Stable Relationships

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2 Comments A+ a-




Choosing our relationships wisely and intentionally may just be the next step to attaining the kind of stability that was referred to in the last post. 

Recall that in the previous post, Scott Haltzman, noted that, “when people get into a relationship, they are looking for stability”

The list of stability we crave for on a daily basis is endless; mental, emotional, psychological, financial, economical, educational, just to say a few.


The bipolar individual naturally craves for emotional stability. Hence, Russ Federman, Ph.D, ABPP, who is a renowned author and counsellor, asserts that, ‘the down side of living with bipolar disorder is that you don’t get a guarantee for emotional stability’.

One way I have been able to achieve emotional stability over the years is to consciously choose my friends. One of such friends, who has brought much stability to my life is Star (permit me to call her that for the purpose of this write up). 

I first met Star in my second year at the University where I was studying for a Diploma Certification in Law. She was a fresher in the Diploma in Law Department. Somehow, we ran into each other in fellowships, food cafes, girls hostels and just exchanged causal greetings, to say we would later become acquainted, how much more friends would have been unbelievable.

Soon, I obtained my Diploma in Law Certification, passed my Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination and got admission to study Theatre arts in the main campus; she also got admitted to study Theatre Art in the main campus that same year, forfeiting her pursuit for a certification in Diploma in Law. 

While in the same department, I was more of a lone ranger, she on the other hand, was a ‘people person’ in a very silent way. I couldn’t fathom why students and lecturers seemed to be fond of her; this natural appeal to people earned her the position of Vice-President of the Theatre Arts Association, when she contested. I just could not fathom it out, until…

I had a bipolar relapse in the first semester of my final year in the university.  The relapse was sudden and severe. I left campus without prior notice to any lecturer or student and was admitted in a hospital outside my town of residence rendering me incommunicado; no means of communication was made available to me. 

The doctors insisted I needed uninterrupted bed rest. Well, my body rested, but my mind did not! I was on the verge of missing my final exams and gaining an extra year. Saying I was worried was an understatement but all I could do was hope and pray for divine help.


After a month, I was discharged and given my phones. I slot in my SIM card and within two hours I got a flash from Star, then a text message expressing pleasant surprise that my phone was now switched on. After opening up to her about the ordeal I had been through, this sister of mine vowed that, I will graduate and I will be fine by the grace of God.

 Divine intervention came in the form of an ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) strike that lasted for months, by the time I was back on campus, the strike was still on. This gave me enough time to read and prepare for my final exams. 

Star took me to all the lecturers whose lectures, tests and assignments I had missed, and I was pardoned and favoured to do the makeup for what I missed.

I did not only graduate that same year, I served with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme mandatory for bona fide graduates in Nigeria, relocated to Lagos State to stay with her family on invitation and got my first job through her tireless promptings. 

What more? Through Star, I met my husband who was a colleague to her then. Sometimes, I think to myself, if this lady had not chosen me as a sister, loved me like proverbs 17:17 described, where and how would my life have been?

Whether you have been diagnosed bi-polar, or are recovering from bi-polar, truth is you will always need relationships that will bring you the kind of stability you require per time. Being able to assert who to confide your bi-polar struggles in, with the intention of cultivating a stable and integrity conscious relationship will also help. 

If you are reading this and you are not bi-polar, maybe you are a ‘Star’, please realize that, we need one another, let God lead you to that person or group of persons, you need to empower with the resources He has put in you.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, Lead me to stable and empowering relationship, in Jesus Name, Amen.


References

Proverbs 17:17 (NIV), Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)



My name is Precious, I was Bi-polar and I live a full life
 You can send your feedback to idaretoblossom@gmail.com




Search For Love

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2 Comments A+ a-


Many of us seek for love in places, situations, persons and even books (sounds funny though but its true) *smiling*. I am no exception to that and am not ignorant of the pressures and dangers of seeking love in the wrong place bore out of an overwhelming desire to satisfy your emotions whether in the affirmative or negative. 

I remember vividly, in my early years of been diagnosed Bi polar, one of my greatest worry was, if I will ever find a relationship that will love and accept me for who I am and not what I have been through.

Scott Haltzman, M.D, says that, “when people get into a relationship, they are looking for stability”. He went on to say that, “the person (bipolar patient), particularly if untreated, may be prone to changes in their mood, their personality and their interactions that can threaten the consistency that is the frame work of a relationship”.

My parents gave me much validation of love expressed in cash, kind and moral support. They did all they could within their power to prove to me that am loved beyond my circumstances, despite the glaring limitations I was experiencing then.

Someone would have expected that to be more than enough for me; having a relationship within my family that offered love and support, but sadly, over time, I realised that it was not! I still felt a huge void in my soul, so I started the search for love.

I wish I could tell you I was successful, or that I did not make costly mistakes, or that I even knew the kind of love that will validate and fulfil me completely at that stage of my life, while embarking on the search.

None of the above is true. I was repeatedly hurt and disappointed by the objects of my affections; until, I discovered, ‘what you don’t have you can’t give’. My discovery affirmed the timeless wisdom in Victor Hugo’s words, “the supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves-say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

As much as our loved ones, friends and well-wishers will want to validate their love for us through gifts of time, money, material and moral support, they will never be able to fill the void in our hearts.

A wise man once described it as a God spaced vacuum which only God can fill. So don’t feel bad, forsaken or rejected if you didn’t have a Val on Valentine’s day celebration, or if your Val didn’t show up.

That person can’t fill the longing of your heart; to love and be loved, if you have not first accepted the love of God which He offers through Christ Jesus His son.

The Love God offers is patient, it is kind, it does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, not rude, it is not a self seeking love, it is not a love that is easily angered, this love keeps no record of wrongs done to it, has no delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. This love always seeks to protect, always trust, always hopes, always preserves. You can rely on this love for validation because it never fails. This LOVE is GOD.

Truly, I have come to realise 
  • That no man or woman can give you the love you deserve except they have been empowered from Above.
  • That if you love God, you will love right.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, forgive me for seeking love and validation from sources other than You. Father, I accept your Perfect Love, I recognise that Your son, Jesus Christ died on the cross to set me free and set me apart to be loved and to love. I receive grace to live out your love, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Kindly Remember
  • That you have to take your medication(s) as prescribed by the doctors.
  • That you don’t have to avoid your appointments with your physician.
  • That you have to rest well, eat healthy, exercise safely, and avoid stress.
  • That you can pray over your medications that; they will work perfectly for you without side effects.
  • That you can pray to God to perfect all that concerns your mental health.

REFERENCES:
1 Corinthians 14 : 4 - 8a,
1 John 4 : 10 - 12


My name is Precious, I was Bi-polar and I live a full life
You can send your feedback to idaretoblossom@gmail.com



Words

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-




It was an interview session in one of the enviable organisations then and I was one of the fortunate fresh graduates invited to attend. When it got to my turn, it was obvious to the panel of interviewers that I was a very green graduate, having finished my National Youth Service Program barely two months before.

I was asked to defend why a Theatre Arts graduate like me felt I could do the job of a Marketing Executive? I replied, ‘I believe that all of life is a stage and we are all actors and actresses! That even while marketing I will be acting!

Of course some of them laughed; but that was not what earned me the job. The lead interviewer, gave me another look and said ‘so you are like a slate, a blank slate, and we can write on you?

It’s been some years since then, and I have changed jobs a few times, one trend I observe is that your words naturally convey your authority, anxiety, confidence, fear, joy, and sadness depending on the situation.



 

Recently, I was purchasing an item from an open market, I could not ignore the words the Manager used on the young lady attending to me, how could I?

Words like, “this girl is a real ‘confusionist’!”  and a range of insult in their local dialect.  I did not verbalise my thoughts but I imagined that if this girl didn’t have a strong hold on her self-esteem she could easily give in to inferiority complex.

Words are released daily, some hurt, others heal, the bottom line is that, folks believe that they are responsible for what they say not how what they say make you feel!

Have you ever stopped to wonder why some react or respond differently to words? Some react by being defensive and aggressive, others respond by mentally excusing the words that are met to hurt them.

Words are like stones, you have to be witty and calculative when you throw them otherwise it could land on a glass wall and break it, on a wooded surface and drop down or even a cemented surface and bounce back at you.

Bphope.com reaffirms this thought in a recent article, titled, ‘The big payoff of well-chosen words’ stating that, “like an arrow, “wrong” words can be shape, piercing a person’s spirit, ripping away at self-esteem and making a person feel belittled or even betrayed…and especially vulnerable are people who have bi-polar disorder.”



Truly I have come to realise
  • That if people are responsible for what they say and not how what they say make you feel, then you must take responsibility for your emotions by not allowing negative words to take root in your heart.
  • That I can’t determine how folks should respond to me, but I can give them a clue by responding to them the way I desire to be treated in words and deeds.
  • That ‘Words’ are invisible but have very tangible, strong physical presence on life and its issues.
  •  That having a positive altitude to life will make me respond with love and not react to the sometimes not so kind words that come my way!
  •  I choose God’s words over mine and that of folks in my life; because God’s words are health and life to all my flesh.        
                                                                                   
PRAYER:

Teach me to always incline my heart to your words, so I can have the wisdom to deal with the words that I encounter daily. -Proverbs 4:20-22, Job 6: 25a-
                                                                                                                                              
Kindly Remember
  • That you have to take your medication(s) as prescribed by the doctors .
  • That you don’t have to avoid your appointments with your physician. 
  • That you have to rest well, eat healthy, exercise safely, and avoid stress.
  •  That you can pray over your medications that; they will work perfectly for you without side effects. 
  • That you can pray to God to perfect all that concerns your mental health.

References:  www.bphope.com

 My name is Precious, I was Bi-polar and I live a full life



Introduction: I dare to Blossom

Tuesday, February 04, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-



Several lives, families, communities and even nations have missed out on the wealth and value of highly talented, resourceful individuals, who had the potential to be problem solvers. Often times, a simple diagnosis that affirms that an individual is bi- polar could be the beginning of a ‘vote of no confidence’, and a display of actions that signal stigma. According to Bipolar Disorders Clinic, Bipolar is also “known as manic depressive illness and is characterized by severe and disabling highs (mania) and lows (depression)”. It goes on to say, “This illness typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life, with 80% of patients experiencing multiple manic episodes and 15% ending their lives in suicide”.

My name is Precious. I was diagnosed bi-polar in 2003. I have been through, and seen in the lives of others, the ups and downs of bi-polar. It all brought me to a place of choice. I chose to blossom and come what may, I will blossom. Because if I don’t (smiling) I can’t possibly live the quality of life I have now. I am happily married, I have a great job, I have a peaceful mind and I live above all the limitations that I was told being bi- polar will offer. All this has being possible because God healed me. He taught me to rely on Him and His Words because they are my life. When I was to have my daughter in the delivery room, I was told that being previously diagnosed with bi-polar, puts me at the risk of experiencing post trauma blues; I had her, a beautiful gift, without any blemish on my body, mind and soul. This blog is not to disprove the integrity of medical science, no, that’s not what this is about, rather it’s here to help patients diagnosed and living  with bi-polar see and believe that they can still be resourceful individuals the world needs. They are answers to many puzzles and the world is waiting to hear their voices. This blog is here to give you an insight into the life of persons living with bi-polar, how you can understand them and help them to become the best that they can be.

Being diagnosed bi-polar is not a license to self-pity! No! It’s not and should not be! The next time you are tempted to think so, quickly remember that there are many great people in the world today, who were once diagnosed with bi-polar but today are not remembered for the negative impact of bi-polar but are rather renowned for the notable accomplishments they have attained in their chosen sphere of influence. Did you know that many famous people have being diagnosed with bi-polar? In an article written by Christian Nordqvist in Medical News Today, the following famous people were outlined.

·         Sidney Sheldon, American Producer and writer

·         Rep. Patrick J. kennedy, American politician

·         Florence Nightingale, British nurse and health campaigner

·         Catherine Zeta-Jones, British (Welsh) actress

·         Edgar Allen Poe, British poet and writer

·         Frank Bruno, boxer

·         Graham Greene, British novelist

·         Jack Irons, drummer, formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers

·         Stephen Fry, Bristish actor, comedian and writer

·         Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch artist

·         Viginia Woolf, British writer

·         Vivien Leign, American actress

·         Vincent Crane, keyboard player of Atomic Rooster

·         Spike Miligan, Irish Comedian

·         Robert Downey, Jr., actor

·         Mel Gibson, Australian actor and director

·         Jean-Claude Van Damme, Belgian actor

·         Maria Bamford, American Comedian

Guess what? (Smiling) the list has not ended, it includes you reading this now wondering how to deal with the bi-polar situation. It includes me, it includes thousands and thousands of individuals who are living above the limitations of bi-polar but have not taken the bold step to come out with their stories. It includes anyone out there who will make a conscious decision to blossom and commit to the process.

My name is Precious, I was Bi-polar and I live a full life.

Shalom!

References

·         “What is bipolar Disorder”, Bipolar disorder Clinic at the Stanford School of Medicine.

·         www.medicalnewstoday.com

·         Jeremiah 17: 7-8, NIV