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A Garden Full of Flowers

What is the one thing that you love? What is the one thing that you hate? ‘Thing’ has so many definitions and in a broad sense covers the spectrum of anything and everything – no matter how minute, ‘it’ holds great significance. There are positives and negatives everywhere, but incorporating both is what makes for a wonderful life.

There is a yin and yang, a balance, which must be maintained and looked after like a gardener tending flowers in a garden, while shoeing away the insects. The insects, in their own right, share a place in the flower garden, but sometimes become cumbersome to the flowers.

As a ‘caregiver’ to my wife, I am not the gardener in this metaphor, she is. I am the assistant. I assist to make sure meds are available, home environment is full of as much positive energy as possible, recognizing when too many negative points are around, and reading the signs of depression or bipolar, or both. (I also try to make sure our kitty isn’t too bratty….she has a mind of her own!)

One constant I have witnessed during the five years we have been together is the addition of as many hobbies, friends, and family as possible. These may be viewed as different types of flowers as stated in the metaphor. Each of these positive aspects almost always grow with a negative, the insects in the metaphor. The trick is to focus on what makes the positives, in point of fact, positive; likewise with the negatives. As the gardener, you have every right to maintain the soil as you see fit.

A negative I have too often seen is that of imbibing on what the latest and greatest craze from friends might be, only to see it flit away to the next latest and greatest fad. This is tough to get through, as change can be very difficult to acknowledge.

Change can be overcome with help from the before mentioned constant positive ‘thing’, or things, whatever ‘it’ may be. For my wife, the addition of a cat, card making and playing in a band are her most popular ‘things’. They have reigned in her negatives, and each resulted in something very positive. If you notice, one is shared (the cat), one is solitary (card making), and one involves many people (the band) – a contrast, resulting in a balance.

Remember to stop and smell the roses. You will find that if you take the time, there are many wonderful flowers waiting to bloom! One mustn’t be afraid of the thorns on the roses or the insects on the flowers – these are the balances in life – and what a great life it is, when we find those positives.


I am a 44 y/o woman with bipolar. I was diagnosed in 1996 it is now 2014. It has been a long journey.
I had my first of many breaks after I was treated with amitriptyline an antidepressant. My doc or myself didn't know I was bipolar at the time. During that same time I did a diet called the master cleanser. I had a full blown manic episode. I was treated at Tulane medical center in New Orleans. The staff there gave me so much information. Tulane told me that from my history I had bipolar for a while and taking the antidepressant triggered a manic episode. The diet triggered a severe chemical imbalance. Then to top it all off I had a 1 and 2 year old. I was working full time. My husband at the time was working full time and going to school full time. My doctor also told me that since I had my children back to back it contributed to the manic episode as well. The vulnerable period for post partum pshycosis is 18 mos.
I had a long journey of ineffective meds and contrary to popular belief I took the meds as prescribed always.
My last break was 9 years ago. I started on a regimen of lamictal a mood stabilizer and geodon an antipsychotic and they work very well.
I am great now!! My circle is small but very supportive. My kids are grown and in college and doing well. I have my brother and godmother that loves me. Last but not least my fiancé that helps keep me on track. Almost 9 years at the same job. The meds help but it's love and support that helps the most

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