Armageddon

 

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Armageddon – the end of days, this is supposedly a Biblical or Religious way of thinking. It may be expressed so by many, but for those of us who have placed ourselves solidly on the path to mental wellness we have faced our own personal Armageddon and put an end to the days our illness controlled our lives.

If someone told you that you must give up to get ahead, you would not likely believe them. To have an end to our illness most of us get the idea that if we take our meds we will be just fine. I have said this many times in this blog, this is an absolute fallacy. If all you do is take your meds you are still at the mercy of your mind (thinking) and your emotions. Your mind and your emotions still rule your life and until you learn to rule them nothing will change. This is where the work is and I will say at the outset this is hard, hard work. It is hard because the focus is totally on you and you are the one looking at yourself.

Recently I read an account of US Airways flight 1549 that made an incredible landing in the Hudson River in January of 2009. What struck me was a statement made by the aircrafts Captain, Chelsey Shellenburger.   “One way of looking at this,” he said, “might be that for 42 years I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, and training. And on [that day] the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”

He basically said his years of experience, education and training was what allowed him and his crew to pull off that incredible landing.  How does this apply to battling BP? In the case of controlling our mind and our emotions we have nothing in the bank of experience, education and training to draw on. If you never have tried to control your thinking, your emotions and your reactions to life you have no idea that it can be done. If Captain Shellenburger did not have his experience, education and training that incredible landing would have been an incredible disaster, with the blame laid squarely at his feet.

In relation to our illness, those that say they cannot control their thinking, their emotions and their reactions to life’s situations do so out of ignorance. They have invested no time in the education or training required to understand that there is a real possibility of learning to control their thinking, their emotions and their reactions to life’s situations. They have not reached the point of Armageddon in their lives that makes way for opening that new bank account and put an end to the days when this illness controls their lives.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

About The Year Ahead

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This blog is called 365 days of bipolar for a reason, the reason is quite simple. To remind me (the writer) and you (the reader) that our illness takes no holidays. BP is with us every day of this upcoming year and we must learn to be vigilant against it every day.

When we first seek help we come as victims of our illness. If we were not victims of our illness there would be no reason to seek help.  There are many that still do not see themselves as victims of this illness. They just act like victims of everyone and everything, except this illness.  As we build our support team and come to know others with our illness, we see that there are those that are victors over BP. People who live their lives in a way that seems almost normal, yet they admit that they have that dreaded illness called BP. Those who are victors over BP are the ones we are drawn to emulate but, and it is a big “but”, we have no idea how in the beginning. This just gives us some hope that victory may be possible. That spark of hope is all we need to start.

Before we can be anything but a victim of this illness we need to stabilize on proper medication. The second thing is we need to build a support team. Both of these things do not come about over night. For me, it took over a year to find meds that worked and as long to find the right group of people, both professional and non professional to build my team. It takes some less time, and others more, but they kept working on this until they found what they needed.

To go from victim to victor, we need to start working on ourselves at the same time we start working on finding our proper meds and our team. The fact that we have no idea how to do this is of no consequence, we need to start. I did no say there would be no consequences from working on finding our proper medications, support group and stopping to try and fix the world and concentrate on fixing ourselves. There are serious consequences. Your life will change, you will be ejected from where you are comfortable in your beliefs and attitudes on a regular basis. You will be challenged to see yourself as you are right this minute and then shown what you can become if you work for it. All the time knowing that your Bi-Polar will never take a holiday.

All we have is 366 days in 2016 (it’s a leap year), in which we can learn to be victors over Bi-Polar or remain victims. We will have ups and downs; the aim is to have more good days than bad in 2016.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.