Treating Bipolar Disorder Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Have Bad Days, and That's OK

There are times when I truly feel OK. In fact, I feel pretty darn good (but not good enough to sprout wings and fly). I feel stable. I feel relatively in control. I feel like I have plenty to live for. I don’t feel like a big liar when I tell someone, “Yes, I am OK.”

Since the depressive days are so painful and the manic days are so confusing, I am thankful for the “OK” days. That “OKness” is not solely due to meds, therapy or any one factor. A combination of forces work together to keep my symptoms at bay. Medications that work certainly help. So does therapy, adequate sleep, a positive attitude and relatively low stress levels, among other things.

When I’m struggling with the bad days, I’ve been asked how I cannot be OK when I take all those meds and have therapy every so often. It happens. Treatment does a lot to keep me stable, but it doesn’t work 100 percent all the time.

Sometimes my meds have side effects that interfere with my equilibrium. On those days, I’ve learned to be extra gentle with myself and not take on too much. If necessary, I schedule an extra therapy session and/or call my doctor. In other words, I am taking responsibility for my own well-being and acknowledge my limits. That is very much OK.

Just because I am being treated for the bipolar symptoms doesn’t mean I am not entitled to my bad days or even kind of cruddy days. I have them just like everyone else. I don’t have to beat myself up because I can’t be OK every day for the rest of my life. Some days, I am definitely not OK, and that’s OK.

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