“My Love Bipolar” by Beth Campbell

He was my friend first and foremost.  The first friend I ever had that didn’t really mind the third wheel always with us.  I think it was because it belonged to him to too.  Just nobody had told him yet.

The day we met was like the brightest sunniest day I have ever seen.  No clouds.  No signs of rain.  That would come later.  He was bigger than life. His laugh infectious.  He said what was on his mind.  Take it or leave it.  I took it.  He made me smile.  He made me feel safe.  And special.  I felt truly loved.

And normal.

Because we are the same.

We had our best together time late into the night.  When the whole world…or most of it was sound asleep.  It was like having a secret.  For the first time…I wasn’t lonely in the dark.  We laughed, we ate, we made love…. Our need for each other insatiable…our joy irrepressible.  We were love.  Plain and simple and sweet.   We spent every minute together, not needing or wanting anyone else.

I drank him in.  He embraced me.  Completely.  Everything we did was over the top.  Every emotion out of control.  Bigger than either of us.  We had passion and I felt young and beautiful and incredibly lucky.  We were made for each other…we fit.   When it was good there was nothing better

It got bad sometimes.  And there was nothing worse.  We fought as hard as we loved and then we made up reconnecting physically and spiritually.  As time wore on we would leave each other after fighting…but we could never stay away for long.   Neither one of us had the ability to stop the highs and lows…we fed off of each other…we needed each other.   We were not whole unless we were together.

We were getting married.  He bought a ring and I was forever his and he mine.  We told each other everything no matter how odd it might seem because we understood each other.  It was the rest of the world that didn’t understand us.  I felt like part of me was missing and he felt empty when we were apart.

That winter, we slipped into the darkness together.  I will never really know why.  There are reasons but it doesn’t really matter anymore.  We lay in bed clinging to each other desperately holding on to love until we turned on each other.  I will never be able to say how dark those days were.  Lost, day after day and right there but unable to turn to each other…only able to lash out at each other…to hurt each other because nobody else would understand.   The end was violent.  I pushed.  He pushed back and the world exploded into a violence that was bigger than everything else.  He wanted to hurt me…and I wanted him to kill me.  As quick as it started it was over and we were left drained and shocked and ashamed.  Wary of each other but still wanting only each other. I forgave him but he could not forgive himself.   We stumbled on for a short while until one day he left.

The third entity – Bipolar became my issue. He rejected its existence, denied his familiarity and fled to find normal.  He moved 2500 miles away so that he couldn’t come back this time.  As the miles that separated us became greater, we both cried, aching so badly with the need to just be.  To be together.

The dark days of our demise were dusk compared to what followed.  Because he had shown me what not lonely felt like…the loneliness has been unbearable.  Time has passed and it isn’t easier.  We talk.  We see each other occasionally.  And we are both lost and alone and afraid.    I wonder if this is what it feels like now, how would  I ever be able to even breathe if he had died.  I feel as if I might as well be dead.

He calls me late at night sometimes, when the rest of the world is asleep.  It’s our secret.  We laugh and cry and feel alive for the time we are connected and then shut down and merely exist when we are not.  The nights he does not call I lay alone in the dark sometimes the tears flowing silently down my face.

I speak less.  I do not laugh.  I barely cry.  The hurt and emptiness never go away.   Ever.  I lose myself for hours in music trying to find solace and peace in the depth of it.  By “normal” standards it was dysfunctional and for that reason I rarely explain.   We were normal for us.  And it was the most exceptional amazing time of my life.

He never minded that Bipolar was a third wheel. Until he wanted to leave.  I think it belonged to him too it’s just that no one had told him.  If they had, we might not have even attempted a relationship and never felt a love that deep or strong.

And maybe if he knew it was his too…he never would have left.

Author ~ Beth Campbell


“The Story of Nibor” for those who feel like they are from a different planet and don’t fit in here on earth

Today we are addressing common feelings that ALL PEOPLE experience at one time or another…

Feeling ALONE.

Feeling like no one gets them.

Being lonely.



In today’s writing, I write about being from a different planet.

No, I am NOT an alien.

I do not believe I am an alien.

I use the idea of being from a different planet as a way to describe my experience and share my feelings and ideas.


Here’s my story…


Sometimes I feel like I am from a DIFFERENT PLANET.

When I was a teenager, I named that planet “Nibor”

(my name backwards).


“The Story of Nibor”

by Robin Mohilner


On planet, Nibor, all life is transparent.

As Niborians, it is our custom to say what you think…share what you feel. (period)

There is no silencing of anything or hiding.

There is no embarrassment or shame for being who you are.

“Judgment” is a concept we simply don’t have.

…Niborian’s simply don’t have a need for it.

Judgment is of NO value.

There is no such thing as “NORMAL”, so no one is DIFFERENT.

We simply just BE who we are,

And by simply being who we are,

we each have a gift that we contribute to life on our planet.


Being Robin Mohilner, a Niborian, on planet earth is hard.


Even when I am with great people, sometimes…I feel alone.

I feel lonely.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only Niborian on this planet.

I miss Nibor so much at times because here on earth, most people are afraid to be themselves.

They are afraid to share what they think and how they feel…and I simply don’t get it.

I don’t get why people are so afraid,

…until I listen to their stories of horrible judgment and mean-spiritedness.

People on planet earth do and say really mean things TO and ABOUT each other.

This just doesn’t happen on on Nibor and I don’t choose to participate in these customs on earth.


There are several earth customs that I do not understand:


Why do people feel the need for everyone to be the same?

What is wrong with people being different?

On my planet, it is our differences that give us gifts to offer each other.

Why should I be just like you?

I have far more to offer you by being ME.


I notice that with the invention of “NORMAL”, so many people go through life not feeling good enough.


My definition of “Normal” from observation is:

“the constant comparison people make in relationship to other people to decide their own self-worth, self-esteem and self-respect.”


Whose idea was “NORMAL”?!?

How does being “normal” enhance people’s lives and create fulfillment?


On Nibor, people wouldn’t even be able to understand this concept,

which is why I don’t understand it at all…and I don’t believe in it.



Why do people spend their whole lives competing against each other over STUFF???

It’s just STUFF…

…stuff is not even of REAL value…it’s just decoration without substance.

I just DON’T get it!



I may sound nuts right now…

I know I speak Niborian and that is not a commonly used language here on earth.

I don’t expect most people to understand me.

But if you do, you may come from a planet close by and we may share a similar dialect and customs.



People get uncomfortable with me because I am NOT enough like them.

People’s discomfort makes me uncomfortable…

When I am uncomfortable


I simply don’t know how to respond to such awkward feelings…so I shrink…and it feels horrible.

I shrink because I fear people will judge me and say,
“Why don’t you just go back to Nibor?”
My answer for them is,
“It doesn’t work like that.”
“Nibor is NOT a physical planet.
Nibor is MY way of being in life.”
“Earth, is filled with an infinite number of  worlds (ways of being) created by each life that inhabits it.”

Everyone has their own planet that they come from.

“Planet” refers to our own personal space (our alone space) within ourselves that is the seat of our beliefs, ways of thinking, customs, traditions, ways of connecting, values, goals, hopes etc



Some planets (see definition above) are closer to many others and revolve around the same sun (core beliefs, values, etc) together and have a lot more in common…other planets have their own very unique qualities and have much more distance from other planets and have their own star that they revolve around.

I believe my planet, Nibor, has some of ALL of the above…at times it is closer to all the other planets in the universe here on earth…at times it is light years away.

I like to think that all of our planets are consistently evolving, growing and changing as we all move through the universe.

So I’ve grown to believe that there are times when we have more closer connections and times of more distance and we feel alone in the universe.

Thinking in these terms makes me not feel so lonely…I accept there is just a lot of space in the universe between my planet and other planets similar to mine.


If you feel like you are from another planet.

I want you to know…

You are not alone.


INSPIRATION: Life lessons that developed my WILL & DRIVE to THRIVE. Inspiration to thrive with bipolar disorder.

team THRIVE!  So many of people on our team have shared with me that they struggle with finding the motivation…the will and drive…to be persistent.


This will be a work in progress…

Here is what builds my ability to be persistent:

Each of us gets to find what motivates us…this is just for inspiration



Life Lesson: I am FULLY Responsible

I am innocent to the circumstances I was born into. I am innocent to what happened to me and what happened within me that was caused by my genes passed onto me by my ancestors.

Bipolar disorder is not my fault…neither is any of the trauma and loss that has occurred in my life.

I am FULLY responsible for how I respond to what happens.

I am FULLY responsible for the choices I make.

I am FULLY responsible for the limits I place on myself every time I use the words “I CAN” or “I CAN’T”.

I am FULLY responsible for every word that comes after “I AM…”. Those words define who I can be.

I am FULLY responsible for the energy and attitude I bring to people and situations.

I am FULLY responsible for how I use OR don’t use my talents, abilities and gifts in my life.

I have no control of the OUTCOME of my efforts. I may do my best and still miss my mark, but at least I’ll learn what doesn’t work.

BUT…I am FULLY responsible for my effort.

Not making the effort in my life to do what ever it takes to thrive is choosing failure.




Self-Care Activity: Writing & Receiving What You Need Through Letters. Self-care activities for people affected by bipolar disorder.

team THRIVE!  Doing this self-nurture once is like removing one brick from a wall…the wall is still there.

To be successful at nurturing ourselves, we must consistently and persistently work at it brick by brick.

Directions for this self-nurture activity:

You are to write two letters:


Letter # 1:  Write a letter to someone who:

        • Hurt you
        • Disappointed you
        • Who you want to forgive
        • Someone who passed away


This letter is FOR YOU…for your own healing.



Letter #2:  Write a letter to yourself responding as if you are the person you wrote the first letter to.



Letter #1

In this letter, share with him both what you need and needed from him and how not having it affects and effected your life.



Self-nurture comes from taking responsibility for how we respond to our loss, disappointment and hurt.

It empowers us to be our best.

Do NOT blame, shame, or judge the person you are writing to…even if they were horrible, it will not help you heal…here’s a reminder why.

Have compassion and empathy for who they are.

[box type=”warning”] Note: This form of letter is NOT to be used for someone who VIOLATED you.

If you are writing this letter to a perpetrator…skip the directions above and write freely whatever you need to say.[/box]

Here are ideas to help guide you:


  • To bring compassion into your heart, focus on what they did RIGHT by you and in your life…how they enhanced your life….what you learned from them…how they helped you overcome something.  Focus on what you appreciate.  WRITE this down first.
  • To bring empathy into your heart, think about what their life was like.  What challenges, struggles and losses did they experience growing up.  Was their something they did not get that they needed as a child and adult, as a result they could not give it to you.
  • Acknowledge and take ownership of your needs, desires and expectations…how you need/deserve to be treated etc.
  • Take ownership of your disappointment and hurt from not getting your needs met…this takes the place of blaming, shaming and guilt….which only adds poison to wounds, these actions do NOT heal wounds.
    • How did not getting what you need affect you?
    • How did disappointment affect you?
  • Share with them how your pain.  Let them know that their choices and actions hurt you.
  • Acknowledge that you are able to recognize that they did their best with the resources they had available at the time…even though their best was not good enough for you.
  • Forgiveness.  Forgiveness can mean many things:
    • Acceptance of what happened and there is nothing you can do to change what happened…but you can change your response
    • Letting them off the hook.  No longer holding them responsible for the things that went wrong in your life because of their actions and choices.  Taking responsibility for your own life.
    • “Letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different.” – Oprah




Letter #2

Write this letter to you, from your the person you wrote your first letter to.

Write the letter as though you are them…put yourself in their shoes.

In this letter give yourself what you need to receive from them.




but if you are able to and feel safe doing so,

your relationship with him may be better as a result.


Here is an example


team THRIVE! You are welcome to share your letters here by posting them in the comments section or submitting them by email: thrivewithbipolardisorder@gmail.com and they will be posted in “Our Stories”


UPDATED: “Bucket of Shit Story” with BONUS Life Lessons

“Bucket of Shit”

Adapted by Robin Mohilner

Author Unknown



We all come into this world with two things:

A bucket of shit AND a shovel.


What matters in life is not what causes the shit in our buckets.

What matters is what we do with the shit we have.



Now we have some options for what we can do with our shit and our shovel:


1.) We can spend our life digging through the shit to figure out what it is and where it came from.

The shit won’t change. It will still be shit. But we have every right to sift through our shit and smell it for as long as we want.



2.) We can use our shovel to take our shit and put it in other people’s buckets.

Then we get to say, “I have no shit! This is your shit!”



3.) We can stick our shovels into other people’s bucket of shit and use our shovel to carry their shit into our bucket.

Doing this will allow us to take responsibility for everyone elses’ shit.

Everything will be our fault. We will stink and feel bad.

(This is what we do when we take things personally, by the way)



4.) We can use our own shovel to protect our bucket of shit to keep other people’s shit out of our bucket and keep ourselves from giving other people the shit that belongs to us.



Now when it comes to the shit itself…we have some options….


We can hide the shit from the world and pretend that we don’t have shit.


We can go around being stinky and unkind to each other.




We can use the shit as fertilizer and plant the things that we desire to grow in our lives.



What you do with your shovel and bucket of shit is up to you.




Life Lessons I’ve Learned:

This is a work in progress…


  • Whatever you take personally…good or bad…goes into your bucket.

It will either make our shit fertile for growth & plant seeds for us to nurture OR it will weigh down our bucket & weeds will grow.

We get to choose what seeds we plant & nurture. We need to practice this daily.

We also  must become be really good at recognizing weeds & throwing them away so they don’t kill the life growing in our bucket.

  • The world is full of shit-flingers.

If anyone is ever mean, cruel, nasty or downright evil toward you, EVER….they are flinging shit at you from their bucket.

If you take it personally you are adding their shit to YOUR bucket.

Use your shovel wisely against shit flingers, protect your bucket.


  • Our focus / attention and how we think about our shit, determines how much shit we have.

Our shit is are far less about what happens to us and mostly about what we tell ourselves about shit.

If we see humor in our shit, acceptance of our shit and take responsibility for our shit by keeping it in our own buckets…it is nice and contained and not overwhelming.

We can ask ourselves questions like:

“What can I learn from this shit?”

“What shit do I have control or influence over and what shit is beyond my control?”

“What do I want instead of this shit?”

…and allow our shit to be something productive that is useful and of worth to us making the shit a gift in our lives.


If we focus more on the shit itself than we do on what we can grow from it and in it…we actually can end up creating MORE shit.

How?  By focusing on shit without a purpose (such as venting to release it  / catharsis – an emotional release) it is so easy to find more things to add to it and make our buckets overflow in an uncontrolled way.

For instance, if someone is having a bad day and says, “My life sucks.”

Feeling that way will make the bucket feel really heavy that day….which is normal and fine.

But, often times we all dig deeper into why life sucks and create this huge exacerbated list:

“No one on Facebook “liked”or made comments on my post…no one likes me…I don’t have real friends.

“My kitchen is a mess, every time I turn around there are more dishes for me to wash and the bathroom never stays clean…everything in my life is out of control…I can’t take this.”

“My kids won’t stop screaming and asking questions that I don’t know the answer too and they never sleep…they are driving me crazy…I am a horrible mother.”

“I was late for work yesterday and spilled water all over  myself and looked like I peed in my pants…it messed up my entire presentation.  I let everyone down.”

“I completely messed up a project at work because I didn’t get the updated numbers, my colleagues think I’m an idiot and my boss will probably fire me.”

“Last week my friend got mad at me and said they don’t want to be my friend anymore for the fifth time in two weeks….They will never be my friend again.  I don’t know what to do.”


The list is full of common reasons I have heard for people’s lives sucking.  I’m not making fun of anyone who feels this way or being insensitive.

However, I believe that taking an incident or stress and generalizing it to our entire lives is not accurate and not helpful.

Our lists are often full of assumptions about what is happening or what people are thinking AND they exacerbate problems.

By the time we are done making the list, we’re standing in a mountain of shit up to our necks and we cannot get out.


  • Who we surround ourselves by will have a huge impact on what grows in our bucket.

People who primarily focus on the negatives…what doesn’t work, what could go wrong, why not to try, reasons to give up etc…may be really good people with good intentions, but it is like they are blocking the sun from our buckets and getting in the way of our growth.

They may provide us with rain.  Rain is good, we need it to grow…BUT too much rain will wash away our fertile soil and drown our seeds.  We must choose where we get our rain from wisely.

People who focus on possibility, opportunity and gratitude will only add to our buckets.  They will be like sunshine for our seeds.  And when it is raining, they will help us remember the value of the rain, instead of us focusing on the storm and how depressing the storm is.

These people are the people who doing our best and giving life whatever we can each day…both on the really good days and when it feels like life is working against us.

These people won’t always be shining bright because they are human.  But their outlook on life and their way of being in the world, is a provider of light and warmth.