. Especially since we rocked the socks of our job!

One thing life has taught me, and having bipolar has taught me, is that emotions never stick. What you feel is only temporary. Even the good. You can feel fucking great one second and then the next moment you feel like total shit BUT you have to learn to manifest those emotions. Knowing that emotions are temporary can spare your heart and mind from a lot of agony. Feelings do not last forever. Especially in our special and rare cases. I don’t live in a grey world. I am either insanely happy, or down right face smashed in the dirt depressed. It is hard living this way. Sometimes I want the grey, I want to know what it is like to be in between. To be neutral. I believe those people have the most kind of peace in their lives and all I want sometimes is peace.

But, this is my chaotic mind. I live with bipolar II disorder and my days are either black or white. I’m either riding in the rainbows on my perfect little unicorn or falling face first down that deep, dark, empty hole. Which literally takes the air out of the space I am in, and I hate life.

Life is so beautiful though, even with these chaotic feelings and all the ups and all the downs., I know that life is worth living. Each moment, each second, each day is worth living. Feelings are temporary, but what you make out of your life and the choices you make to be better is what makes it all count, and then you understand that no matter what you may feel today, tomorrow you may be a thousand times better. So never give up on yourself and get on your unicorn and ride that rainbow! There is always light at the end of the really dark tunnel and yes even that dark, empty, rabbit hole. Program your mind to understand that our feelings are temporary because hey guess what, they are lol. Don’t let them control you because once they do you fall into becoming their victim. Especially when depression hits, and depression wants you to stay stuck down in shit with it. Don’t allow that to happen.

There’s always something in our lives that bring us joy, even if it’s little or stupid. Like me spending time with my girlfriend. I didn’t do anything so captivating that dragged me out of depression but spending time with someone who loves me and whom I love means everything. And truly, at the end of the day, isn’t that all we really need?!? It is the small joys that destroy those meaningless depressing feelings. Those feelings that may not mean anything to us tomorrow. And if they do still nag at you, cause they might…. I won’t lie, find something that makes you feel good & healthy instead and grab onto it! Find your light! Just because we live in black and white doesn’t mean we can’t live in the light.

My favorite quote that I have tattooed on my leg says ” it’s good to have darkness because when the light comes it feels that much better.” My favorite singer The Weeknd stated that in a interview & it stuck with me; ink deep, because that’s how real it is.

God bless you all. Goodnight.

A dose of hypomania…

A dose of hypomania…

For the longest time in my life whenever I felt sad or was having some type of day I would turn to shopping.

I spent excessive amounts on money on things I wanted so badly but didn’t need, and unfortunately it’s still one of my biggest problems. It feels as if I am going through a mixed state (which is one minute they are extremely happy and the next minute they drop down to being extremely sad). It goes something like this: I experience a bad day or I feel manic and I whole heartedly decide to spend money on something like makeup. I feel totally happy doing it, but once the deed is done I go right back to feeling depressed.

I have been trying to compose myself when it comes to spending money, because I tend to spend a lot of it in a small time frame. It started bringing problems into my relationship and my spouse couldn’t deal with my spending habits anymore. So, for her I promised to do better, but it’s really hard.

Shopping helps me escape my reality sometimes. New clothes, new makeup, new this and that and I’m like “yes I feel like a totally new person.” A happy one. Sadly it’s only for the time being. Don’t get me wrong when the stuff arrives I am truly just as happy, but it’s always the same song and dance – it’s never enough! I need more, I want more. I crave more.

I had to cut back a lot. I used to shop nearly every single day to now maybe once a week or once a month, but it’s still excessive. I have almost everything I want when it comes to material things but I’ve learned it never fills that void truly. This isn’t like something I can control though and sometimes I wish people understood that more. I know I don’t need more things but I can’t help but get them.

I’m at that age where I need to start thinking about a family and a house, so my shopping sprees need to get cut off completely. It’s a work in progress because once I see something I want there is no off button. I think it has a lot to do with the impulsive side of me. I don’t think about “well if I buy this tomorrow I may not have enough money to pay my bills.” I see something I like and there isn’t a thought of I can’t have that. I don’t have any warning lights going off.

How do I get a warning light in me? Most people can control themselves, but what happens to the rest of us who can’t ? Where does that leave us? Luckily I have never went broke because of my expenses but the crippling fear of that happening lurks in my mind. Sometimes this makes me feel like a child especially when I get told “stop” or “enough” or “don’t do this anymore” and it upsets me because in my head it’s like why can’t I have nice things? I work hard, I go to school… I deserve the nice things!

Simply put, who doesn’t deserve to enjoy pleasures of life? We all do! But what if you’re like me and you can’t stop. It is a problem! This was just something I’ve been thinking about when it comes to myself.

Thanks to my spouse, I’m working on bettering my life and my approach. Still though there isn’t a time during the day where I don’t think “I want this” when I see something that grabs my attention. Grasping control is something that is new to me, but I am trying. I am taking baby steps and beginning to think of the long haul rather than the short. I hope one day when I want something that I don’t actually need – I’ll be able to say no and truly mean it.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Rewired

Rewired

In my pervious blog post, I discussed the prevalence of substance abuse in individuals with bipolar disorder. I honestly haven’t yet discovered as to why this actually happens. I do have some theories that I would like to share and of course put up to discussion with all of you.

My future seems complete to me when I imagine my profession. I am en route to earn my PhD in psychology and I aspire to work in a rehabilitation center. I feel like that there is where I can do my best work. I love helping people and engaging with someone on a very deep level. I work so hard in school to be able to achieve this dream and bring change into this world. I believe that in a rehab facility – one can see the embodiment of transformation and revitalization.

Substance abuse is a disease. Bipolar is a disease. When compounding both together – an individual needs all the help they can get. But why are the two so closely related? I believe it has something to do what wanting to escape reality or numb the pain. No one wants to feel like they are hurting, especially when the pain is mental and completely indivisible to others. People who suffer from a mental illness can never explain the excruciating pain they go through to someone who doesn’t suffer from such an illness. So they find an escape. Drugs is an easy one and one that is readily available. It’s easier to pop a pill than it is to talk to a counselor. It is easier to pop a pill than go through the ebs and flows of one’s emotions. It’s easier to pop a pill than talk about what’s happening inside of you. But popping a pill is only easy going in, but coming out – the road is most difficult and most debilitating. There are major consequences – dependency, physical illnesses, loss of loved ones, homelessness and even death.

I am currently reading this book “Rewired” by Erica Spigelman. I read a lot of books (as most of you know). She doesn’t live with bipolar disorder, but she has suffered with substance abuse. This book is a self help book for those who have had (or are having) this problem or for those who want to help someone who may have this problem. Even though she does not have bipolar disorder, she is an individual who has endured suffering and came out from the bottom becoming one of the most influential writers and doctors who ever came face to face with substance abuse.

If anyone with bipolar disorder has ever had a problem, I think seeking out this book to help get and stay on the right path is a great idea. I’m not close to being done with it, but this step by step process is very intriguing and I can see that if you apply the work in this book you may just become a survivor of this ugly epidemic.

Substance abuse is killing millions of people and it is honestly one of the most saddest things ever. Imagine having bipolar disorder – which is a struggle in itself and also hitting rock bottom and abusing a certain substance. It’s like the worst kind of cocktail to try to swallow. Before my diagnosis, like most young adults I would drink a lot (being a bartender didn’t help). I partied a lot and and truth be told there wasn’t a night in my early 20’s where I wasn’t drunk or drinking. Sure, most people around that age would say there is nothing wrong with that; we all love to party! Well, I was impulsive, irritable, sleeping around, spending like a maniac, etc etc. I wanted to numb my pain and in turn numb the reality of my life. Of course then I didn’t know I was struggling with bipolar disorder. I took the easy rod and blamed it on my drinking. I didn’t want to even think about mental illness as being my reason. Little did I know that I was hurting myself more and more. Drinking made me more manic, drinking didn’t help my disorder one bit, in fact in only made everything worse.

Nowadays I barely have anything to drink. I still go out, but I control myself. I don’t have more than one drink because I know what happens next. I have people in my life who also care about me and make sure that I don’t abandon my willpower. Being responsible when you have bipolar disorder is very important. One, because of my medications, and two because I rather keep my drinking to a minimum to not create a cycle of loosing control. One glass of champagne for a celebration and I’m more than good with that.

Was I an alcoholic back then? Probably. I had easy access to alcohol, I partied every single night, and I didn’t care to stop. Thankfully, as soon as I got diagnosed I realized I didn’t want to be that person, I wanted to be better. Not everyone can just stop a bad habit, some may need rehab and help. My rehab was therapy, and my diagnosis. I knew that having this disorder was chaotic enough, I didn’t need to add to it. Unfortunately, many who suffer from bipolar disorder don’t see it that way, and I don’t blame them. Escaping the truth always feels better than reality. I do hope though, if anyone is having substance abuse problems that they can find someone to talk to. There are many therapists available, also don’t be afraid to seek help in family and friends. And always remember that your friendly blogger is here for you as well. I’m only one message away and I will find time to give you my ear and try to help the best I can.

Addiction is a disease and we all know it so there’s no one to blame, but knowing something is bad for you and continuing to do it, well that’s a choice. Break the habit, get better, read this book, learn something and become the most authentic self you can be. I’ll never judge anyone if they are suffering from this disease but I hope they will find the strength and see there is a light behind that darkness. You don’t have to be a statistic. Rewire your brain to have a better lifestyle and better habits. Perhaps, start here. After reading my blog, read the book, talk to a friend. Help is everywhere if you need it. Don’t let substance abuse ruin your life.

Bipolar or not, your life is worth living. Trust me.

God bless everyone. Have a great day