Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Be Well (Part 1)

As I drove to my badminton class yesterday, I thought about how grateful I am that I can commit to a biweekly class for 18 weeks. Two years ago was the first time in a long time that I could enroll in a class and attend every session.

One of the problems with frequent depressive episodes was that for the longest time I didn't know when they could hit. Unfortunately, I hadn't yet realized that my lifestyle and my response to stressors was contributing to these episodes. But now that I've figured things out, it's truly a joy to be able to sign up for classes I like, and participate in a host of activities.

In the last few weeks, I have spent time with a number of friends and acquaintances who are out of sorts, seem somewhat lost, and aren't truly engaged in activities they enjoy.

In some cases, they're retired or semi-retired. (Some are employed, but after decades spent working at the same career, they've lost their passion and their interest in it.) A few are taking a break for medical or psychological reasons. But, the commonality is that there is no order to their days. They seem to have forgotten--or perhaps never knew--how to balance their lives. And they don't have a sense of mission as to why they're on the planet.

After a few days spent with people like this, I began feeling a bit under the weather myself. If there's one thing I truly dislike, it's being with people who are lost or drifting and either won't admit to themselves that they have a problem, or won't try and seek a solution.

In the bipolar world, it's easy to blame everything on medication and doctors who lack insight. In life, there seem to be many people who are seeking someone else to blame--whether it's their childhood, a former spouse, a lack of money, or their situation in life--whatever it may be.

As far as I'm concerned, no matter what the causal factors, ultimately we're responsible for finding meaning and happiness in our own lives. For me, that's what wellness is all about. And that's what I intend to write about this week.

Stay tuned!

7 comments:

Clueless said...

This is a great post with terrific insight. I enjoyed it very much.

P.J. said...

I agree. We begin to feel like those we hang out with. And, whatever we consider our excuses to be, we are still in charge of how we let that control and play a factor in our life. (By the way, an "excuse" is just the skin of a reason, stuffed with a lie.) Whether we are well or not, it is our job to live with PURPOSE. Without purpose, our life can do down quickly. Purpose is the driving force in all we do.

Mariposa said...

Very true...

I still look forward to playing badminton with you...or having some coffee for real! :)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Clueless,
Thanks so much. Since it's something I've thought about a lot, I hope you enjoy the entire series.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear PJ,
I couldn't agree more. When I talk with young college students who are just starting out, I try and explain that finding a purpose is the key to a happy and fulfilled life. It's not always apparent what your purpose is, but it's terribly important to engage in a lot of activities to figure it out.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Mariposa,
And I look forward to playing badminton and having coffee with you. I guess we'll have to meet somewhere between where you live in the Philippines (I'm not sure what city you live in) and Los Angeles!

Susan

Tamara said...

I don't know about other countries but isn't that the way in America. Always blame someone else or expect someone else to fix your problem or make you feel better. Where did personal responsibility go???

We are so eager to let someone else take charge and deal with whatever the problem is so that we don't have to.

Oh, I could keep on but I will stop my rant! BTW, I am guilty of it myself way more often than I would like to admit. :-(