By Lois Caniglia
On My Road to Recovery
I have written about my historical struggle with bipolar; when I became bipolar, the damages I’ve caused, and when I was finally treated. In this past year, my therapist has given me the thumbs up as being “okay”. As long as I stay the course, I’m fine. It’s crucial that I maintain my treatment plan and continue to see my therapist.
I do feel fine. Reaching recovery as a bipolar is like any other chronic illness. Stay compliant with my medications, keep my doctors appointments, follow up on my regular lab work, exercise, and eat healthy. There is no ah ha moment for being ‘cured’. While my treatment has been effective, the world around me seems less chaotic. My family and friends seem much happier, less stressed, and doesn’t appear to walk on glass.
These are my signs that I am well. The objective signs is my primary signal that I am certain to be balanced. Balanced as much as any other human-being, that is. In my state of illness, I wasn’t aware of my inappropriate state. That is to say, not until the damage was done and guilt set in. My shame only added to my destruction in relationships. During my uncontrollable manic episodes, consequences were inconceivable. My depressed states was more different for me. I still feel unwell, lost, and hopeless during these break-through lows. The difference is that I am able to set off a yield sign and recognize that I need to regroup.
The key is to recognize that a self-care intervention is required. Recovery is no less exhausting than living untreated. This takes work on my part. It isn’t as easy as it sounds but it is a rewarding indicator that I am on my way to recovery. I’m not prepared to label myself as a bipolar ‘survivor’ . I am proudly comforted that I am on the road to recovery.