This is a blog about my journey with bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed spring of 2011 and was admitted into a mental health hospital a month before my wedding. I struggled greatly for the next year and a half going on and off meds, experimenting with different forms of therapy and was readmitted to the hospital at the end of 2012. Since then I have been learning how to re-live my life. Seeing a wise, supportive, kind therapist once a week and emerging myself into Dialectical Behavioural Therapy are 2 of many ways that are helping me recover. I have found deep comfort and much strength in mindfulness practices, taught to me from DBT.

This blog is my way of allowing you to see into the life of someone who suffers from bipolar, depression and extreme anxiety. I want to own my story, and help defeat the stigma. I hope you find some comfort in knowing you are not alone, or learn more about mental illness through the writings of my blog.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

i just want to be happy

I don't want to write on this stupid blog, and that's been my attitude all week. Everything feels the same, I have nothing to write about, and yet so much to write about that it's overwhelming. So we'll see where this goes...

I met with my Community Mental Health Worker (or therapist) at the start of the week, and I really connected with her. My previous experience with a different therapist last year was not extremely helpful... I was taught how to practice CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which is a very worksheet driven form of therapy that teaches you to control your THOUGHTS so you can control the way you FEEL. It may have been helpful in the start, but didn't work so well in the end. More about that another time..... But my NEW therapist is much more RELATIONAL and counselling based. She wants to help me work on areas where I am suffering, and teach me DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy). Now I don't know much about it, but from what she was saying, it sounds SO up my alley. Basically it is a way of learning to regulate my emotions with techniques or distress tolerance practices. It derives from Buddhist meditative practices, and they key component to DBT is mindfulness. It will help me to pay attention, non-judgmentally, to the present moment; about living in the moment, experiencing one's emotions and senses fully, yet with perspective. Read more about it here.

Ryan and I also had our second counselling session this week, which was exhausting, yet extremely helpful. Our counsellor suggested we have plans in place for all our gatherings this week, to help things go as smoothly as possible. I was feeling really stressed and overwhelmed about this upcoming week, but now that we have a plan in place I feel more relaxed. I can only be with people for a certain amount of time before I start to get triggered left right and centre and just need to get out. But that's not always possible in a gathering, and it's hard to communicate to Ryan when there are people everywhere. So we have planned how we are going to communicate, when, and what will happen if I need a break (like taking a nap, or a rest in a private bedroom), and then also how we will de-stimulate and connect after a  stressful event like a gathering (like coming home, putting on pj's, hot chocolate, popcorn and a movie).

This evening I also just started feeling pressure with the overwhelming desire to be HAPPY at Christmas. I don't want to ruin any of Christmas gatherings with an episode or being sad. I am honestly scared, terrified even, that I won't be able to stop myself from having an episode at any of these Christmas get togethers. I am nervous. I just want to be happy.

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