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How I Manage 'Those' Days With Bipolar Disorder

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Sometimes there are those days. I’ve taken my meds, gotten my eight hours of sleep, took the dogs for a walk, worked, stuck to my schedule and even thrown in a quiet mediation. Regardless, the rage and anxiety echoes like a sledgehammer through a plate glass window.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

I talked to my psychiatrist and therapist about this, and anger management exercises were the suggestion. That just made me angrier. Why do I have these days? Whether I’m on the mania or depression side of the fence with my bipolar disorder, there is just no escaping days where my condition seems to want to exercise its control.

When I introduce myself, I say, “Hi, I’m Fred.” It’s never, “Hi, I’m Bipolar!” I’m not ashamed of my disease; it’s just like any other and requires maintenance. No stigma here.

So what do I do when these days happen? I may have found a simple solution: embrace it.

My disease isn’t going away. Period. I can manage it most days with all of the things I’ve mentioned above. There are however those days where fear, anger and/or anxiety are going to team up and try to make me backpedal. I simply won’t have that. I have equipped quite an arsenal, support team, group and mental health professionals if I need the extra teamwork to get me through. The real stigma is being too afraid to ask for help. So why not give it a hug? It is after all, part of me.

Part of not letting the stigma win is also knowing when to ask for help or just admitting, I’m having a rough day; those are going to happen. I know this sounds really simplistic, but if you think about it, I am the one in control of feeding the rage, fear or anxiety. By embracing it, I cut off its food supply. It’s not always easy, but something worth having seldom is. With a clear state of mind during these storms, the tentacles of these monsters retreat into the depths with more haste.

It is, after all, my life. Giving up is simply is not going to happen. If not for myself for those who love me and support me in the good times and bad.

Thinkstock photo by amana productions inc.

Originally published: January 18, 2017
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