10 Things I Learned from My Bipolar Friends
We're all in this together
- Roll with life’s natural rhythms. People with manic depression are just like everyone else, only more so. Balance, harmony and regularity go a long way toward keeping on track. Sleep at night, eat at mealtimes, choose good food, be responsible for yourself, “Do unto others…,” and try not to stress when things don’t go your way. All basic stuff. You don't have to be bipolar for it to help.
- It can happen to anyone. Most things can happen to just about anybody. You might as well get used to putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes, because you or someone you know could wind up wearing them some day.
- An extreme will level out sooner or later, so relax. Just as in nature, situations can get pretty intense, but nothing lasts forever. If things get unsettled take charge as best you can, but don’t stress. Sometimes tidal waves just have to be what they are.
- Almost everyone has something odd going on. Who gets to define “normal,” anyway? If you’re dealing with an issue, chances are others around you have something funky in their life as well. Dealing with challenges, growing, and moving on is the nature of life.
- We can’t control everything. Nope. Try as we might, we do not always get to decide what goes on in our own bodies, more the less in others. Besides, it’s not always a good idea to try. We might put out a fire that will some day keep us warm.
- Live in the moment. If it’s bad, it won’t last forever. If it’s good, it won’t last forever. Experience who you are, where you are, at the time and place that you are. The past no longer exists; the future has yet to come.
- Depression doesn’t always bring tears. When the left and right sides of the brain are not connecting the way they should – or perhaps not at all – the world can look interesting, to say the least. Seeing life through an oddly cut lens can make a person happy, irritable, angry or sad. The emotions that follow may be appropriate, given the view.
- When people are insensitive, they just might miss a lot. The bipolar condition can involve some pretty intense extremes. This heightened sensitivity, however, is not necessarily bad. People without it can miss some pretty cool stuff.
- Most people underuse their minds. Ever been around someone with a bipolar condition who is really engaged? I have. Bipolars can come up with some creative and amazing stuff. The world has been improved by many of these contributions; there are undoubtedly more to come. It seems some respect, admiration and gratitude might be due.
- It's all about chemistry. Anyone’s chemistry can change with emotions, stress, hormones or a blow to the head. We’re all more alike than we know.