Eight Essential Steps To Freedom From Bipolar Disorder
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Video Available Through Bipolar Advantage
Post Created June 9th 2013
Posted June 27th 2013
WARNING: This post is long. I have written an honest understanding what someone with Bipolar is living through. Definitely, listen to the video at the end of the page. What Tom Wooten has to say with the limited amount of time he has to speak is very enlightening. Tom Wooten speech on the Eight Essential Steps To Freedom From Bipolar Disorder on the video. This video was made in early in June of 2013. Posted by Jk 6.27.13 on the secret keeper
Newest video from Bipolar Advantage. The Speaker is the author of the book “Bipolar In Order” Tom Wooton and creator of Bipolar Advantage. To go to their web site click on highlighted text. Bipolar Advantagecreated the video Eight Essential Steps To Freedom From Bipolar Disorder. Please share your family if you are Bipolar. Friends. Therapist. Doctor. Significant Other. Yourself if you are bipolar. Or if you are just interested in understanding something about bipolar. This shows an alternative to the traditional methods of working with Bipolar. For some it may be just the right method that will work for you. I am not presenting this as an alternative to your present treatment. If you are on meds and working with a therapist and doctor and want to continue on that path, that is your choice.
I do not take Psych Meds which I had taken an assortment of since 1990 and began being given psych meds from the time was a young kid. I wonder why. I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to stop. I had it with them. They weren’t working. Some made me have seizures, others made me Faint dead to the Floor with little of no warning. Others made me feel like I had lost my ability to think. Still others put me into a coma for two days. The best part (actually one of the worse parts) was to make me gain an exorbitant amount of weight since 1990 and keep in mind I am not a binge eater or someone who eats often enough and I don’t really like sweets that often. The medication was suppose to help with my depression. I felt more depressed on them and suicidal. It all had to stop. I wanted my life back. After stopping, a few years ago, I have been able to think clearly, most of the time, except when I felt delusional. But that has since gotten under control from working with an exceptional therapist. Mostly, the delusional behavior was triggered by the traumatic experiences from my childhood and even into my adult past.
I have become more and more creative and I am driven to create and not in just one area. I get excited again. I find these make me feel what it really feels like to feel. I cried for the first time while working on writing and editing a post to the book I am publishing once a week on my blog “the secret keeper.” I told my therapist that I cried and she looked at me in joy. “Did you hear what you said? You cried. You cried.” She was so excited for me. Crying was destroyed for me by the abuse I suffered through the person I now call The Shadow Mother. Talking about her will come at some future time.
I lost any feelings I had left with those drugs that I now call poison. I felt like I had been set free. The best part about stopping is that I have lost a tremendous amount of weight without doing anything except not take my psych meds. I am getting closer to my ideal weight, the one my doctor has set for me. I may, eventually, even go under that weight. My cloths drop off of me. Need a whole new wardrobe. Slowly, I am adding a few things at a time. I look in the mirror and the face looking back is thin. I don’t always recognize her. She looks pretty fucking good to me. I was always pretty thin my whole life. I was a stick figure when I was a kid. In my twenties, I didn’t eat and I actually weighed 113 pounds. I am 5′ 10 1/2″ tall with large bones. I was way under weight and I didn’t think I was thin enough. But that is another issue, also, that I will write about when I can get my head around it.
Now, I will need to get into better shape. Losing weight tends not to take care of the tightening of the skin or building up the muscles. But I am having a complete health and physical make-over that will help with all the damage the pills and the weight caused. It gave me diabetes. I am sure it is partially responsible for my short term memory lose problems and the bipolar probably contributes to that, too. This is what getting off that poison has done for me. I started reading every book on Bipolar when those who cared for my psychological well-being finally announced to me that I did have Bipolar. That actually came from my new therapist. I asked if I could see my psych records. We were both amazed that Bipolar had been in my records almost forever but no one felt that I should know. A psychiatrist who was prescribing my meds in the early 90s gave me a prescription for Risperidone. I was having racing thoughts when I tried to sleep. It was suppose to help. It is, also, used to treat Bipolar. Why I never asked to see my records before two years ago, who knows. I certainly do not lack curiosity. I am part cat.
I had insomnia most of my life from the time I was a child. I was put on Valium then. Red flags that I didn’t understand. When my new therapist gave me the diagnosis, I was stunned. She was, too. She had felt I was bipolar but until she saw it in writing she wasn’t able professionally to say anything. I had other diagnoses that clouded my judgement so I never really studied anything about Bipolar. Also, curiously enough, I believe it was intentionally being kept from me, and still is being denied by certain psych care givers. They even have gone so far as to ask my present therapist to remove certain additions she made to my therapy records that mentioned Bipolar. I think they are afraid of a law suit. They were improperly treating me with the meds they prescribed. It was the combination. They forgot about administering mood stabilizers. That was a major cause in my suicidal ideations that were almost constant for a very long time. In clearer words for some, I felt suicidal almost all the time.
From the day I learned about my diagnosis, I have kept up on anything related to bipolar. I started out by reading and collecting Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s books. The first one I started with is: “Touched With Fire.” The best, I felt for me. It was all about the creative artist who suffered from Manic Depression, now called Bipolar. It clarified so many aspects of my mind and my life. I may have the symptoms of bipolar since I was rather young, somewhere in my teens and maybe even younger but it manifested itself in states of continual depressions and insomnia from a very young age.
Here are some of my symptoms that have been around for a long time: Racing Thoughts. Fast Talking. High Creative Energy and in many areas of creativity from writing, playing music, composing songs and lyrics, a profession performing musician and singer which unfortunately gave me intense stage fright and I needed to be stoned to perform, theatre, orchestra as a student and adult, art, painting, choirs. In High School I excelled at painting. I started painting as an adult but stopped all of my creativity abruptly after I started seeing a particular therapist. He buried my soul. Gullibility. Staying Awake Far Beyond a Recommended Level for Anyone’s Body. In my early twenties, I worked but I, also, would party all night, doing bar hopping, dancing all night, drinking, doing drugs, anything that was around that would get me high. The drugs and alcohol actually started when I was a teenager. Alcohol, I would go to the bars when I was 16 with my fucked up oldest brother and his friends and I would keep up with them. My favorite game was to see who could down a whole pitcher of beer without coming up for air. I won every time. Illegal drugs, pot especially, I started using when I was 19. It was the enlightenment for me. Therapy came shortly after that.
The symptoms continue: Forgetting to Eat. I ate one meal a day in my 20s and was bulimic and anorexic. I didn’t and couldn’t keep the food in my body. It made me feel sick and uncomfortable so I got rid of it. Irritability. Delusions. Minimal Amount of Sleep and I Think I Can Do It All. Working on More Than “Prescribed” Number of Projects at a Time. (This is my therapist idea that I should work on only three projects at a time.)
When I follow the three projects at a time treatment plan, I do okay. But the projects can get away from me sometimes and I find I am out of control and trying to do more than I want my therapist to know. In college, I was committed to doing way beyond someones limits. I was a student assistant for three academic departments. I tutored students where English was their second language. I tutored students who were in High School on how to improve on taking their SATs. I worked my way up the College Newspaper’s totem pole until I became the Editor-in-chief. I took on an insurmountable number of projects. I became the student liaison to the Academic committee. I was doing honours seminars plus taking my other classes. I lived with my psychology professor (whom I was in love with), her husband and 11 year old son, whom I loved, also, and took care of him like he was my own. I spent more time with him than his parents were able.
I was an active member of the Philosophy Club. I worked for my Philosophy Professor so I was the liaison for co-coordinating activities. It was an extremely active club. We had regular (famous) speakers every week, where we would all have dinner before the meeting and speech. College was exciting. I was stoned half of the time. I, also, discovered through my first love affair with a woman that I was a lesbian. At first, that was very exciting but two weeks later after the first time we made love, she moved out of the state and transferred to another college, abandoning me. I pretty much lost it. I tried to date other male friends from the college paper but I couldn’t let them touch me.
That’s when I decided for the unknown number of times I tried, that I wanted and planned on committing suicide. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that, another symptom of Bipolar/Manic Depression. My first suicide attempt was when I was a teenager, just out of High School. I wanted to kill myself because the only person I loved had left me for a man and got married. I took the whole bottle of pills. I wrote my suicide notes. One to my friend and one to my mother. I lay myself down at the wrong end of the bed. Just as the pills starting to take effect and I was starting to drift off, I realized I would never have consciousness again. Did I really want this to be the last moment of my life? My answer, through the fog in my head, was NO. I forced myself get up and head to the bathroom. On the way, I passed my parents’ open bedroom door. I tried to call out for help but I was stopped. Maybe by fear or I didn’t want them to know. I just couldn’t call out for her.
I entered that bathroom alone and made myself get the pills out of my stomach. When I felt there wasn’t anything left, I returned to my room and tore up the suicide notes. To this day, I have no knowledge of what I may have written. I lay down under the covers and put some music on softly and tried to go to sleep. The next morning, I had the worse buzzing in my head. I couldn’t hear anything. I asked my mother to call the library where I worked on Saturday and tell them I was sick. My boss didn’t believe her. She knew my friend was in town and that I was faking being ill. I did not know my friend was in town until she called me later. She wanted to see me. I did go to her parents house. The buzzing full blast inside my head. And I spent the afternoon with her without saying a word about what I had done the night before. But that wasn’t unusual for me. I never told anyone how I felt. She never knew her marriage and leaving the area made me suicidal and abandoned.
Back to the present and my reality of today. I, sometimes, will find I am working on an excess of five to ten things at a time. And I do get into trouble if I do this. Today that happened. It wasn’t intentional. I thought I could work all night and not worry about getting to sleep at my usual time of 5 to 6 am, sometimes later. I had the day to sleep in. But I suddenly had a call from one of my doctor’s offices that I could see this Doctor, I needed to see for pain, that same day. In approximately four hours I would need to get ready for that appt. I accepted the appt. time. Got off the phone and proceeded to continue finishing the editing job I was working on. I figured I could finish it in 15 minutes and I would get at least 4 hours of sleep. I do power naps well. That 15 minutes turned into over an hour. I just couldn’t stop. It’s a Bipolar thing. When you start something, it is impossible to put it down until you have accomplished what you set out to complete. I managed to get about 3 hours of sleep. I felt okay. Went to my appt. Came home, let my bird out and we made a power shake together and shared it.
From that point on I lost what happened next. I was on overtime, feeling exhausted, had the chills and it was in the high 70s. I still opened my laptop to try and work. Instead I watched Roger Federer lose in the second round at Wimbledon. He is my favorite tennis player ever. Lost everything after that. Do remember my partner bringing me dinner. Couldn’t even sit up to eat it and she brought me some chocolate. I did share my zucchini dinner with my parrot. My partner and I decided to put in “The Hobbit” but I became obsessed with finding this non-existent post I thought I lost. I couldn’t believe I lost a day and mixing up the dates of my posts. This was a mistake on my part going to that doctor’s appt. But I felt it was important and making a bad decision happened for awhile now. Going to the Doctor’s was important. I am preparing for another surgery in a short time. But I should have known I didn’t have enough sleep already from the night before and this just added to its lack.
Advise is to follow your therapist’s treatment plan and to get enough sleep. I thought I would be able to catch up but there is no such thing as catch-up with Bipolar. You get behind and you stay there. A practical lesson to learn which I thought I had under control. There was no post I hadn’t published with the date I was looking for. Because I was so out of it by then I did not realize the date I was looking for was that day. I had already published that post. It took me hours and wasted energy and time to figure that out. I felt so stupid but also why didn’t my partner tell me. Of course, she had no idea what it was I was looking for but because I was losing it and was becoming so irritated, I had to release the pressure. But for some reason, I tried not to vent on her. At least I stopped that and I solved the problem of the non-existent post.
Missed the whole movie of “The Hobbit” by crashing. When I woke I felt like someone crushed my body. I felt ill and over-heated. I had two blankets over me and a hoodie sweatshirt with hood up while I slept. I stripped everything off me, which seemed like it couldn’t happen fast enough. I got up to go use the bathroom to splash cold water on my face. This is the fucked up moments of a Bipolar, which I actually do not have that often, at least not recently, thank the Goddess and many more people.
Getting back to other symptoms I do experience: Finding Creative Ideas That Seem To Come from Nowhere. This I believe comes from the help of my Muse. Losing My Temper for What Appears to Be No Reason. Pressure builds up suddenly and quickly. Needing to Be Heard Right Away or I will forget my thoughts. Grandiosity is one that I don’t get too carried away with, at least I don’t think I do. And More That Are Not Coming To Me at the Moment. Getting Confused. I would put on the list Losing Track of Time. But Being Bipolar I Already Came Up With A New Idea to Replace It. I think being Bipolar makes one Extremely Sensitive to One’s Environment and We Notice Everything. We register Good Ideas All the Time. If You are an Artist, You Just Somehow Know What Would Make A Creative Project to Put Together. You work piece by piece as it Develops. Most Times Bipolars Are Usually Right, so we think. But We Are Not Infallible. Our irritability can cause us to get into heated discussions but just as quickly we lose track of why we got into the out of proportion discussion and let it disappear as if it didn’t happen. I do have a tendency to Pout. I am working on a post called “The Bipolar Pout.” It’s like having a tantrum then totally shutting down and won’t talk or move.
Being Creative is the Greatest Rush of Bipolar. I feel in the Flow and my mind is sharp as anything. Pieces fall into place like I psychically knew what came next and let my mind be led to that step by step until all was finished, checked and rechecked for accuracy and the littlest of details. Editing is a huge part of the creative writing process.
It is good to read about Bipolar, as many great books as you can find. Have a great therapist and people close to you who understand and you can talk to. It is important not to isolate. I discovered Bipolar Advantage and Bipolar IN Order not long into finding out my diagnosis. I, also, became friends with someone on Facebook and WordPress who gave me great reading material about what the psych meds were doing to me. They can kill some people by poisoning the organs in your body. Shutting down the kidneys. Damaging your heart so that it will fail. They are harsh to the liver, the pancreas, the brain most of all and other parts of your body.
I may have pain for other reasons in my body but I am, also, taking care of the pain. But giving up psych meds has made me feel alive again. I still am working on getting our government to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis to treat the illnesses of the body and to also treat Bipolar. I would have some lesser issues that are hard to deal with on occasion. If I had the proper cannabis, that does not get you high, to treat my depression when it happens or the other symptoms that I mentioned above. It would be very helpful.
Also, those who do need regular medication would be able to use medicinal cannabis and get off of the pharma poisons. I have a friend who is going through withdrawal right now from the psych meds. She is feeling amazed at how good it feels. She is getting her joy for life back. The withdrawal isn’t easy but once you are through to the other side, you just need to find better ways to cope with your symptoms.
Practicing the program of Bipolar IN Order also helps. It makes the symptoms more manageable. It teaches you to bring down the levels of control of your symptoms so they do not get out of control. You learn to better judge when you are going beyond the safe limits, so you know when to bring those symptoms under better control by simply identifying when you need to refocus what you are doing. Being depressed may be the most difficult part of bipolar to work with and the hypo-manic or manic states that take you out of control.
But for the moment I want to concentrate on depression. I have learned to live with my depression. Lately, I haven’t had many episodes and the ones I’ve had were related to when I woke up. I’d feel the urge to pull the covers back over my head but eventually I would push myself out of bed and once I was functioning the depression slipped away. In the past, and maybe in the future, I may feel the depth of depressions and the dark hole one goes to. But now I allow myself to experience what goes on in my mind and body. When I feel suicidal (and I haven’t for awhile now-a miracle for me,) but I let the feelings exist. It is like flowing with creativity. One of my methods of working with the depression is to create. More specifically for me, I write. It can be a poem or thoughts or I work on a post for my blog or I write to the brother that I trust.
He is the only brother that I trust and he listens to everything I write to him and I am really open up with him about everything. He is very encouraging when he writes back. He wishes me to feel better and he accepts that I have had a traumatizing life which started in my childhood. When I told him some of the things that happened, you know abusers are very good at keeping their secrets and they don’t let anyone else know or witness what they are doing, my brother was so shocked that I experienced what I did. He had no idea. This was something just recently. I didn’t tell anyone. There is so much hidden inside my psyche and after all the therapy I have had since I was a teenager, no one really knows most of what happened. I do write some of it on my blog but it is like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, the majority of it is under the surface and still secretly and quietly fucking with my mind without even my awareness.
I meant it when I said I have finally found the right combination of people, activities, and conditions in my life that make it work. I, also, have finally found a therapist who actually gets me. I would say she is the best therapist I have ever had and I make sure she knows that on a regular basis. This past week, she bought my partner and I a pizza. It was for letting her come to our house after I had some major surgery recently and I couldn’t go out to therapy. Who is that thoughtful, kind and generous. I should add, she is the first person that has been in my home that I know for almost twenty years. (Now that is quite a long story but partially has something to do with my agoraphobia.) Cable people come all the time but that is different. Comcast and I have a strange relationship.
I, also, have some of the best people in my life that help me to find my confidence and make me feel good about myself. My partner has even in her own special way given me so much support through our time together, and now I think she even sees me in a different and better light. My bipolar does drive her a bit crazy. If I looked from her perspective I can see what she endures and I do understand. I am working really hard on it and all my other psych issues. This list you will find in the latest DSM-V, which has grown. (That was a joke. Not about the DSM-V – that really is a real joke and fucking dangerous. It is about to make every one appear to be mentally ill. I prefer Mentally Creative.)
There is, also, a very special friend that found me and I found her. She gives me something so special that I never had in my life before. It is so special that it can not be described in simple language. She knows who she is and I love her, with the good kind of love, that she has been teaching and giving to me. It fills you up, that kind of love. My life has turned around just knowing her. What she gives, you just don’t find anywhere. I am so honoured that we are friends.
There is something important that I learned, it is very important to let those you care about and love, know how you feel about them. I try to do that everyday. That really helps with the healing and the love you feel is more times amazing than anything else you can experience.
I realize this is long. Part of being Bipolar, but, also, relevant to write about for my recovery and it might just help if read in small sections, those who deal with Bipolar on a regular basis and for those who have no idea what Bipolar really is and what it really does to those who live with Bipolar. Those who are bipolar and those who live with us in their lives. I refrain from using the word suffer. I know it can cause suffering but I would rather focus on the incredible gift it can give to someone. The Creative Element alone to me is worth having this genetically imposed state of being. The rest just sucks and hopefully listening to the following video and hearing some of what I wrote will help with that aspect. But I think and feel Creative and that gets me through. Written by Jennifer Kiley
Now for what is on this Video on the Eight Essential Steps to Freedom from Bipolar.
Bipolar Disorder: Crisis, Managed. Recovery.
Bipolar In Order: Freedom. Stability. Self-Mastery
The Eight Essential Steps Explained in the Video are:
(2) Freedom Stage Loop:
(3) Recognizing Our State:
(4) Behaviour Inventory:
(5) Disordered Reactions:
(6) Accounting For Time:
(8) IN Ordered Responses:
When these steps are working then you will be able to Expand Zones and achieve Self Mastery.
These all may fluctuate but living with Bipolar IN Order is a better way of managing your life than feeling like you are never going to know when you will go into Crisis or Lose Control. Self-Mastery and Expanding the Zones of what you can handle is a Life giving force rather than going along with the doom and gloom of the way the Psychiatric Community would rather have you living with Bipolar Disorder and loaded up on the poison of psych drugs. (ONLY MY OPINION)
All of the Eight Essential Steps are explained in the video as much as is possible with the restraint of time that is allowed but they are clearly explained enough to understand them. Going further into the program of Bipolar IN Order with Bipolar Advantage will give you a more in depth understanding.
I am in no way suggesting that anyone taking psych medications should stop their drugs and turn to Bipolar IN Order. This is just something to listen to and think about and to discuss with those who are helping you manage to keep you Bipolar under control.
Now it is time to listen to the video: Eight Essential Steps To Freedom From Bipolar Disorder.
Eight Essential Steps To Freedom From Bipolar Disorder
A comment I want to make is something my new therapist has said to me and reminds me often when I tell her I don’t understand what is wrong with me. Her response is, “You have lived one of the most fucked up lives. You were traumatized and abused in every way possible when you were a kid by people who were supposed to care for you and love you. You lived in hell then and the abuse followed you when you became an adult. You kept getting re-abused your whole life. Even by therapists you thought you could trust and you should have been able to trust. You have experienced traumatizing lose beyond anything anyone can imagine. And you wonder why you have been and can be so fucked up. Give your self a break. You are actually getting better. I can see the changes in you since we started working together. You needed understanding and unconditional acceptance. You found that once a long time ago from someone special. She dies and leaves you alone and abandoned to those who torture you. The good thing, now you are finding that again. You have people who believe in you and give you confidence and acceptance.” She always laughed before she would tell me all of this. I don’t always get it or remember it when I ask the question, “What the hell is wrong with me?” In such an incredulous way, I ask that question.
So the Bipolar isn’t so bad compared to the nightmare I lived in as a child. I escaped through dissociating. A wonderfully, brilliant invention of the mind to help one escape. Thank you. Jennifer Kiley Jk the secret keeper