This week I want to start a thread examining the wonky ideas we develop about our basic needs for acceptance, romance and security as manifested in our bipolar disorder. Wonky is a word that encapsulates the meaning I am trying to convey. Wonky means that our ideas about acceptance, romance and security are crooked; off-centre; askew, not functioning correctly; or faulty according to two online dictionaries. That pretty much defines how the instinctive desires of acceptance, romance and security played out in my bipolar life. It was all or nothing, a sick need for total acceptance, a perfect romance and utter security. Through my bipolar disorder, I had developed an overpowering need for total acceptance, a crippling need to be loved, plus unrealistic expectations of financial and emotional security without any personal effort.
According to Dr. Steven Reis in his work “Who Am I” there are sixteen basic human needs that motivate us. If these sixteen needs motivate us and we have wonky ideas about these needs as manifested by our bipolar disorder, we are in trouble. In my personal journey I was in serious trouble because of this. With stability I was able to define the basic needs that most motivated me and with a lot of help, be able to rein these overpowering needs in, to align them with reality most of the time. Then to readjust those needs into a proper order of priority, based on who I really am and what I really value. The value exercise I spoke of in an earlier blog. To find our values and examine our beliefs against the light of reality, I feel, is one of the necessary exercises towards mental wellness.
I am only speaking of three of the basic human needs that motivate us, acceptance, romance and security, as I can only speak of my experience. My wonky ideas on those three basic needs caused much damage in my life. The overpowering need for total acceptance and that crippling need to be loved caused me to be chameleon, changing to fit every situation, rather than being a person of character. I wanted so much to be accepted and loved that I gave away my values, betrayed my principals, took down my boundaries and generally made a fool of myself over and over to the point that I was just a shadow. Almost not existing at all in the realm of reality. I lived in a fantasy world where my wonky beliefs and my illness ran my life, believing people, places, things and situations all conspired against me. In the area of security, both financial and emotional, I threw them out with the water that I used to bath my overpowering need for total acceptance and crippling need to be loved in.
With stability and lots of help from both professionals and non-professionals I was able to examine who I had become, why I was that way and more importantly what I could become if I stayed on the path of mental wellness. That is the hope offered all of us who are willing to battle this illness within us, believing in the idea of who we can become. We do not know who we can become and no one can tell us, either. but it is sure a lot of fun finding out.
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:
Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. http://blogs.psychcentral.com/coping-depression/2016/11/supplements-for-bipolar-disorder/