Life after bipolar and a letter from Sir David Attenborough

I am not sure if Karen will remember emails we exchanged many years ago while we were each still struggling, having been told no one recovers from  bipolar disorder.

Contrary to ‘expert’ opinion, we have we each recovered. Karen has a video on this web page where she talks about her recovery: http://www.karentyrrell.com/recovered-bipolar-you-tube/

This is not new news, so why am I mentioning Karen now?

There is something about her latest book that is grabbing a great deal of attention. It is a letter of support from Sir David Attenborough for Karen’s ‘Great Barrier Reef Rescue’ for children, an eco-adventure mystery, to educate and empower kids to care for the reef.

I am sharing this because not only may it help inform more people of a new or greater danger to this habitat… It also to let more people know recovery is possible and Karen is one of many examples of people thriving beyond / after being described as bipolar.

 

Emotions are made of… #moodmapping #bipolarrecovery

Emotions are made of…

As a stress adviser I found this diagram to be useful showing emotions to have three components:

emotional health

Emotion

The arrows are there to show how:

  • The way we feel can affect our energy and our thinking.
  • Our energy can affect the way we feel and the way we think.
  • Thoughts can affect our energy levels and our feelings.

I was told I had a mental illness. ‘Mental’ being to do with thinking, it made sense to me that if I could improve my thinking that would sort out my problems. In fact, improving the way I was thinking did help me to recover.  I wrote about this my first book, Stop Paddling/Start Sailing. Readers have told me how much it has helped them.

The reality is, thinking alone does not provide lasting recovery or build resilience. If your feelings and energy levels are kind of out of control then simply reading Stop Paddling/Start Sailing is unlikely to do much towards a full and long lasting recovery.

Eventually, I was amazed and delighted to discovered I was not mentally ill. I was not even ill. I had a mood problem and for this  I needed to understand that FEELINGS and ENERGY are the components mood. Knowing more about how to feel differently and have more control of energy levels turns out to be an excellent place to start recovering from being labelled with bipolar disorder.

Next time… Looking at Feelings and Energy to provide a balanced approach to having moods that are good for you and those you live with.

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