We continue our series from last week of getting to you the person, not just the “patient.” Here’s an interview with member “Bradley25,” a member of our PatientsLikeMe Mood Community who was interviewed for our January newsletter. Read on to learn more about how comparing his condition over time has helped give him hope as well as his goals for 2011 . Enjoy!
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|(Amy) Where do you find hope?|
|(bradley25) I find hope when I look at my continued progress. When I look back and compare the severity of my condition over the years, I am amazed at how far I have come.
Fifteen years ago, my life was a complete wreck. I was in and out of the hospital and had trouble holding a job for more than a few months. Ten years ago, I had many of the same problems but life was improving from a treatment plan that I held. Within the last five years, I have found a good doctor and am properly medicated.
Although life isn’t perfect today, bipolar disorder no longer controls my life, and I find it interferes less and less with my job, social life and daily routine.
|(Amy) What was the highlight of your holidays?|
The holidays did not go so well for me this year. I had fun spending time with the family and seeing some old friends, but my family visit was a little too long and I was ready to leave shortly after my plane landed. Unfortunately, this year’s holiday highlight was the return trip to the airport since I knew it would not be long until I was back in my own home.
|(Amy) What are you resolutions or goals for 2011?|
I made some drastic changes to my life in July and plan to continue to work towards these goals. The most important change I have made in my life is sobriety. I am clean and sober and have been for the last six months. This change was a long time coming and is the largest obstacle in my long-term physical and mental health. Although it is often difficult, I notice many positive changes in my attitude and overall health.
|(Amy) What are you most interested in learning from other patients this year?|
I find I offer advice to patients more often than I listen. Offering advice helps me; it makes me think about what I am suggesting. More often than not, I find I offer good advice that I do not necessarily follow myself. Hearing the words come out of my mouth can cause me to think about why I may not be doing what I am suggesting and to make changes in my own life.
|(Amy) Thanks so much for sharing, bradley25!|