|Opportunity to help others
||[Dec. 15th, 2012|04:38 am]
The other day, while visiting with an old friend from church, I was presented with information regarding her niece that awakened in me a profound desire to try to help this woman. I had met her previously while experiencing one of my episodes years ago. We connected. She is bipolar as well, not sure what her exact diagnosis is. Being successfully off meds now for nearly 5 years, with my doctor's approval, I long to help others to have a better quality of life and learn to live with their bipolar nature.
The first step is good water. Filtered water is best. Bottled water has chlorine. Try a Britta water pitcher which is relatively inexpensive. Begin to drink at least 8 8oz glasses of water a day. Try cutting back on other drinks, for example soda, coffee, tea and juice(highly sugared variety). Cutting back on caffiene if not illiminating it altogether is very helpful in remaining balanced in preparation for a chance to get off of medications.
Second is deep breathing and meditation. Find a time, place and space to be by yourself in quiet reflection. Breathe deep and steady breaths. In through your nose and out your mouth. Once comfortable begin to think of someone or something that makes you happy. Hold that thought in your mind as you continue to breath deeply. Do this at least once a day if not more during any highs. I learned this first from my fiancee and further studied this technique and more through HeartMath, for nearly three years now. My instructor Sheva and her company Fyera got me started in the mastery program of HeartMath. Google it, I highly recommend it for anyone that can afford to do so. It is well worth the cost. Especially considering I don't pay for medications or therapy any longer. Only see a psychiatrist regularly for monitoring.
Next rid your home of unnecessary chemicals, such as cleaners, deoderizers and the like. Begin to use as many unscented body care and beauty products as you can. Bipolar folks are usually highly sensitive beings that have spent years trying to numb their senses with anything they could find, ie alcohol, drugs and pills. I should know I did the same thing for years not knowing what I was doing. Getting these chemicals out of your environment and your body is crutial. Also eliminating them from entering your body from the outside, for example perfumes and dyes are quite important. You would be surprised how many items contain scents and they all add up causing an overload to our system. I never knew why I was getting migraine headaches for so long. Once the chemicals and scents were eliminated I have now been free of migraines for several years. What a relief.
A healthy diet with as many vegetables and fruits, nuts, whole grains and organic animal products, like meat, eggs and dairy that are free of pesticides and chemicals play an important part in helping the body heal itself from all of the side effects of being medicated as well as ingesting processed, and chemically treated foods for so long. Stay away from processed food whenever possible. Many chemicals in them are very harmful to everyone, like MSG in all its forms, sensitive people like bipolar are especially affected by them.
Regular exercise, whether it be walking, yoga, running or weight training at least 3 times a week is very helpful in repairing any damage to your body caused by medications, especially the weight gain. I know how it is I was over 200 lbs when I was allowed off my meds (FYI I started a page on FB called "Size 18 to 8" with several recipes and tips on how I lost the weight). Start slowly, don't hurt yourself. When I began I was so out of shape I could barely exercise for 15 minutes at a time without getting a red face and being out of breath (I had also smoked for nearly my whole life until I was able to quit by switching to a no additive brand called American Spirit). Be gentle and gradually work yourself up to at least 30 minutes of exercise. With determination and perseverance, you will be on the fast track to better health in no time. I now am able to exercise 6 days a week with a variety of exercise videos and walking.
With all of these things started in your daily life, (I have heard it takes 21 times to make a habit) once you are given the okay to ween off your medication, it will be much easier to live with any ups and downs that come your way through your everyday life. When your doctor sees the improvement in your mental clarity and balance of emotions he will be more likely to approve of you taking a more natural approach to living with your bipolar nature. I had to approach my doctor about this, he would not have recommended it otherwise. They are trained to give us pills, not find out what is causing our symptoms. You'll have to work at this new lifestyle of health and wellbeing in order to convence them, trust me. Be persistant. Don't give up. What ever you do don't go off without approval from your doctor and by all means never go off cold turkey, you have to be weened or there could be severe side effects. Your life depends on it.
Over the last 5 years I have lost 70 lbs and maintained my weightloss, been stable and productive in my daily life and only need to stay away from chemicals, additives, added stress and triggers. I had to learn new tools through HeartMath for managing my strong emotions. I am learning new things about myself and my bipolar nature everday. I have contiplated writing a book one day on my entire experience in order to help others out there like me. You never know it could happen. Good luck to you all out there in whatever you do or decide to be. God Bless.