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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:06 AM

Positivity. A little tough at times but worth it.

Ok, screw the no-posting thing. I like posting here and enjoy your input. Unless the sheriff shows up to cuff me and haul me off to inpatient, I'm pretty sure I'm over all of the crisis thinking. And I'm pretty sure I won't be doing anything to give them an excuse to haul me away. So no more emotional crap posts.

So, staying positive. It can be hard at times. But I see it as essential for anyone who has any issues with depression. So I think it helps to surround yourself with people who are positive, or at least not mired in despair about life. Or just tuned into other subjects not related to MI.

I have enjoyed Internet forums about various topics for years, mainly political or hobby oriented ones. And a small group of Facebook friends. But I stopped visiting all of my regular sites during the summer. Then I found a number of sites about depression, bipolar, or general MI topics, and joined and started posting on those.

I also went to a few real- world support group meetings.

Upon reflection, big mistake. Or let's just say in a way, not a mistake, part of the learning curve. Maybe it doesn't work this way for everyone, but I found these experiences just reinforced all of the fears and negative thoughts I had. I found the forums and support groups populated for the most part by people with very serious MI issues, most not functional on a day to day basis in terms of being able to work, to handle normal life issues, and most with multiple hospitalizations and serious ongoing issues. I feel really bad for anyone in those positions, but exposing myself to that is no longer an option, it gets the ball rolling on the "that will be you in a year" train of thought.

And if I don't want it to be me, I just can't go there. I feel like I really need to immerse myself in positivity and normality. Some things I still can't face even if part of me wants to, such as politics, it's too "big" of a topic to contemplate now. But I feel ready to get back into the personal things I enjoyed, such as gardening, cooking, home repair/improvement, as well as the new things, fitness, biking. I think that concentrating on "normal" without spending every waking moment dwelling on "crisis" is going to help a lot. Because I want to get to normal and stay there. The land of permanent mental health crisis is rough, and it can't be my fate or my choice.

Sure, problems will happen, often in groups. Spent part of last night in ER with my mom, then had to go find a 24 hour pharmacy, then found out the idiot ER doc gave her the exact same prescription she already was on, call back to doc and he says because of drug allergies nothing else he could prescribe at this time. Got home to find the refrigerator died, had to dig cooler chests out of the garage and haul everything outside into the cold. So, spent time online looking at replacements, have to go get on ordered today.

Started to let it roll in my mind and get to me, not sad, irritated, then I caught myself and said 1) nowhere near as major a crisis as what I went through, a petty annoyance, and 2) get a grip on it before I blow it out of proportion. Perspective helps a lot.

Happy Sunday everyone. I've decided that every day I'm not locked in a psych ward is a happy day, because I am never going back there.

Happy Sunday!

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Reply Positivity. A little tough at times but worth it. (Original post)
Denninmi Nov 2012 OP
Tobin S. Nov 2012 #1
Denninmi Nov 2012 #2
Tobin S. Nov 2012 #3
Denninmi Nov 2012 #4
hunter Nov 2012 #5

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:34 AM

1. Good morning.

What helped me most was being around people who truly understood. There was a surprising lack of those kind of people and there still is. So I did the next best thing much of the time. I tried to make people truly understand. I don't know how effective I was on other people, but it worked wonders on my own psyche.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:20 AM

2. I think I find that here, understanding.

BUT, BUT, BUT ... Maybe this is just my perception, but this forum seems really different from the others I found, not the pervasive doom and gloom through every post of every thread (well, except for three months of my own posts, mea Culpa).

It seems more focused on recovery and success here than staying trapped in despair as a permanent way of life as on other MI sites.

Much more positive energy flows here. Good karma, good chi, optimism, whatever you want to call it, it works for me.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:37 PM

3. One thing about this forum

is that it is open to all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. So the focus isn't so narrow. We have people here who are mentally ill; we have those who have a mentally ill loved one; and we have those who are simply supportive. You're not just talking to people here who have bipolar disorder or you're not just talking to people have schizophrenia. So in this forum I think you are more likely to get a broader view of the issue.

I just wish we had as many people speak up as we apparently do who read here and don't speak up.

Another thing about mentally ill people, especially those with a severe illness, is that they tend to not take care of themselves as well as the normal population. I've read that schizophrenics, for instance, are more likely to smoke, eat a diet high in fat and sugar, drink, and use drugs. It's hard to get on a healthy roll when you constantly have setbacks due to an inability or an unwillingness to change to a healthy lifestyle. In some ways, the problems of some mentally ill people have simple and easy to recognize solutions, but they are just unwilling or, more likely, unable to take care of themselves.

I used to have the problems I'm talking about. I suffered for ten years and went through three hospitalizations due to the things I described in the previous paragraph. I could have saved myself a lot of time, money, and heartache if I would have been enlightened enough and open to change the first go around. I've also met a lot of people like that in the hospital. So when you are talking of the gloom and doom of other message boards that specialize in mental illness, you probably get the view point of a lot of people who are in a situation like I have described.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:18 PM

4. I think you're right about the prevalence of substance abuse with bipolar.

Even I have fallen into that, even though for me it was just food and regular pop. I noticed at the hospital and support groups a good number of people said they had substance abuse issues. Also the people who talked about poor hygiene, not showering or changing underwear for days. Then the doctor I hate said something about the fact I grew a beard during this was a sign of depression and lack of personal care. Another thing that offended me at the time, because frankly a beard is as much maintenance as shaving. I almost laugh at that now, because I've had compliments on it, especially from a number of the ladies in my office building. I know the poor hygiene happens as a symptom, but personally grosses me out. Even in my worst fear and despair, I would have felt even lower if I didn't take 2 daily showers, brush, floss and water pick, and I'm big on "product" for my hair. And I felt pretty lost, but never lost enough to go down that path.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:19 PM

5. Never underestimate the power of paranoia.

It's not about being "enlightened enough," it's just stupid chemistry.

When I'm bad I don't trust anyone.

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