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5 Ways I Cope With My Bipolar Disorder + Update

Hello Loves!

I hope this finds you all doing well. Today, I am going to bite the bullet and start to share about something that I don't feel altogether comfortable talking about. I'm going to talk about my Bipolar Disorder and what I am doing to cope with it. I'm usually fairly open but I also don't usually do heart-to-heart posts like this. Please bear with me as I go over the last couple of months.

Do you ever you feel like you're drowning, yet nobody to can save you? Even when you're surrounded by a ton of people?

That's how I feel pretty much every day or every other day. My mind races and races and rarely settles on ideas long enough to get something creative done. Which is sad because I feel that I am incredibly creative but I don't often have something to show for it. I also go from happy to sad or angry at the flip of a switch. I can have the best day ever, but someone might say something to me, my brain then over-analyzes what they said, and my emotions go through the wringer the rest of the day. I become impulsive; ask my husband how often I have cut my hair with a knife or a box cutter, even though he promised he would give me a hand when he gets home. I have such a strong sense of urgency that I can't stop myself from doing something. I struggle with money, I create all kinds of reasons why I need something, when I really don't, and end up buying what I feel like. Then there is the flip side, my depression. I have days where I literally can't wait to get out of bed because I want to get so much done, and then there are the days where I have this dark cloud hanging over my head and I don't even crawl out of bed. I don't eat, I don't drink, I watch videos on Youtube and pin things to my Pinterest boards and dream of all the things I want in life, then I realize I don't have those things and I sink even lower. I don't shower for days, barely brush my teeth. I won't discuss our sex life but let's just say that it, too, struggles. I don't work, I struggle to even think about leaving the apartment to go for a walk most days. I am constantly worried that the people around me are looking at me and thinking, "What the hell is her problem?", judging me at every opportunity.

Back in mid October, I was in the worst place in my life. My mania (the Bipolar term for when you feel "high") had gotten so bad that I hardly slept but maybe 8 hours A WEEK. I was so careless and impulsive. My husband was constantly asking "Why did you do this?" but I never had an answer other than I just felt the need to. But it was weird, I felt so great but I felt so out of control that I literally felt like I was drowning and no one could save me from myself. It was at that point that Christian decided that he couldn't do anything more to help me without us seeking out someone who knew how to handle Bipolar Disorder.

Does this sound familiar to any of you reading? If so, it might be time to see a professional, if you haven't already. I don't say that lightly, because I have been terrified to see a therapist or mental health doctor for the last 6+ years.

Those of you who know me or have read some of my posts  know that I was previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I lived back home in California, but the doctors I saw there just threw medication at me but rarely tried to help me work through the issues that I had that exacerbated my illness. I was on all kinds of medication that helped me stabilize my moods, helped me sleep, bring me up or down or just not worry about anything and walk around like a zombie all day. I was scared that seeing a doctor this time would be exactly the same. But I was more scared of breaking up our marriage after having just celebrated our first year as husband and wife. Granted, we have been together for over 6 years, living under the same roof, so Christian has become accustomed to my ups and downs. He also noticed how bad I was becoming. I could no longer rely on holistic and natural healing to live my day to day life.

So he got on the Psychology Today website and used their search engine to find a good therapist near us to get started with my healing. That is how we met my therapist, Denise. I've had about 6 sessions with her since we started visiting back in mid-October and we are just now starting to dive into the past issues that are affecting my present and future life. When you see a therapist, typically they will spend some time getting to know you, figuring out how you do things and generally why you do them. They will typically observe the way you answer questions, your demeanor, in addition to what you actually say. During this preliminary period, they get an idea of what you need and will likely recommend a psychiatrist or other medical doctor which is licensed to provide medication, if they feel you need it. In my case, Denise recommended a doctor that worked in the same building as her, Dr. L.

When I visited Dr. L., he started off by evaluating me to see if he agreed with Denise's own evaluation of my mental health. He agreed that I had Manic Bipolar Disorder, Type 1, which means that I suffer from the most severe form of Bipolar with a harder lean towards the manic side than the depressive. He and Denise also agreed that I have severe anxiety and some PTSD. I was in an accident back in January and I still haven't had the courage to get into a the driver's seat of a car, so I believe that is an accurate assessment.

Following a short discussion on medications, he decided to put me on some mood stabilizers: Divalproex ER and Aripiprazole, also known as Abilify. I was scared initially of being on medication but my life was being turned upside down without professional help so I figured we would give it a shot. I'm going to go ahead and plug for GoodRx and say that if you aren't checking them out for your medications, you should start. If any of you are acquainted with mental health medications at all, you will know that they can be crazy expensive. Depakote goes up to $265 retail price and Abilify can reach almost $800 for a month supply! But my husband looked into GoodRx at the suggestion of his insurance company and the total cost was $63.17 through Costco's pharmacy. That's amazing! Please check it out!

Divalproex is primarily used as an anti-seizure medication but is also commonly used to treat the manic stage of Bipolar Disorder. It's also good for treating migraines. Aripiprazole is an anti-psychotic that is used to treat Schizophrenia and manic episodes of Bipolar Disorder. My doctor also suggested to take Benadryl to further take the edge off and help me sleep (I was already doing that because the week before I started to take the medication I slept 8 hours in 5 days.) The main reason for all of these medications was because I was worried about becoming addicted, like can happen with medications like Zanax or Valium or some sleeping medications. So my doctor guided me towards non-habit-forming medications, which I really appreciate.

As of this posting, I have been on my medications for over 2 months. My husband and I, as well as our friends, all notice a gradual change. When I first met my doctors, I was going weeks without consistent sleep schedules, staying awake for 24 or 48 hours and crashing for 14 hours for sleep, if I was lucky. Now, I sleep pretty much when we go to bed and sleep through the night. When I was being evaluated by Dr. L. he had trouble understanding me because of how fast and erratic my speaking was. Now, I have an easier time slowing down my speech and getting my thoughts out of my mouth gradually. I had crazy, 0-to-60 style attitudes. I would be depressed one minute, the next I would be bouncing around and hyper. Now, I feel much more evened out than before.

Are all of the issues dealt with? No. Not by a long shot. Many of the issues are still there and still affect my day to day life. But I feel like my mind is better able to sort through them when we go over them in therapy.

Do I still practice holistic health? Yes, to a degree. I still enjoy good things like golden milk, essential oils, crystal healing, general healthy eating. I just no longer rely on it as a whole treatment of my Bipolar because it didn't help enough that it made my life improve. I have always believed in both holistic and conventional, or modern, medicine and I feel like having both in my life have helped significantly.

That was a lot to divulge and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. If you are reading this and going through a similar problem, I just want you to know that you aren't alone. I am here for you if you need me. I know that this journey of mental illness is a tough one, but it is one that we can all overcome. With just a little hope, a little faith and a big village, it's possible to live in such a way that you can be happy. You rule your illness, not the other way around.

To help you on your way, I've put together 5 ways that I cope with my Bipolar Disorder.


When I am having a rough time with anxiety, my go-to method of combating the racing mind and heart is meditation. Whether I have the presence of mind to get a whole station set up or if I am in a hurry, I make sure to sit up straight, cross my legs with my arms on my knees, and breathe deep in through my nose and out through my mouth. The goal is to focus all of your mind and energy on your lungs and breathing and detouring your thoughts into that central location. When I can, I set up my diffuser to pump out lavender essential oils, I grab a few healing crystals and really amp up my anxiety neutralizing power. Sometimes my meditation turns into a Yoga session. When I'm done, I'll move on to my next coping method:


My absolute favorite thing to do when I'm feeling a little manic is to cozy up with a nice steamy cup of tea. My favorites are lavender and chamomile, bumped up with some lavender essential oil. Like meditation, it helps to just focus on the heat, vapor and flavor of the tea. I also enjoy my family's recipe for ginger chai that helps ease the stomach as well. This is especially lovely if it's cool out and you can cuddle up on the outside chairs and enjoy the warmth from the tea.


Yes, it's that thing that everyone suggests but we never really love doing until we've already done it. If you're feeling stressed, and have anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour of free time, throw on the sports bra, your favorite active leggings and get after it! Studies show that exercise releases endorphins which are natural painkillers. If you are struggling with a racing mind, then exercise has another beneficial effect: if you're focused on trying to kill it at your workout, you aren't worried about your other problems. Exercise helps you lose weight and improve your overall health which also helps with your mental health. A healthier body is more hormone balanced and, if you're like me and have PCOS, that's a very good thing! Burning the excess energy also helps get a more consistent sleep pattern. I personally like just cleaning up the living room, throwing in a DVD from Shaun T's Insanity workouts and getting it done. When I'm done, I feel SO much better! Give it a try!


This one is probably considered even more unfun than the previous. I have a big problem because I love to eat my feelings. My personal weakness is sweets. My husband's is salty food. When we feel lazy, we hit up Wendy's and come home with big burgers and big soft drinks with a big frosty. Afterwards we usually feel like crap and we can even feel our blood pressure spiking. When I am consistent with my diet, I feel amazing and my health problems are significantly reduced. Last year, my husband and I stuck to a ketogenic diet for several months. During those months, we felt better than we ever have because we were losing weight and putting real nutrients into our bodies. ANY diet can work wonders if you discipline yourself and stick to it. I don't care if you are ketogenic, vegan, vegetarian, atkins, paleo, they all can make you lose weight and improve your health. Make sure that you are taking in as many vegetables as possible and limiting processed foods. And, of course, be sure to get a good amount of water to stay hydrated at all times.


It's absolutely important to keep yourself busy. No, you don't need to be going 100 miles an hour every day and then crash a midnight to do it again in the morning. That can have the opposite effect. What I am talking about is keep your mind occupied so you are less likely to become anxious. When I was involved in my car accident in 2017, I was stuck doing very little while I waiting for my arm to heal. Since then, I haven't worked aside from working on this blog. I also haven't made myself work harder in my day to day life. Many days this led to all sorts of anxiety problems. On days that I kept myself busy, working on the blog or cleaning or coming up with new recipes or crafts, I felt so much better and more distracted. When you are sitting still, watching TV all day, you're not burning energy, you're not occupying your mind and you're not treating your mental health. Get up, put together a to-do list, and get it done. Do this every day and actually schedule some down time for some intentional thinking so you can become more proficient at lowering your anxiety.

And that wraps it up for this post. I hope that it helps if you're going through trials like I am. Remember that we can all help each other. You are not alone! Dealing with Bipolar Disorder is a fight but one where it's okay to bring some friends to help. If you have questions or comments, please let me know! Have a great day!

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