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Self Care with Bipolar

Self Care with Bipolar

Taking care of yourself enriches your life and attracts better, more stable people. 

These past few months have been a struggle for me. In August the mysterious pain in my hip developed and it clearly is here to stay. The first hospital trip didn't give me any reasons on to what happened or even a direction to look in. I was prescribed a steroid (prednisone) for the month of October and other than the terrible side effects, the pain was lessened.  On halloween, I got in a car accident which triggered the pain to return. I went to see a doctor and he prescribed me a very potent anti- inflammatory that has helped with the pain quite a bit.

I have lived with bipolar disorder since I was 13 years old and I was just beginning to understand the illness. Now I have to learn how to handle my physical pain as well. I have been able to be in contact with my professors which has helped with understanding my situation but I still need to learn how to live with this. The only other example I know is my father, who lived with chronic pain for 25 years before he passed away. He never took care of himself nor was he energetic enough to make a difference. I certainly do not want to live that way.

While in school, self care has been addressed a lot because of the profession we are pursuing. It will be almost impossible to reach out and help a youth without first addressing your flaws to learn and overcome them. Currently I am working on a project that goes into detail of my childhood and how I was raised, it has been interesting. During these homework sessions, I become overwhelmed with how much shit I've gone through and the things I will never get to say, especially to my dad, because the opportunity is gone. This has been especially difficult.

Some self care methods I have are:

  • Taking a bath/shower with music playing
  • Reading a book/listening to an audio book
  • Cloud watching
  • Taking a walk/exercising 
  • Playing a video game
  • Writing down how you feel
  • Meditate and breathing exercises 

The last one is key. Self care is not a one time fix all. That would be like going to a dentist and walking out saying "I'll never have to brush my teeth again!" I know how hard it is to think of yourself first because of low self esteem but putting yourself on the back burner is not healthy for you or your relationships. Remember, all you have is yourself- so take care of you.

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© Jenna White

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