Growing from Seed

 

Bipolar8

 

Today’s blog is something from my collection of short messages I used to send to friends on a particular internet forum. This past month has been difficult. The fact is I am struggling even with all the initiatives I take. How I know I am struggling is that I cannot think well and deleted the blog I wanted to post today. My apologies

Last fall my roommate collected a bunch of acorns off of the neighbours Burr Oak tree, which we planted and nurtured all winter in our apartment. This spring we moved then out on to the balcony. They have thrived there and last weekend we met someone who had purchased some land and they were looking for trees. So we took our oaks and planted them in the good prairie soil. Since my roommate and I are both 60ish it is not likely we will live to see these trees mature, but that is not the point we started them and in time someone will marvel at these trees when they are huge. As my roommate and I marvel at the neighbour’s oak tree at this present time.

What does this have to do with BP? Well, its like this, when we plant the seed that we no longer want to live in the cycle of depression and mania, we have to nurture that belief into a strong faith that what we want will happen. It takes time and effort but eventually we mature and learn to control our minds and emotions. And one day we marvel at how far we have come and have a strong belief in how far we can go.

Remember if you want to change your life action is required. You can think and dream about your life all you want. But unless you actually do something things will stay the same.

Today, in 2016, even as slow growing as oaks are these trees are over 2 feet tall and have a wonderful home where they are well cared 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.

 

How I Use the Quotes of Others

 

muhammadali

 

What do you use to build direction and focus in your life?  In general, it is difficult to have meaning and direction in a bipolar life. We are like race cars most the time, we may not always crash but we are usually on the edge and it is not us driving, our illness is driving our lives. Having lived for too many years as a rudderless ship and always winding up on the rocks, I made the decision to find a better way. Since I can only share my way, I would like to hear the way others have found to give direction and focus in their lives.

My way of keeping focus and direction in my life is to use quotes of others as my touchstones and directional beacons. It is also why I diligently search out and include some relatable quote each week with my blog.

I find words and their meaning very important to my mental wellness. When someone early on in my recovery suggested that meditation could help focus my mind, I looked at the word and went in search of what the word meditation means.  Most people are told something and do it, I want to know what I have been asked to do means before I embark on the doing. In my search for the meaning of meditation that worked for me I came across James Allen and his definition of Meditation:

“Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought, upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon you will not only come to understand, but will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self. If, therefore, you constantly dwell upon that which is selfish and debasing, you will ultimately become selfish and debased; if you ceaselessly think upon that which is pure and unselfish you will surely become pure and unselfish.”

In meditating on the idea of mental wellness through affirmations, directing my thoughts strictly on those lines I began to become mentally well.

In the ending of every one of my post I insert Jim Rohn’s quote, “work harder on yourself than anything else.”

What does it mean to “work harder on yourself?” To me it means to make yourself a better person than you are right now and have been in the past. There is another quote from a great teacher that I put alongside the work harder on yourself idea that gives some guidance as to what we should be working on. “Know yourself and you will be known. Do not know yourself and you will live in poverty. In fact, you are the poverty”

I lived the poverty that bipolar brought into my life and as James Allen and the above quote suggested I became that poverty for a long time. That is how I know these statements are true. So is the fact that the more I know myself and how my bipolar affects me the easier it is to be known as a person who is constantly managing my bipolar and I no longer live in that poverty or am I impoverished.

To put myself into the driver’s seat and take control of my life I had to do as Mohamed Ali suggested, meditate over and over on those meaningful quotes, using them as affirmations. When those affirmations became beliefs and then became deep convictions things began to happen in my life.

What are you doing to make wonderful things happen in your life?

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.

 

Today is Mental Health Day. It is also Thanksgiving in Canada.

 

download-11

 

Today is Mental Health Day. It is also Thanksgiving in Canada. We have a lot to be thankful for in area of mental health awareness, but also a long way to go. As a bipolar sufferer I want to contribute to the awareness of mental health issues. That is the reason for this blog, to help where I can.

Having just went through a three-day blizzard and living under very dark clouds for a week I have found it difficult to not let the blues in at some level. Realizing that this is part of my illness helps. I also know that I can take the initiative against these feelings and get up and get moving. I know today I do not have to fall down and stay there, I can get up. I know it is ok to fight these feelings they do not have to run my life.

How do I know I can take the initiative against these feelings?  How do I know I can fight these feelings? The reason I know that I can take the initiative and fight these feelings is I have practiced over and over forcing myself to get up. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. Then I kept records of when I was able to overcome these feelings and along with my regular mood charts.

I want to share with you what I have learned.

There are proactive things you can do when fall comes around. I started taking Vitamin “D” a number of years ago, a lot of research recommends this.  I take 1000 IU daily. I use light therapy and start it early. I live in an area where in summer daylight is better than 14 hours. In the winter it is less than 8. Once daylight drops to 12 hours I bring out the light.

Mood charting is incredibly important along with journaling. I also suggest checking the weather. For myself, if I see a weather forecast like the last week I know I had better start to mentally prepare. The charts and my journal tell me if my mood is starting to fall.

I no longer lie to myself and in that way I can catch the down turns in my moods early and take action right away. In that way I am less likely to succumb to the feelings.

Is it perfect and wonderful? No it is not. It is after noon and I have still not posted this blog. I have struggled to get the wording for days.  What I can say is that I have learned I can force myself to get up if I catch those feelings early enough. If the feelings have taken over my life, then it is hard to change them.

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.

 

Blog of the Week:

http://bipolarmomlife.com/

Parenting Ourselves

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One of my beliefs about bipolar is that when we seek help we become two distinct people or break into two parts, the part of us that wants to get well and the part of us that we currently are. The part of us we currently are is comfortable with its current thinking and actions, even if that thinking and actions always land us in trouble. It is, after all, all we know. The part of us that wants to get well does not know how to go about getting well and is easily drawn back into the old thinking and old ways of acting but clearly sees this is not the best course. The part that wants to get well is tired of nothing ever working out, not relationships, not jobs, not life.

Now the sage advice, and I even give this advice, is to go to therapy and build a team of professional and non-professional support around yourself.  To study and learn about yourself and this illness we share. I encourage everyone to do these things. I want to add one thing to this list of things we need to surround ourselves with and learn, that is we need to learn to parent ourselves.

I can hear every one going, “What is he talking about, parent ourselves?”

The part of us that wants to get well needs to learn to parent the immature, selfish, self-centered person we currently are. Although I do not buy into the inner child theory, I do know that when I decided to concentrate on mental wellness instead of participating in mental illness I was immature, selfish and self-centered. What needed to change was that immature, selfish and self-centered person I was. The part of me that wanted to get well had to learn how to help the person I was grow up into the man he was supposed to be. That is the job description of a parent, to help someone grow up. Thus, we need to learn to parent ourselves.

I will tell you why I think learning to parent ourselves and using that exact label is so important, these are the attributes of a good parent according to Resource.com, “unconditional love, boundless patience and the ability to set boundaries.” These characteristics are the foundation for good parenting, and all other qualities necessary to raise a confident, empathetic person come from them.”

Do you unconditionally love yourself?

Do you have boundless patience with yourself?

Do you set boundaries for yourself and others?

For the most part, as BP sufferers, the answer is, “no”. We are usually verbally abusive to ourselves, the exact opposite of love. We have no patience with ourselves and we have no boundaries. That is why I put this thought of learning to parent ourselves out there, first to myself and then here. Because if we can learn to practice these attributes of unconditional love, boundless patience and the ability to set boundaries on ourselves, we can maybe in time learn to practice them on others. We need to remember to practice them on ourselves first.

This concept of learning to parent myself led me to look for and find many helpful resources in parenting books and parenting internet searches. I have found learning to parent myself through the good ideas of others really helped me to learn skills that I am able to practice on myself that have improved my life. Skills like how to encourage myself rather than beat myself up. To set boundaries for myself and others and remove the victim mentality I had held for many years, plus many more.

The term parent ourselves may seem strange, but it is no more strange than the great teacher saying we need to be born again. We do need to be born again into a new life of mental wellness, but somebody needs to parent that new born child we become to grow up into the healthy man or woman they are meant to be. The only person that can is you.

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.

 

Blog of the Week:

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