The Bright Side Of Bipolar Disorder

Hey guys 🙂

 

I imagine some of you are wondering what could be good about having bipolar disorder but I promise you it’s not all doom and gloom.

Today, I want to point out the silver lining.

Please note that it is not my goal to minimize the struggles of bipolar disorder and some of you are not going to relate to my positive points depending where you are on your personal journey but take note that this post is based on positives I have found in relation to my own bipolar disorder.

So without further adieu, here are the positives I have managed to take away from having bipolar disorder.

Resilience:

It’s safe to say that mental illness is not an easy road to navigate however, I choose to give myself credit for the fact that despite the landmines I have walked through in my life, I’m still standing.

Everyone has struggles in life mentally ill or not but when you take even the average BS life can dish out, throw mental illness into the mix and you have to work that much harder to rise above it.

I might not always get to where I’m going as quickly as other people but I wear my uphill climb in life as a badge of honor. I have worked hard to get to where I am today and no one can take that away from me.

Go ahead…try 😉

Since finding out I have bipolar disorder, I am actually more self aware than ever before. Although it’s difficult at times, I still manage to put one foot in front of the other. You can knock me down but I will get back up.

The whole “You’ve won the battle but I’ll win the war” kind of thing comes to mind.

Bouncing back does not always mean quickly but regardless, I bounce back and come out stronger than before.

Speaking of which….

Strength:

Nothing will test your strength quite like bipolar disorder. It’s a tricky game in which the rules always seem to be changing. You have to be able to adapt. It’s crucial if you plan to move forward and it requires you to dig deep and that requires a huge amount of mental and emotional strength.

When people use the phrase “Mind over matter” it makes me cringe a little. That’s easy to say when you have a healthy brain that can properly rationalize that thought, but what about when you have a brain that wants to take a sudden left turn when you’re insisting you want to go right?

It’s not fun.

Bipolar disorder is like taking countless detours to reach the same destination as everyone else but for me personally, the detours I have encountered are seen as an opportunity to grow as a person.

Having a proper diagnoses has really helped me to think of it that way because I know more about myself since discovering my mental illness. There is a name attached to the ups and downs now. My past makes more sense than it did before and with that knowledge alone I feel a sense of control and power over my life that I never had prior to my diagnoses.

Knowledge is indeed power.

Empathy:

I feel empathy comes to me quite naturally but I have to give partial credit to the fact I have bipolar disorder. I believe that people who live with a mental illness in general are the more capable of showing empathy in ways the average person can’t.

That being said, not all mental illnesses are created equal and there are in fact mental disorders that exist in which people cannot feel empathy for others at all but as I stated earlier, I am talking about my personal experience.

Given the circumstances, I love the fact I have found my voice. I am not afraid to go to deep, uncomfortable places with people and even myself…still working on myself…always a work in progress.

I don’t judge others right away (most of the time) because I can appreciate what it’s like to go through difficult times. I know what it’s like to feel like you have to hide certain things about yourself because you feel ashamed and I also know how hard, yet liberating it is to break through that barrier and I truly desire that liberation for others.

Super Hero Powers:

Bipolar disorder can be a real challenge when it comes to staying consistent but I can safely say if you happen to catch me during a manic phase, anything you can do I can do better! 😉

OK, that might be a tad arrogant of me but one advantage of having bipolar disorder in particular, is having that manic spurt that gives you the ability to shine like no other.

Although it can be dangerous to push the manic phase too hard, ( many people feel they can get away with no medication during this time…trust me…you can’t) the mild form of it can give you the energy to multitask circles around people.

You can function on 3 hours sleep, you’re the life of the party, you see the bigger picture and are psyched to just conquer life and own it.

Your creativity goes through the roof, and confidence? You bet your butt I have it in spades during that time. When it’s good, it’s really good.

Psychologist In The Making:

I am willing to bet that those of you who live with a mental illness will relate to this…

Before your diagnoses, you took countless quizzes, tests etc in order to diagnose yourself in some way. To find a sense of self. A place to fit in. Everything but go to an actual doctor ha ha.

The bright side? Before and even after a diagnoses, you know more about the human condition than most. Sure, you don’t have a masters in psychology, but you’re well versed on the subject which gives you an edge. It has helped me to read people more accurately and appreciate the human mind and how complex it is. I find the subject of psychology fascinating and consider it a valuable tool in the game of life.

Advocate:

No longer do I feel like a victim. I can take the hardships that come with bipolar disorder and use that to advocate and empower others. It allows for connections I would not have made otherwise.

I feel like I am part of the solution now instead of always being part of the problem. I can lend a voice and spark a conversation despite the stigma that’s still out there and touch someone who might be in need of support at the time. For me, that is an awesome feeling. ❤

In closing, life is truly what you make it whether you have a mental illness or not. The key is to never give up. Own who you are flaws and all and you will find people are more inclined to accept you…flaws and all.

Stay honest with yourself and others. Face your challenges and fears head on because in my opinion there is a certain beauty in that kind of pain. Pain forces change, growth and the power to rise above seemingly impossible odds.

I love and root for the underdog because their victory is that much sweeter. An underdog doesn’t squander the good things in life because they understand what a precious gift it is.

That is truly beautiful. You are beautiful. ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

 

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stomp Out Workplace Drama

 

Dear Employees and especially Management,

You might want to read this…

One thing I know for sure. Regardless of whether or not you live with a mental illness of any kind, life has a way of piling stress on you and it always will.

An area of life stress I would like to touch on today is stress in the workplace. This to me is hands down the biggest source of stress for many people.

Every job I have ever had has always consisted of some sort of drama. I have noted over the years that many times this drama gets swept under the rug by management and rarely if ever gets addressed head on.

Why is that?

I think the factors that play into this kind of avoidance is many but I am here to tell you…protect your mental health at all costs. No job is worth compromising your mental health.

I hear you…I’m sure you are saying..”Easier said than done Cavelle. I have a family and bills that need to get paid. I can’t just not work.”

I get that. I really do.

However, this post is not about telling you to quit your job. This post is addressed to people of management positions in particular because at the end of the day, whether you see this “drama” as valid or not, it is still your job to make sure things don’t get out of hand and ultimately create a toxic environment for all involved. Including you.

Especially you, in fact.

It is my belief that if you want to get the most out of your employees, the social dynamic needs to come first before anything else. It needs to be healthy and strong. People are human first and employees second. When people feel management is there for them, guess what? Employees are more likely to be there for management.

Am I trying to say you should be a full time therapist to your employees. Not at all. In fact you can avoid big long drawn out cry fests in your office by simply being present everyday. Don’t hide in your office all day. Make your team aware that you are around. It shows you care and it prevents people from starting gossip and honestly BS in general.

“But I honestly don’t care. This is petty stuff. I shouldn’t have to hear about it. People should be adults and work things out themselves.”

True. In a perfect world.

Did I mention this world is far from perfect?

As management, if you choose to brush off what seems trivial, I can assure you that the trivial stuff you are ignoring will come back to haunt you in a big way.

Also, if you don’t care that’s fine but for the sake of the workplace at least pretend to care. In most cases all people want is validation. Who doesn’t want to feel validated?

If you don’t care and it shows, if you choose to leave your employees to their own devices you are only adding to the problem. You are not separate from your employees. Healthy management is very much intertwined into the social dynamic of the workplace.

When I say social dynamic, I am not asking you to be a doormat and everyone’s friend. That won’t work. What I am saying is, if there is drama in your workplace, take care of it immediately. Just because you ignore it does not mean it goes away.

If you want the respect of your employees then don’t disrespect them by brushing them off. It may not seem like a big deal to you but remember it’s a big deal to them so take it seriously.

The minute something is remotely going down make a point to be proactive and face it head on. If it truly is trivial you have even more reason to address it because you need to make it clear to the people involved that this sort of thing will not be tolerated from either one of them.

Period.

This conversation takes all of what? Fives minutes? Do you not have five minutes of your time to put out a small flame? Why let it turn into a forest fire? This makes no sense to me.

If I had a dream job at this point in time, I would travel to workplaces all over and fix the backwards thinking most companies have towards the little guy. Your employees, your front line, they determine where your business goes. As management you are responsible for the well being of the business which means you better take care of your front line. Without them…there is no need for you…

Look at it from a customer service standpoint. Your employees are told the customer comes first but when do your employees come first? If you don’t understand this concept…perhaps you’re in the wrong position.

Management does not mean “Not my monkeys” You run the show. You took on those monkeys willingly so feed them everyday.

Nobody likes a hungry monkey 😉

 

Take Care and God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recharge Your Spiritual Battery

 

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Hey guys 🙂

Today I have decided to take a more spiritual approach to a post I had written about burnout in the workplace. If you care to read that post I will link it here

Just like there is burnout in the workplace, I feel you can also experience burnout on a spiritual level. As a Christian, I try my best to keep my faith strong but it’s not always that easy when you are faced with the struggles of everyday life.

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I live with Bipolar Disorder and not only do I advocate for God but I advocate for mental illness.

Mental illness does not come without it’s challenges and in my case, when you are in the throes of  depression or mania (sometimes both, called a mixed episode) your mental state becomes skewed and leaves you vulnerable. It makes it difficult during those times to reach out to God and ask for His help.

I want share some ideas that I feel will help keep your faith and overall well being strong. Whether you live with a mental illness or not we are all vulnerable to the chaos that exists in this world. It is imperative that we protect ourselves from it. ❤

Pray And Practice Gratitude:

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I know. This seems obvious but many of us will only pray when things get messy. What about when things are going well? We should always acknowledge God in prayer good or bad. Prayer during the good times shows gratitude and practicing gratitude on a daily basis is scientifically proven to improve psychological and physical health. For more information on that I will link you to an article I found –

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude 

Even if you don’t believe in God, practicing gratitude will strengthen your overall well being and if you live with a mental illness, this is especially important.

For those of you who do practice your faith in God a simple verse from Psalms is a wonderful way to start your day –

Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I also turn you to Proverbs (my favourite book ) –

Proverbs 3:6

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Prayer and gratitude is not only valuable but very powerful. Make a point to include it in your life daily. ❤

If you are in need of prayer or someone you know needs prayers I will link you to my Prayer Requests post. I would be more than happy to pray for you and with you. ❤

 

Keep Your Inner Circle Close:

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If you have God in your life, He is the center of that circle. Never let it stray from there. In general, nurture the people closest to you. If you are living with mental illness I know this can be tough to ask of you but it is important that you do not shut out the people who truly love and care for you. We all need love and acceptance. We all need a hug and someone to tell us “Things will be Ok” but it takes two for this equation to work. Make sure to put your best foot forward to reciprocate that love and acceptance.

Before I found God in my life, I was surrounded by the wrong people. I allowed them to drain me on many levels. When I accepted God into my life and made a point to move closer to my family, I purged a lot of negativity and people out of my life. I have started to keep my life as simple as possible as a result and I must say…it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself.

I am rather selective now of who I allow into my inner circle. In the past, I was a welcome mat for all kinds of negative, toxic influences which leads me into my next tip –

Create And Stick To Your Boundaries: 

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For me, it started with God. I make it a point to not let people get in the way of my faith anymore. My faith in God brings me peace and I refuse to let anyone mess with that.

As a rule, if it doesn’t feel right, if you have that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach, if you feel something does not line up with your morals and values…stay the heck away from it. Do not let people walk all over you and bring you down to their level of negativity. You are worth more than that and saying no does not make you a bad person. It means you respect yourself enough to know what your limits are.

Creating boundaries will either make people respect you or send the ones who have a problem with it running for the hills…good… If someone has a problem with you respecting yourself then they don’t need to be in your life. Period.

Galatians 6:5

For each will have to bear his own load.

I hope some of my ideas help you to stay on a straight path. These are just a few of the ways you can protect your well being and your faith. I feel the three I have listed are the core values you should try and hang on to most. If you do that, the rest will follow.

In closing, I invite you to share any experiences  you have had that has improved your life and has helped to keep your path straight. Sharing with others is another great way to rejuvenate your spiritual and mental well being. Let’s help each other recharge those spiritual batteries! ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday is Mental Illness Survivor Day!

Come share and celebrate Mental Illness Survivor Day! ❤

My Loud Bipolar Whispers

Monday is Mental Illness Survivor Day!

We need to celebrate us! We are all strong and we are all…

SURVIVORS!

  1. If you are a bipolar disorder survivor or any type of mental illness survivor, please add the name and link to your blog in my comment section and I will add your name and link and your comments to the top of my page today.
  2. Also, I will add the name and link to your blog on the side of my page permanently.
  3. Please post a comment about your story and journey of being a bipolar disorder survivor or any other type of mental illness survivor or any other information  you want to add. Write as much information as you want to share.
  4. I want to compile a list of all bloggers writing about bipolar disorder and any type of mental illness.
  5. It will be very valuable for myself and for everyone to have a list of all…

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Bipolar Remission. Is It Possible?

Hey guys 🙂

Today I want to talk about something that does not seem to get enough attention when it comes to bipolar disorder and that is remission.

Can bipolar disorder be cured? No. Not at this time anyway but the truth is you can lead a healthy and productive life! Remission may not be the same for everyone but it is achievable.

When I first started my blog I had just been diagnosed with the disorder which is about 3 years ago now. I was far from a remission state at the time and to top it all off I was not in a healthy environment/relationship for my emotional wellbeing. Needless to say remission was not on the horizon at the time and my symptoms of mania, depression and anxiety (I have GAD as well) was all over the place. Can you say mixed episodes? Oh how they plagued my life at the time…

Move to present day and things are a lot different. I see a therapist and I visit my psychiatrist on a regular basis. My meds are stable (for once), I’m holding down a job although I did have to switch to part time (which has helped tremendously) I don’t abuse substances and I am in a loving, healthy relationship.

I am not saying these things to brag but I have earned my current state of remission. I have worked hard to change my life around and make sure my environment is a healthy one.

The reason I am writing about this is because many times the articles I would write or read are very doom and gloom and personally I think that can add to the stigma that goes along with mental illnesses in general. Why are we not celebrating the good that can be achieved despite the hurdles?

For instance, the amount of empathy people with mental disorders display. Since starting my blog I have met so many wonderful people and have received much support in the mental health community and attribute that to my current healthy state. I am very thankful for that and glad I can extend the same olive branch.

I am not my bipolar disorder and refuse to let that define me as a whole. I live with the disorder yes and it is not going anywhere and in the beginning stages I felt like everything including my identity had to revolve around being mentally ill.

But think about the trials and tribulations you have gone through in your life. Sometimes the depression kicks in and it’s crippling. Other times it’s the mania that gets the best of you and the “crash” kicks in but you are still standing, you are strong and those of us with mental illness have much more to offer than we think sometimes.

I am not trying to candy coat mental illness by any means but why are we not celebrating the victories big or small more often? Why does mental illness always have to be portrayed as negative. In some cases I have witnessed people in a pissing contest of sorts on who has it worse and honestly, how does that help anything except perpetuate the stigma?

Those of you fighting the good fight, I challenge you to see the positives of living with a mental illness. As a community we have much to offer this world and more insight and compassion than most despite the challenges we face and we should be celebrating that to the fullest!

Just a thought.

Take Care! ❤

Cavelle