What Does it Mean to Thrive When You Have Bipolar Disorder
The definition of Thrive according to the dictionary means 1) to prosper or flourish 2) to grow vigorously or luxuriantly; improve physically. As individuals with bipolar disorder, we sometimes look at just getting by or just surviving another day. When you are in the depths of depression sometimes it is really about survival. However, you can improve physically and mentally. You can grow and prosper despite the disorder. I implore you not to live a life of mediocrity that is doomed to surviving one day to the next. You can do better than that. You deserve more than just survival, but you must have a basic level of survival first.
Let's talk a minute about survival. When you have bipolar disorder you have to have a basic level of functioning that I call survival. That means taking care of yourself by taking your medication, getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right, drinking water to compensate for the dehydrating effects of the medication. You must have a basic level of survival before you can move to a level of thriving. When you have the level of stability of the surviving level, you are free to explore areas to thrive. I believe thriving has many levels and has many facets.
What are the dimensions of thriving? I think they include health, relationships, intellectual and/or educational pursuits, work life, finances, experiencing new things, creating a home that is a sanctuary, and a spiritual dimension. They are by no means limited to these areas, but these are the ones that I choose to work on. What are your dimensions? Where will you spend your time and energy beyond the basics of survival? Although balance is nice, you may choose to work on only a one or two of these at a time. That is okay, just always strive to be growing, learning, and prospering. Life is boring when you are stagnant, and it is easy to slip down the slippery slope of depression.
I should also speak to the manic side of bipolar disorder. When you are hypomanic, it may seem easy to tackle all these at the same time, but you will most likely be spinning your wheels, really fast, but just spinning none the less. Try to focus your energy on only a few at a time, and this will give you a lot of forward momentum that you can capitalize on later when you are calming down. Manic episodes are way over the top, but if you can focus, try to spend your energy on growing in a few of these areas and stay away from the credit cards. That will wreck your finances for sure.
The bottom line is that when you are at a basic level of survival, you can choose to move to thriving in any area of your life. The sky is the limit. Go for your dreams! You can do it!
I wish you the best in all your pursuits.
For more information, go to www.ThrivingWithBipolarDisorder.com or http://blog.ThrivingWithBipolarDisorder.com
Author: Cassandra L. Good, MA