Friday, September 21, 2007

Seeking Wellness (Part 2)

I agree with my friend that people who seek wellness are more likely to find it than those who don't. I have also learned--mostly by writing this blog and reading other people's blogs--that some people don't seem to want to get well.

Quite honestly, I have been stunned by the number of bipolar blogs where people dwell on the negative aspects of life, ruminate about all the bad things that have happened to them, and act as if they're powerless to make changes.

I've spent years reading about healing and wellness and all the literature confirms that dwelling on the negative without finding the positives will only make you feel worse and worse. While we all have bad days and unhappy thoughts and feelings, and I do believe it's important to "write them away," I also believe that keeping a sense of humor, putting things in perspective, and finding the "good stuff" is a critical part of healing.

Unlike my friend, I do believe in miracles. In my case, the miracle was "hope." For years, despite my best efforts, I wasn't getting well. I finally realized it was because the medication worsened my condition, the bipolar books I read were downbeat and disheartening, and my psychiatrists' lack of belief in wellness was debilitating.

Now that I'm mostly well, I know I can mitigate bipolar symptoms and their impact. I'm no longer frightened that depressive episodes will last for extended periods because my episodes are becoming shorter and shorter. I am far more knowledgeable about what triggers depression (for me), and far more skilled at defusing the triggers.

I believe that just because psychiatrists say that bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition doesn't mean they're right. I truly believe that wellness is a realistic goal.

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For a different take on this subject, I suggest you look at Sydney's blog: Bipolarity. I highly recommend her essay on Outsmarting Depression (Part 1).

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