Creating a Space 2

 

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The creation of that space within ourselves from which we can be free to respond sanely to the people, places, things and situations that affect us grants us the greatest gift, a place of inner peace.
Bipolar causes within us a state of emotional turmoil and mental anguish where there is no peace.
For most us we believe the world is at fault rather than ourselves and the illness that consumes us.
Our focus is wrong. The lens through which we view people, places, things and situations is backwards. Causing us to magnify the external and minimize the internal. In other words, to minimize ourselves. Sometimes to the point where we no longer exist. This causes us to react inappropriately because we feel worthless and fear others will find out how worthless we are.
It is only by creating that space within ourselves can we find our self-worth and remove the fear through which we react to the world.
Retraining our minds to focus inwards causes us to have to challenge some false beliefs, like other people or things can fulfill us or denying the idea that we can create this space where we can live joyous and free within ourselves. All we have to do to defeat this false belief is to never say, “I can’t do that”.

To defeat the false belief that others is the route to our happiness, we need to stop thinking that if I had this relationship. Moved to this place. Had this job. This vehicle, then I will have everything. That if things would change I would be all right. Yet, all I need is a change is the only true statement we tell ourselves. As long as we believe that change has to come from something out side of ourselves we will continue with self defeating behaviours. Until we believe that the only worthwhile and lasting change can only come about by changing ourselves. We will not find that space that allows for personal growth and gives us personal freedom.

After overcoming the false beliefs, then the work begins to create that space that we have longed for and not known we were looking for.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

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Creating That Mental Space

between-stimulus-and-response-victor-frankl

The Viktor E. Frankl quote that I used holds the greatest clue I have ever found to learning to manage bipolar. The imputes for this week’s blog was an article on strategies for managing anger written by a Doctor. I could not agree with anything the doctor said in that article. In the past that article would have made me very angry because for me all of the suggested strategies, medication, deep breathing, pause and communicate and the like, never worked in my life and my experience has been that these strategies have not worked for many others. But they are always the go to strategies of the medical profession. I said in the past this article would have made me angry. Did the article make me angry when I read it now? No, it made me sad that things have not changed. The real clue to dealing with all my emotional issues is contained in the Frankl quote

All people, places, situations and things affect our lives, this is called external stimulus. Responding to external stimulus is the clinical definition of being alive. It is how we respond to that external stimulus that defines our lives. For the most part, as bipolar sufferers, we respond to stimulus badly, that is what bipolar does to us and why we can be diagnosed. Once we are stable, triggers are the external stimulus that we continue respond to in a negative way.

No disrespect to Mr. Frankl, but he was definitely not bipolar. If he was he would know that space, he talks about between stimulus and response does not exist in a bipolar person. Also a bipolar person does not respond to stimulus either, they only react to it. If we do not have that space required to respond to stimulus and only instantly react to stimulus, how do we change that? Because that idea of freedom sounds really good. At least that is question I asked myself when I came across that quote. The idea of the existence of that space offered such a ray of hope for me.

How do we go about this change? We need to learn to create a space within ourselves that allows us to think before we react to the stimulus around us. We then need to learn to respond rather than react. Our proper diagnosis and proper medication has provided that stable platform from which we can learn to create this space and learn to respond rather than react. We can learn to create that space from which we can grow and become free with a lot of practice and help from our support team.

Next week we will look at the mechanics of creating that space in which we can live and from which we can grow and become free.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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

I am trying a new feature of sharing sites that I have found helpful in my search for information on Bipolar.

Bipolar Site of the Week:

Welcome to the Bipolar Blogger Network!

Two Steps Forward and One Back, Part 2

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In last weeks post I started a thread on triggers and learning personal crisis management. When we seek help we are in crisis. If we weren’t facing some form of crisis we would have never sought help in the first place. Some of us had help forced on us by our behavior, but even then, if we can grasp the truth that we have an illness we can take the help offered. To put us into crisis there has to be a cause. Since everything today has to have a technical title these causes have been renamed triggers.

What are triggers? Triggers are the external issues that cause failure in any management system. If we try to manage anything, people or things, there will be issues that come up that cause the management system to fail. That is just a fact.

To land us in crisis, the way we were managing our lives has to have failed. The real truth is our illness precludes us from learning to manage our lives. Most of us were always envious of those that leaned to manage themselves, their emotions and their lives. While we always seemed to make a mess of things. That is not our fault, we now know we were ill and you just can’t blame a sick person for how things turned out. I do not consider drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs, or not taking our prescribed drugs as prescribed, or not taking them at all, as triggers. They are just a continuation of our same sick behavior. We have to stop the sick behaviors and learn totally new behaviors.

To deal with our bipolar we need learn what triggers us. We can only learn this by keeping records, such as journaling and mood charting. We also need to build a way to communicate our issues so that others can help up learn new strategies. We need to build that helpful, non-judgmental support into our lives.

It is by learning crisis management that we learn what our individual routine management needs to be. This is a point that is never stressed enough. We come seeking help in crisis and therefore it is crisis management we need to learn. We need to learn what triggers us and how to either meet those triggers head on or avoid those triggers entirely and which is which. This becomes the basis for our routine management system, what I call dancing with our illness.

What triggers us individually you have to find out for yourself but some common triggers that cause a relapse of symptoms for many are:

  • Poor sleeping patterns – this is the largest cause of relapse for bipolar sufferers.
  • External stimulation – crowds, loud music, noises, traffic.
  • Stress of any kind
  • Arguments and conflicts
  • New Children
  • Loss of relationships, jobs, material things, our identity.
  • Death of any kind, people, either close or distant, or animals, pets or wild.
  • The change of seasons
  • Poor eating habits

There many more triggers, too many to list. I often think of the Tony Arata song, “The Dance”, that Garth Brooks made famous. The chorus always makes me think of how I learned to dance to with my illness, by learning to avoid this trigger or learning to overcome that trigger. Mostly learning how to dance with all my triggers. I have learned that: “It’s my life, it’s better left to chance, I could have missed the pain. But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

Today, I am glad I did not miss the chance to learn how to dance with my illness. Yes, there has been pain, I won’t deny that. But I am eternally grateful for the skills I have learned that allow me to deal with my triggers and stop my bipolar from taking over the lead in my life.

That is what we all have to learn how to do. Learn to work through the pain and dance with our bipolar.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

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