When living with bipolar, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and what holds you back. I recently wrote about the 10-Day Mental Diet Challenge and how it helps you determine destructive habits. It helped me determine what thoughts caused stress and anxiety, and how they made me feel like crap about myself. I’ve been living with bipolar for 17 years, and only recently started to surround myself with positive people. I choose my friends wisely because they strongly influence the way I feel about myself. The more happier I am about myself, the more productive, motivated, and focused my mind is.
Here’s the thing, when I was first diagnosed, I didn’t want it to affect certain parts of my life, my social life being one of them. Because of this, I would let anyone in – good or bad. I guess it was a way for me to make up for some of the shortcomings I felt I had because I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, I sooned realized this was the worst thing I could do for myself because not everyone had my best interests at heart. In the end, I think good friends are very important if you plan on staying social and want to successfully manage bipolar. Because if this realization, I stopped hanging out with negative friends, and choose to only have positive ones in my life.
Awesome #4 – I “Only“ Keep Positive People In My Life
I’m very careful about who I bring into my inner circle. Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of having great friends in your life. They not only provide that social atmosphere you need, but also stability and support. Sometimes when I have a problem, I’ll get help from 2-3 close friends of mine. It’s important to mention that this wasn’t always the case, here’s why…
It’s not only about getting advice, but what’s more important is getting the right advice. This was very important to me because of my condition; bad advice could cause a lot of unnecessary stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights. From my experience, too many sleepless nights would lead to a full blown manic episode and/or depression. Now everytime I’m faced with adversity, I’m glad I have a handful of people I can count on to be there for me.
If I go back to when I was first diagnosed and look at the pattern, it’s easy to see how much my friends influenced my mood. Some people simply don’t have your best interest at heart, and this was the case for me during the early years of my diagnosis. I guess some people are just built to be negative, and don’t know the true meaning of friendship. I would be with certain friends and they would say something negative, which would make me stressed out, angry, and agitated. I would think about it for days and the thought would consume me. It was a vicious cycle, which I now try to avoid. Now when this happens, I consciously make a decision to not let that person back into my life because I know the negative impact they have on me.
That being said, here’s a valuable lesson I learned from all of this –
Never look back and question what happens in your life. You can no longer control what happened in the past so just look at it as a great learning process. It happened for a reason, and I’m better because of it. I even believe I was diagnosed with bipolar at an early age because this forced me to change in a positive way. I look back at how I’m different and what I now do which I didn’t do before. I’m definitely more motivated, focused, driven, and selective in who I surround myself with. Bipolar pushed me to question my friends and how they influence my decisions, which has dramatically changed my life for the better. Great people help me make great decisions, and live a more fulfilled life. The chances of this happening if I wasn’t bipolar would have been very slim.
I want to thank bipolar for pushing me to choose my friends more wisely. Having great people in my life has allowed me to manage my bipolar more effectively because I have a great support system. I’m also well aware of the qualities I look for when choosing friends, and this was something I didn’t do before. This change has improved all aspects of my life…now that’s awesome!