Living with bipolar and OCD. Welcome to my life!
Stats now are that 1 in 4 people suffers with a mental health illness, be it bipolar, schizophrenia, personality disorder, depression, anxiety, phobias or panic attacks to name a few.
In 2009 I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Comorbid OCD. I had been having major symptoms since 2005 and had suffered episodes of these illnesses before they became worse.
Struggling with the label
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My disorder stopped me in my tracks of wanting to become a firearms officer in my local police force. I had my heart set on my pathway in the police, however when I became ill it became apparent that the course I had planned for myself was not going to happen.
My relationship with husband Barry, my friends and family struggled, I became so depressed that I contemplated ending it all. I harmed myself and really struggled with the ‘label’ attached to me, and how that would affect me and how others saw me.
In 2013 I was medically retired from the police force deeming that I was unfit to carry out the duties of a police officer.
Again I had lost my identity, I was no longer PC 11985 Laura Ash! So who was I?
Coming out the other side
In a fast-paced world I am always asked how do I cope with living with bipolar and OCD, how do I manage it? How have I managed to roll with each episode and come out the other side?
Amongst the massive support I get from my friends, family, clients and my man Barry, I have learned to see my condition as my superpower and not as my curse.
I see that I have been given this “gift” as a way to be able to reach people on a different level.
It is why Rock Solid was born, and is the driving force behind that.
After I was diagnosed I set about learning all I could about myself, my triggers, how I reacted and about my condition.
Along the way I looked at my lifestyle and how I looked after my body.
I used healthy eating, exercise and mindset exercises to help manage my condition. This along with lifestyle management of stress and my medication means that I can get a good balance in my life which does help me manage my condition.
Sometimes things go wrong, and I become ill. It can be tough, yes, but for me I roll with it. I use it as a platform to learn more about me, which means I can give more back to others.
There is no light without dark
It took me a while to get to grips with what was going on, don’t get me wrong I’m no Jedi Master at it now. But because I use it as a superpower I am able to channel things in the right direction.
I could take the perspective that I have been given a bad lot in life. That I have been scolded and that I am being punished. I could retract and allow the condition to consume me, I could have it break up my relationships and destroy my life.
Making good out of the bad
I chose not to see it this way. I chose to see it as a superpower to inspire others and give others hope and support.
I’ve been able to do some pretty amazing things to break the stigma, like being on stage in bodybuilding shows, give radio and magazine interviews about it, even talking about it on TV.
If I had not seen my condition as a superpower and I had seen it as a curse I would not have been able to do any of these things.
Living with biploar and OCD is not easy and I would not pretend otherwise, but it is possible and in fact they can drive you on to be the best version of yourself.
What is your curse at the moment, which could be your superpower? What is it that you want to break free from? How different would your life be if you saw things from a different perspective?
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Laura Ash