Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude

I started experiencing the symptoms of my bipolar disorder right when I had temporarily moved back to my parent’s house and my fiance was just moving in with me, in the process of immigrating from Canada. Perfect timing right?!… The symptoms started out subtle, just more moody and unhappy than usual… But, the longer I ignored them and tried to push myself along, the worse it got. The mood swings started getting more extreme. I was excessively irritable, hypersensitive and cheerless. My family began realizing a significant difference in me. It wasn’t too long before I took my first shot at suicide… That landed me in a mental hospital for the first time. A mental hospital that just so happened to be the most awful place I could have been put. I ended up leaving worse off than I had arrived. The psychiatrist at that hospital had no real interest in helping. She tossed me some pills and let me leave after I didn’t seem to be showing anymore symptoms of mania. Seriously, it’s a shame that there are doctors out there that get away with operating that way (it honestly makes me sick).

I returned home only to experience my mood swings intensifying. I would cycle between refusing to get out of bed and hating everything to something minuscule setting me off like a trigger and getting enraged and violent with myself, and others. What got me checked in to the next mental hospital was a violent episode in which I physically attacked my fiance (still even typing this out makes me shiver). At this point, my fiance was starting to panic. He moved 1,000 miles away from his home just to be with me and as soon as he did I turned into some emotional, irritable, violent maniac. I mean, we were in a long distance relationship until he moved in with me, so I can understand him starting to question whether this was just me or I was actually really sick. Even I was appalled with myself. I felt as if I was sitting off in the distance watching some monster take over my existence. I was petrified. Thankfully, this mental hospital seemed to have actually earned their medical licenses and they took me off of the medication I was on and helped stabilize me. It turned out that I was actually having adverse side effects from the medication I was on which no other doctor had taken enough time to notice. Progress, but wait… of course that’s not the end of it…

I only stayed stabilized without medication for a brief period of time. The new doctors that I was seeing hesitated to put me on any other medications until they could give me an accurate diagnosis (being that I had a negative reaction to the other 4+ medications I was put on). Inevitably, the cycling began again. I managed to make it through a month before another intense episode where I kicked in a glass door and executed a number of other violent acts. I vaguely state other violent acts because I blacked out during the really intense episodes, so there are periods of time that I have no memory of (which frankly scares the shit out of me). Right back to another mental hospital I went. Third strike you’re out, right? Must be true because this was the point where I almost lost everything. My entire support system was starting to lose hope… Along with their minds from dealing with me. It was like my final straw…

I’m sure you’re starting to wonder where the “attitude of gratitude” ties in here, well this is when… By some miracle, this was when I started to stabilize. Finally, I found the right doctors and the right medications. Honestly, I am stillΒ  baffled that I made it through the darkest of times and didn’t completely lose anyone important to me. My parents brought me into this world and have loved me endlessly since the day I entered it, they are god sent. Still, they were distraught and burned out from helping me. Then there was my fiance, he had only just met me. He was bewildered and frightened by what he had gotten himself into with me. He was lost and I can only imagine what he was feeling by then. I lost him for a period of time by this point… But one way or another, we surpassed this battle and we are now married and thriving together, more in love than ever. Don’t get me wrong, things are still rough, but I am healing with time (slowly but surely). I have fully dedicated myself to learning how to cope with bipolar disorder the best that I can, and that is mainly for my family. I truly believe that having the support system that I did is what kept me alive. If it wasn’t for them, I would have given up a long time ago. My suicide attempts would have eventually concluded my life, I’m sure. Currently, I am still struggling to climb out of the hole of depression that I ended up in after the storm settled. Despite that, everyday I try to remind myself of what I have to be grateful for. I am lucky enjoy to have an incredible family above everything else. And if nothing else, there is the air in your lungs that you can be thankful for. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. My mental health may not be strong right now, but my support system is. Life might still be a struggle for me, but I am much better off now than I was before. The past year of my life has been one hell of a ride, but I have learned so much about myself and I am growing even stronger than before because of it. Everyday I have to set my mind in the right direction, but at least I am gaining the strength to do so. Find something to be grateful, and keep fighting.

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8 thoughts on “Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude

  1. What a story, and what a victory you are having. I will take your advice today. Finding things to be grateful for, the list is long. It is a day when I can do that so I will enjoy it while it lasts. Thanks for the reminder. Don’t give up, there is hope for depression, even bipolar!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A powerful story of gratitude!! Thank goodness for those moments when we arrive on the other side of the darkness and we can look back with gratitude. It is difficult to glimpse it during the dark times, but thank goodness for the people who support us and help get us through. Thanks for sharing πŸ’™πŸŒŸ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The “Power Of Enduring” comes from your very core, your ‘heart’, your willingness to succeed. You’re doing many of the positive things that are helping you along the walk of life. It seems that you have discovered many of them on your own. Trust in yourself. Enjoy every day. with peace, Eddie

    Liked by 1 person

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