Maintaining “well”

I skipped exercising for a week.  We were out of town starting Christmas Eve and I haven’t exercised until today.

Earlier this month I discovered the B vitamins, B-6 and B-12.  They are supposed to ease stress and stopped me from shaking, an eps (side effect) of Lithium.  I was so happy I showed everyone who knows about the bipolar my non-shaking hands.

I stopped exercising, and the shaking came back.

My previous psychiatrist told me that bipolar treatment was 50% counseling and 50% drugs.  Two years later I don’t agree.  I think that drugs are a huge part of it.  Maybe as much as 45%, but that other tools, like exercising, like vitamins (do those count as drugs?) like counseling make up the rest.  I’ll give exercise 20%, counseling from psychiatrists and psychologists 20%, and fifteen goes to the vitamins and a good diet.  (A pound block of chocolate is not a meal). Add good grooming to the list and you’ve got yourself a stew goin’. Of course, I’d like to think I add prayer every step of the way.  (But I don’t do so.)

I’ve forgotten things and run out of percentage points.  Good friends help a lot.  Sex helps a lot.  Helping other folks deal with grief and loss and mental illnesses and pain helps a whole lot.  Like, forty percent.  (Goodness I want to go back to school!!!!!)

I can tell when I’ve skipped my pills because I feel unusual.  After not exercising for a week, I felt super tense and just off my game.  I haven’t seen my medical professionals in about two weeks. I know I need them and was having a very tough time without them, but see now it’s only 20% of my game.  I could have headed for the hospital, but I didn’t want or need to do it.  I needed to do the things I know now to be better.  I can’t wait until I feel fine and quit, these are things I will need to do every day for the rest of my life to be well.  If I skip one of my wellness-responsibilities I will not be at my best.  I’m a slave to treating this illness, but if I wasn’t I would be a slave to this illness.  That, I will not be.

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