Lessons I’ve Learned from Being Bipolar

  1. Take your meds
  2. Use therapy as a tool and don’t bullshit or whine
  3. Support groups are nice but don’t get too caught up in others’ problems or they might become your own
  4. Stop alienating people with your public tantrums and vitriol
  5. Everyone is right. Let go of the fact of controlling other people. If they come around, they’ll come in their own time.
  6. Sometimes hospitalization is necessary but using it as a revolving door is not. You can build a bigger spiritual boat by creating a self-care toolkit you can pull out at any moment in life. 
  7. Drugs and alcohol don’t work.
  8. Stop trying to fill your love-shaped hole. Find your conception of G-d first and then you will find happiness.
  9. Moods come and go like waves. You will feel things bigger and deeper. This will help you think creatively. 
  10. Creativity is not found off your meds in some manic state. It’s by allowing your meds to work, hard work, and discipline that you truly find your creativity.
  11. Depression is hard, soul-sucking, and as my friend Glennon Doyle says “brutiful.” For it is with the valleys, that we can truly appreciate our peaks. 
  12. It is grand larceny to waste away the dull moments in life. Mania allows us to fill the dull spaces with everything. But true happiness is a balance of white, dark and grey spaces.
  13. Meditate daily.
  14. Work is over-rated. Find something you love to do and do it. They money will come. If you think about it, you only need to make enough money to live. The rest of it is bullshit.
  15. As my grandpa always taught me, “You are a millionaire already if you love what you do for a living.”
  16. Just be. FU*K Labels.
  17. Walking and running are the best exercise for mind and body. Though, a few strength training exercises can’t hurt either.
  18. Therapy is important. Exploring yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself. 
  19. Read everything you can about mental illness—memoirs, scientific books, etc. Become an unofficial walking psychiatrist. 
  20. Friends come and go. Those who stick by you know the meaning of unconditional love.
  21. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll are all weapons of mass distraction.
  22. Everything is a drug.
  23. Limit social media. It is both a blessing and a curse. It is a trigger and a force of connection. It is a form of mind control.
  24. There is no black and white. Think in the grey. It might get uncomfortable but it is the only way to live.
  25. When trying to write a memoir about mania, focus on your stories not every detail.
  26. Change your whole attitude about money. You are already abundant if you have a roof over your head, clothes to wear, food on your table. Everything else is not important, even the car you drive. 
  27. You can make wonderful minute friendships while riding the bus. 
  28. You have everything you need already.
  29. Love is everything, especially loving yourself first.
  30. Dance to your own beat. Music goes with life. Find your soundtrack.
  31. Pay attention for signs, symbols and synchronicity.
  32. Sexuality is fluid. 
  33. Don’t be anybody else’s poetry. Make your own.
  34. Be grateful. Practice Gratitude.
  35. Limit sugar, caffeine and junk food. 
  36. Non-violence is where it’s at. 
  37. Drink water, especially if on lithium.
  38. To release anger, practice gratitude as my friend Timber Hawkeye says.
  39. Anger rarely gets us anything. Letting go does.
  40. Walking your talk is the best form of activism.
  41. Introspection = Inspiration.
  42. Life is an old beach rollercoaster.
  43. Half, maybe all of the world’s problems could be solved by listening to one another. Listen. You never know what you’ll hear. 
  44. Breathing alleviates anxiety.
  45. Don’t believe everything you think. 
  46. Question the Assumption.
  47. Desire is suffering. You are enough.
  48. Coolness is over-rated.
  49. There’s no such thing as normal.
  50. Practice Oneness. Doing one thing at a time. Being one thing. Loving one thing. Getting good at one thing.

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