Not regular school. Although I do study at home. Currently I am learning about mindfulness
Part of recovery from Bipolar is education. In the UK many areas offer classes on learning to navigate many mental illnesses. Later in this blog I will be writing extensively about tips and tricks you can use to keep your errant mind in check.
Education is essential. You cannot recover if you do not know what is happening to you. If you don't understand you feel more confusion, more fear. If classes are not available to you there are multiple self help books available and if you have the money or insurance, therapists.
Reading blogs. Accredited medical websites and joining support groups on Facebook are free and easily available forms of education. They will help you feel less alone. Understand the bare bones of your disorder and why you (for instance) have to stir your cup of tea thirty times to feel comfortable.. Yeah. I do that.
In the classes I attended I was given multiple handouts. The one above shows how to manage fluctuating energy and resilience levels. It simply explains a very wordy concept in one image. A picture is worth a thousand words.
All of those pieces of paper, and clinicians, and medicines, added up to me.. Present day. A very different person to who I was when I was having multiple mood epsiodes, getting randomly angry (those feelings still bubble up but now I can manage them better) and feeling suicidal because my ignorant family was adding to my pain and suffering, not helping. This is distressingly common. You don't have to be a good person to give birth. You don't even have to be a person.
I can't magically transport you all into a psychoeducation class, but I can share these magical little pieces of paper now and then. With their wisdom and nuggets of priceless knowledge. I can tell you how I learned to manage and recognise my mood episodes and flashbacks.
Learn. Education is salvation for sufferers of chronic illness. Maybe you already are and that's why you are reading my blog. Maybe your diagnosis is fresh and you don't know what it means for you.
Maybe you have, like me, realised that having a chronic illness is a bit like owning a car you never wanted. It 's not a great car. It breaks down. It takes maintenance to keep it on the road. And it needs refuelling often because for some reason even though you filled the tank yesterday it's like you are never running on a full tank.
The kicker is you don't get a new car. Ever. You get the same crappy car with all its faults and you have to drive it for the rest of your life. But you do still have a choice. Do it up and drive a hotrod. Or make no effort to improve matters and drive a dangerous rustbucket. There is always choice.
To learn about Bipolar and learn a little of my story head over to the Bipolar category of this blog.