Monday, January 28, 2013
Lately I've been feeling like a pretty uncompassionate bipolarized person. On my Facebook fan page I've subscribed to quite a few bipolar support pages. Some of the posts I've read lately are really beginning to bother me.
One thing I've always tried to do is to take control of my disorder and not let it control me. I know I've not always been able to do that, especially after first being diagnosed five years ago, but I've tried, and for the most part I have succeeded. I'm not kidding myself, it was a long, hard fight, and there were many times I slipped, there were many times I may not have made it to the next day without the help of a few close friends and inner most family. But I never said "screw it, there's nothing I can do." Before I was diagnosed I didn't know what was happening or how to fight it, but since then it's been a different story.
I've made sure I stay on top of my medications, I keep all of my doctor appointments, I worked hard to recognize the warning signs that alert me that an up or a down may be coming and I try my best to take appropriate action. I stay actively involved in my treatment and I continually try to find ways to better cope with the hiccups that come my way, although I've been pretty stable for quite some time now.
I realize I have a pretty mild case of the disorder, and I realize that there are others that have a much more dark reality, but I can't believe how many people on those support pages seem to wallow in the disorder itself and let it define them. I don't deny there are days I shut down, stay in my room and keep the door shut. And there are days benzos are the way I make it through, although those days are far and few between.
Yes, it took me awhile to find the correct medication and it was chaos while I was on the search. I understand how frustrating that path can be and I have no problem with people that are actively trying to find a solution. They're making progress, they're taking control, they're trying. I also know that a spiral can seemingly come out of no where and once it starts you just have to ride it out. Sometimes you can reach out for help and other times you just can't.
It's the others that bother me, the ones that go on and off their meds, skip their doctor appointments, and are continually whining about what they're dealing with, but do nothing to help get themselves under control. Or the ones that purposely stay off their medications to try to get on disability knowing full well what comes with staying off the meds.
It seems lately the support boards have been filled with people that want to use their disorder as an excuse to do nothing to better themselves. They let bipolar define who they are, it consumes them, it wags them by the tail and they're perfectly happy to let it have total control.
I have very little patience for that. I've worked hard to get where I am, and I will continue to do so. I'm in no way dissing people that have a legitimate need for disability, or who are dealing with a major form of the disorder, it can be hard to manage at the other end of the spectrum. I just have a problem with the ones that continue to add to the stigma, the ones that refuse to better themselves, the ones that can, but won't.
If you're not going to pedal the bike, and you're able to, you're not going to go anywhere.