I’ve learned to be my own advocate for my mental health. To ask for solutions. To expect results.  I’ve learned to be assertive , and not take no for an answer. It’s been five long years becoming stable. Pulling myself out of dark depression.  Seeking help, and finding answers. I know my mind and emotions better than anyone else. I’ve become vigilant in policing my changing thoughts and emotions looking for extremes. For signs of mania , or depression. I learned to gently push aside my obsessive thoughts and actions. To steer my mind into healthy positive thoughts instead of catastrophic  thinking. I’ve also learned that there is stigma attached to having bipolar disorder. I left one doctor because she was obviously uncomfortable being alone in the room with me. I found a great doctor after that. My new psychiatrist I’m still evaluating.  I’ve only seen him once. He seems fine, easy to work with. His assistant  on the other hand is rude, and she feels that it’s her place to brush me off and give me medical advice. I’m going to speak to my psychiatrist  next month about her behavior. If I don’t get satisfaction I’ll look for another doctor since I now have enough refills to see me through for several months. We’ll see if it gets better with her tomorrow when I call his office. I shouldn’t  have to become anxious because of an assistant  who doesn’t know me, or my story, and who has absolutely nothing to do with my medical treatment except to pass along my messages to my doctor then call me back with his reply. As I’ve said I’ve learned to be assertive. Life is to short to worry about rude unhappy people ruining my day.
I’ve also learned a lot about different medications through this whole process. What works for me, and what doesn’t. What side effects are worth putting up with, and horrible side effects that make you question why you are putting this stuff in your body. I’ve learned coping skills that help alleviate some of my anxious , and obsessive symptoms. If I have manic symptoms now they are very mild and short lived. The same holds true with depression. My obsessive compulsive thoughts and actions have quieted down considerably.  Over all I feel fine , and stable. Relatively happy, and calm. Most days I’m at peace.

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