Why I Share My Bipolar Story 2

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 1 Comments A+ a-

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 
Earlier in this month, I received a mail from International Bipolar Foundation informing me that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As I mused on all the wonderful things IBF is doing to ensure the objective for May is achieved, it dawned on me that sharing my bipolar story may just be an effective start to generating Mental Health Awareness in my corner of the world.

I have seen several persons diagnosed with bipolar loose very precious and reliable relationships because they were not sincere or because they were not wise about when and how to disclose the truth about their mental health.

Now, there are no specific rules or a customised way of going about disclosing the truth about your mental health. I will like to share some of the points that did help me, you are not supposed to adhere to this as a rule...no! These are not rules, they worked for me, they may or may not work for you, but the most important thing is that I want you to realise that
when you understand yourself and understand how precious the people in your life are, you will make a conscious effort to wisely share your mental health status with them so that they can help you.
In dealing with bipolar and mental illness in general, you will agree with me that going 'solo' is not the best way out, rather it is the fastest way to an untimely exit from life. So please:

1. Take time to identity your support group. Your support group could consist of individuals, a couple, a friend, or the people you have in your space who seem to want the best for you. They love you. I would advise you to put their love through the litmus test by reading I Corinthians 13: 1-8a. If you are convinced that they love you as prescribed in the above scripture (Please note that this love could be described as ‘tough love’), then you can consider sharing your bipolar story with them. In Coach Anna McCoy's words,
'‘Love is contending earnestly for the highest positive good, to be made manifest in the present time.’'
2. Be prepared to be vulnerable. I know you do not like the sound of this. The truth is that, every time we open up about some unpleasant experience we have had, we became vulnerable. Vulnerable to be misunderstood, Vulnerable to be taken for granted, Vulnerable to be gossiped about, vulnerable to rejection... the list is endless. But should we allow our vulnerability be the stumbling block to a life of purpose? A life of fulfilment and an opportunity to be helped while offering help to others?

3. Say the whole truth. I believe that half truth is no truth. If you have decided to share your bipolar story, then you must be prepare to look beyond the feeling of vulnerability and say the truth. Avoid a situation that will require you tell a lie to improve your social image.

4. Be authentic: By this, I mean be real. Being authentic elicits empathy from your listener. I mean EMPATHY, not pity. Empathy, is them putting themselves in your shoes, feeling your pain, your joy, your struggle, your push, your determination and will in turn lead your listener to start thinking of how he/she can make a positive contribution to your life.

5. Be discerning. Please, Please, Please you have to be very careful who you decide to tell your story to. Please prayerfully go about this. If you are not at peace with the thought of sharing your bipolar story, then do not hesitate to refrain from doing so. If you feel that your support group is ready to hear you with the belief that they will understand your bipolar story, without deliberately studying their non verbal language through their gestures, you are not discerning! At other times, the only way to discern correctly is to simply get a confirmation from the Lord as you pray.

6. Timing is Important: Feeling that your support group is ready is not enough reason to tell your bipolar story; you must be discerning and calculative about the right moment. The timing is as important as the message. If Naman’s maid had related her story to her ‘madam’ in a wrong timing I am convinced that she would not have received the right attention, she most likely would have been ousted.

In conclusion, I want to assure you that when you eventually get to share your bipolar story, you will be fulfilled and thankful at the same time. Fulfilled, because by sharing, you encourage yourself first and then your listeners. Thankful, because bipolar does not define you, because you dare to blossom and you will by God’s grace, blossom forth each day into a beautiful version of you.

My Name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a Full Life.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your constant love and protection over my life. I ask that in your own way, you will make a way of escape for all who are suffering in silence and managing their mental health issues alone, father, divinely connect them to their helpers this Month, in Jesus Name, Amen. 1 Corinthians 10:13

I Corinthians 13: 1-8a
 2Kings 5:2-5
Joshua 2:10
Coach Ann McCoy, author of the book, Woman, Act Now! www.womanactnow.com/
1 Corinthians 10:13

All scriptures used are from the King James Version of the Bible

I will love to hear your feedback on this post. Please send to idaretoblossom@gmail.com

With A Heart Of Gratitude

Friday, May 08, 2015 1 Comments A+ a-

Thank you Jesus for giving me a Beautiful and Meaningful Life!

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.” 

- Isaiah 43:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

In my mother’s womb you knew me,
You supervised my birth.
When I did not recognise you, you loved me still.
When life seemed tough, you showed me a way of escape.
When I was in a slippery place, you gave me stability.
When I was in a hard place you saved me,
You called me Precious, because
My life is Precious in your sight,
Because you have loved me.
You  honour me with your love daily,
You make my life meaningful,
You make my life beautiful.

Thank you Heavenly Father for adding another year to my years today!

My name is Precious, I was bipolar and I live a full life.

Why I Share My Bipolar Story

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Reflecting on the initiative of International Bipolar Foundation on ‘World Bipolar Day’ celebration and blogging as my little contribution to the bipolar awareness, I recently asked myself, ‘Why am I so passionate about this bipolar talk? Why am I driving it and publicizing it as if my life depends on it?'

May be in some ways, my life depends on it. Or perhaps, my fulfillment and happiness rely on it. I realised that I am always happy to share my bipolar story because I am convinced that it will encourage someone out there who may be lost in the depth of hopelessness that conveys depression.

I recall clearly that in my early years of being diagnosed bipolar, I was without encouragement. I couldn't even muster the courage to tell anyone I was diagnosed bipolar let alone encourage someone with my story.

So what brought about the change? In retrospect, I believe that my value system did. I respect truth. I dislike deceit with a passion. It hurts me badly when someone consciously presents a lie to me as truth. As a result of this, I am quick to ask myself, 'how do I want the people I relate with as friends to feel by not telling them the truth about my mental health status?’ Will I be fair to them if I mislead them to make an uninformed decision on how they will relate with me in a relationship? How would I explain the obvious signs of depression or manic when it occurs?

And If I tell a lie to explain away the sometimes very obvious symptoms, how will I ever gain their trust and build a confident relationship with them again? This brings to mind the story of the Israeli young girl that was taken captive and became a maid in Naman’s household. Imagine how her boldness and courage to tell her story (story of the awesome work of her God) helped Naman get healing from his leprous condition. Permit me to illustrate the importance of sharing our story to encourage others with the story of Rahab in Joshua 2.

“For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. As soon as we heard these things…”

As a result of what Rahab had heard in the past about the LORD, God of Israel, my God, she was sensitive to the happenings around her and was able to make an informed decision that saved herself and her household, this also gave her an opportunity to be part of the Israelites by marriage, consequently she was also one of the progenitors of Jesus Christ! (Joshua 6:17, 25, Matthew 1:5)

Doesn’t the stories we read on the pages of the bible and those of notable achievers encourage us that we will overcome our peculiar trying situations? The mindset usually is, if this person I just read about or heard about could survive this, then there is hope! I, too can survive this! This is usually the starting point of hope for most of us. Please be encouraged, make up your mind to be hopeful despite the hopelessness of the situation, because God can fix this, and you will blossom forth by His grace. (To be continued next week)

My Name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a Full life

Heavenly Father, I am thankful and grateful to you for the stories in the Bible, for the stories of my life, for the grace to learn from other people’s story. I ask that Lord, you will give me the courage required to mention all your goodness in my life story  so that more people can acknowledge your sovereignty, see your awesome power to save them and glorify your name in Jesus name, Amen. Isa. 63: 7

2kings 5:2-3, Joshua 2:8-11, Joshua 6:17, 25, Matthew 1:5