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Fixing Bipolar: By Meds? Or By Mind Over Matter?

Two of my brothers took
their lives, 28 years apart.
As of this writing there are
4 of us siblings left.
All of us siblings have been on
prescription medication at
one time or another. Have the
meds helped? YES and NO.
My Father was Bipolar Type I.
My Maternal Grandmother as well.
Us six siblings inherited a double
dose of DNA from both sides.

Medication Helps
Lithium, for my family, has been effective. Lithium evened out the wild roller coaster ride by calming the manic highs, and edging out the slumping lows of depression. Lithium (and other medications) are helpful to interrupt the cycles of our brain’s malfunction. Meds allow the body-mind to rest, recuperate and heal. However, meds are not the total answer to healing from ‘dis-ease’.

Acknowledge the Situation
There are many factors that play into being, becoming, and coping with the “Bipolar” label. Being a consummate observer, seeker of knowledge, a bipolar participant, and now completely healed, I have definitive beliefs on this subject. My onset came after the birth of my second child. I had grown up immersed in the behaviors, the symptoms. I witnessed-absorbed the struggles in my Father. It affected our family deeply. I decided: Bipolar was NOT allowed to rule me, or govern my life.

Educate Yourself
I read books. Took genetic classes. Talked to my Psychiatrists. Yes, they were required to obtain my prescription meds. I was primed. Had all the classic textbook conditions: The DNA. Hormonal imbalances. Environmental stresses. All compounded at the same time, produced-triggered my brain-body to react. I took the meds to take my edge off. Was told I had a chemical imbalance that would require me to be on pills the rest of my life. The prevailing belief then–and now–for most illnesses is that pills are the lifelong answer to diseases. A be all-end all. I refuse to believe this.

Believe You Can Heal
From the get go I truly believed our bodies heal naturally given the right circumstances and environment. I told my initial, favorite Doctor that I did not believe I would be on pills the rest of my life. That one day I would heal away from using them. Dr. S was open minded, and believed the possibility of my claim, as he was a holistic healer. I am forever grateful for this man’s support at this pivotal point.

Change Your Environment
Fast forward 30 years. Divorced. Estranged. Ostracized. And, into a world I re-created far removed from my former life. Alone, but not lonely, as my family of animals stood beside me. I unwrapped years of dysfunction in my psyche. One by one, I dissected my entrenched beliefs. Dismantled every learned behavior. Examined recycling thought patterns. Wallowed in my emotional states. Purged and released much. Finally, I honored and embraced that my feelings, sadness, disillusionment, and grief were valid. And owned my participation in all that I allowed to break me.

Healing is a Choice
The day I bought my own home I asked it–made a pact with it: Do NOT let me leave until I am HEALED. PLEASE! At that time I took 10 pills a day just to cope aka remain sane. My body was racked with trauma, anxiety, and bipolar thought patterns. I knew I had work to do. Just did not know exactly how or what path to take. Yet in this space of solitude, I found my way back to health. Nine years later my house graduated me. It sold. I walked away more whole than ever in this life.

I no longer take any prescription pills. My clarity, intentions, thoughts are unwavering and solid strong. My beliefs more than ever have the conviction that every one of us can heal fully. We have the ability to decide. To do a self-examination. It’s a choice to evolve, or not. No excuses permitted.

Bipolar is a State of Mind
Bipolar thoughts can severely misalign our mind-body-spirit. This imbalance occurs because our mental and physical state of being is impaired on many levels.  Pills should be used as a temporary relief. An interrupter in a cycle that needs deconstruction to rebuild. Medication should not be a lifetime crutch, nor a lifelong sentence. Largely because prescription drugs have other serious side effects and health repercussions.

Belief is Powerful
I am not super human. I am ordinary. No different than you. A lifetime of heartaches summoned me to shift my mental health consciousness. If you are reading this you are seeking answers. Open the door: Believe in yourself. Know you are worthy. Take the journey. Transcend your non-serving beliefs. And trust the many blessings on your path.

Books that offer perspective, guidance and support. (Covers are linked.)

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Snap Shots of Eden

Snap Shots of Eden

Recalling family moments is for the nostalgic. Pictures are what push us to go back, way back to a simpler time. Where  our happy moments of innocence are not yet lost. Photos encapsulate an era reserved only for the unsuspecting. Inside pages of a photo album awaits visual reminders and memories folded away somewhere inside time.

With jaded glasses etched and consumed by a lifetime of manic depressive dysfunctions, I visited my family’s youth. Bipolar didn’t exist then. For any of us. My two late brothers as babies, and later as dream-filled young men stood proud, liberated, and untethered by the future that would haunt them.

Photographs are holograms. A person’s soul state emits their light or dark that dwells within. Look close sometime, you’ll see it. Pictures evoke feelings and remembrances. I held three photo albums with an assortment of birthday parties, Christmases, Halloween’s and family dinners. Each in different years. All with happy faces.

I took those three albums back to their rightful owner: my Mother. I think this turned out to be a blessing as my siblings poured over those naive years and soaked up its purity too. One sister kept chanting, “If we had only known then, what we know now…..” But we didn’t. And, that is the beauty of life.

On this day of remembrance, we captured the attention of our elderly Mother now finally recuperated from heart, kidney, and lung conditions. We told her what no Mother should ever have to hear, twice. Her body was frail, but her mind was sharp. On that day I wish it was the other way around. As I looked around a familiar scene, I wondered who had suffered most during these hours. Us siblings had waited, toiled and fretted over the best time to tell Mom. We had carried the burden of our brother’s suicide for almost two months. And, while we had a two month head start to Mom’s first induction just now, we were all crying just as hard.

God, what I would give to go back and live inside those pictures of yesteryear. Where suicide was not even a thought. And bipolar wasn’t even a word. Just one more visit to Eden please.

This Exerp is taken from Patty Ann’s Book: Double Suicide Family.