A Propelling Force

Although bipolar disorder is as individual as the people who suffer from it, when we initially seek help we all have the same goal in mind. That goal is “get this craziness out of my head.”  We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We want our suffering to end. I could go on and on with the stock statements relaying the fact we are tired of the pain. The pain in our minds, our bodies and our relationships. Everything about us is painful, our past and our present, our future is looking no better unless something changes. That is why we seek help. It does not matter if seeking help is voluntary or is forced on us by others. Our goal is never mental wellness. Our immediate concern is always the instant relief from the suffering.

When a Pdoc told me that I didn’t get this sick in a day and it is going to take more than a day to get me better, I got very upset. It was that anger that initially propelled me to go beyond the idea of instant relief to the goal of real mental wellness. To move from the suffering towards a life of constant joy, even with bipolar disorder. To persevere through the two-year odyssey to find meds that worked for me and the many more to find my authentic self.

What I am getting at is you must find your own propelling force to move you from that desire for instant relief towards that better life that is waiting for you. I don’t know what that propelling force is for you, but I hope you find it and let it propel you towards that better life that awaits if you work for it.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Wednesday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Thérèse Schwenkler

Warning: Loneliness Is As Bad For Your Health As Smoking 15 Cigarettes Per Day

Are You Majoring In Minor Things?

I think this is my favorite Jim Rohn quote. Bipolar disorder caused me to spend a lot of time and energy concentrating on things that were unimportant to my life leaving me to no time to work on what was important. This seems to be true for most of us that suffer from this illness.

I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what others were thinking and doing. What others thought of me, from my boss to the person six seats down on the bus. Rather than concentrating on what I was thinking and doing. I spent large amounts of time lamenting the past and worrying about the future. Instead of being in the present moment.

The worst part was I did nothing to monitor the thoughts in my head. I never thought that I could argue with those thoughts because I believed those thoughts were me. One of the symptoms of bipolar is racing thoughts. The reason this is such a common symptom is that most of us are under the same impression, that we are our thoughts.

Eckhart Tolle in his book “A New Earth” was the first person I had ever come across who boldly stated, “You are not your thoughts.” Not only did he make that bold statement he proved it well enough that I came to believe it.

Because I came to believe those thoughts in my head were not me I could begin to do the most important thing, monitor and change my thinking. Rather than going with my thoughts no matter what they were I began to question them. I argued with myself, I told my mind to shut up. I waged the most important battle of my life, the battle for my mind. In time I came up with some statements and questions to keep me concentrating on what is important. Like how important is this? Does this matter? Simple things that bring me back to the important things in my life. I learned I could tell my mind to shut up and my mind would actually listen.

In time my mind became this peaceful place where concentration on what was important was not only possible but actually happened. Today, for the most part, I major in the things that are major to my life. The most major being making my life better and better each day.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr. Ellen Albertson

6 Steps to Overcome Fear and Step Into Your Brilliance!

 

Become The Experiment

 

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  As individuals we must find our own way, our own meaning. Finding that path to our true meaning can be prompted by hearing or reading words that sparks change in us or by getting into a situation that makes us change.  Either way, it is only by experimentation that we maintain that change, working daily towards our goal of mental wellness.

Sometimes I wonder what words I can use to reach someone so that they understand what it takes to overcome this illness or even to understand this illness can be overcome. Words that initiate in someone the idea that you can have a great life even with this illness.  Bipolar disorder does not go away, but it can be managed, and the emotional turmoil and mental anguish can be eliminated.

The thing is it takes something, a word, a situation, that makes a person wake up to the fact that change is possible. For me, it took the realization that I spent more time thinking about ways to die than I did about living.  That was the situation that brought about change. What prompted it is a saying; “if you don’t know yourself you will live in poverty and in fact, you are the poverty.” I was so tired of being the poverty.

The problem is How. How do you go from thinking about dying all the time to thinking about living, really living, all the time? And how can you describe it someone else that makes sense to them? Do you use words like willingness, desire, determination, perseverance, endurance, diligence, commitment or decision to describe what you must do to change?

One thing you don’t do is lie and say it is going to be easy. It is definitely not easy. That is why most of the words used to describe the how of change mean “continuing to do something in the face of difficulty.”

I used to say that overcoming bipolar disorder is all about trial and error. From finding the meds that work for us to finding the best way to manage our emotions and overcoming the identity crisis bipolar disorder causes within ourselves. Maybe a better way to say trial and error is experimentation. We need to literally experiment on ourselves to find what works for us, individually. We need to become both the experimenter and the experiment. In that way, we can develop the mindset that allows us to continue in the face of any and all difficulties. And maybe those words “become the experiment” will awaken in someone the idea of how to get on the path to mental wellness.

 

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Douglas T. Kenrick Ph.D.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-murder-and-the-meaning-life/201712/do-you-know-these-nine-varieties-positive-emotion

 

 

 

A Talk On Meditation

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. Therefore, whatever is suggested as a way of managing bipolar disorder and its symptoms or the tools to use for bipolar management, I know those strategies or tools are not going to work for everyone. At best they can only be a starting point for some people.  This is true when dealing with the subject of meditation. The benefits of meditation as a management strategy for emotions have been well studied and proven beneficial. It is the HOW that never seems to be fully described.

Most bipolar sufferers encounter this statement, or something like it, during treatment. “Meditate daily to expand your awareness and to accept triggered feelings by becoming aware of these feelings.”

“That’s all well and fine, but how do you meditate?” Is the usual response.

The therapist or counselor goes on the describe some form of meditation that does not work for the bipolar sufferer, like deep breathing, a form of Vipassana meditation.

The word meditation is kind of like the words art and sport. Most five-year-olds consider their latest finger painting, “art” and many seniors consider lawn bowling a sport.  The same is true with the word meditation. There are many styles of meditation and finding what works for you is a process that requires experimentation.

This was proven quite profoundly in the lives of myself and my girlfriend. I suffer from BP 1 and my girlfriend suffers from BP II. In my own life after much experimentation with many styles that never worked. I created my own style of meditation called Active Thought Replacement which combines affirmations with motion. This is somewhat in the style of Tony Robbins but not as intense.

This style just did not work for my girlfriend, but she did not give up. She took a class that went through eight different styles of meditation, none of which seemed to work for her either. Then she literally stumbled across Guided Meditations on YouTube and she found this type of meditation worked for her. Written guided meditations do not work as well for her so she listens to one or more audios of guided meditations each morning and is noticing better control of her moods and improvement in her handling of life in general. That is the real goal of meditation no matter the style, to create an improvement in our mood control and improve how we handle our lives in general. Moving towards always being peaceful and contented.

As proven by both my girlfriend and myself to get to the benefits of meditation you may have to experiment with many styles of mediation and in some cases, like mine, you may have to create your own.

If you are wanting to reap the benefits of meditation but are struggling with the HOW of meditation and which style is best for you, here are some suggested styles for beginners and their definition.

Affirmations – The best definition of affirmations was given by the late, great Mohamed Ali. “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Combining affirmations with exercise or simple chores is what I practice.

Louise Hay’s “I Can Do It” is a great starting point for this type of meditation.

This can also be described as:

Guided Meditation –  Is defined by Wikipedia as, “a process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher, either in person or via a written text, sound recording, video, or audiovisual media comprising music or verbal instruction, or a combination of both.”

There are many guided meditations on YouTube.

Mindfulness Meditation – This type of meditation is described as “paying attention, in a non-judgemental way to the present moment.”

I found Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, “Wherever You Go There You Are.” a great starting point and explanation of this type of meditation.

Vipassana Meditation – Which is a meditation concentrating on breathing. Breathing out through the nose and in through the mouth. There are many variations of this meditation taught and practiced and whole weekends of silent meditation are done around the world.

Zen Meditation – Sitting meditation is the kind of meditation shown in most pictures. A person sitting serenely somewhere slowly breathing in and out letting their thoughts flow but not capturing any.

This is a difficult meditation for bipolar sufferers and not a great starting point, but I also know a few bipolar sufferers who found this type of meditation helpful.

Christian Meditation –  the word meditate is found 14 times in the Bible. This style of meditation is to meditate on Gods word (Bible passages).

Mantra or Ohm Meditation – This is where you meditate while chanting a mantra or simply the word Ohm, or some variation of these or other words.

Both my girlfriend and I found this form of meditation annoying, but it works well for others we know.

There are many, many more types and styles of meditation. Finding what works for you will require experimentation as it did for my girlfriend and me. When you find what works for you and practice it for a while you will be amazed at the benefits. If you are a bipolar sufferer we both wish for you to find this one benefit we have found from meditation, a quiet mind.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle with bipolar disorder is not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

 

Please subscribe to this blog or check back every Wednesday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Jack Canfield

How to Realize That All Fear Is Created by You

May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month.  Mental Health Month was started in 1949 to bring awareness to Mental Health issues in our society. Each year a theme is suggested this year the theme suggested by Mental Health America is the mind-body connection. To this end, they offer a one-week challenge called the #4 Mind 4 Body challenge.

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/4mind4body-challenge

It took me a long time to learn the interconnectedness of my body and my mind goes far beyond nutrition, exercise and sleep. My therapist friend Greta was the person who taught me to begin to recognize all the signals my body was sending me that my mind ignored and the skill of listening to my body. There are many studies linking mental illness and stress-related gastro-intestinal issues such as ulcers, crone’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome and many others. What I have learned is that my body was sending me signals long before my ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome showed up. That these illnesses were a direct result of me not listening to my body.

Your body is the greatest indicator of danger or comfort if you only learn to listen to your body. This is a skill that is easily learned, all that is required is to become aware of what your body is saying to you. The slightly queasy stomach means something. Learn what it really means.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

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

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

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

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Pavel G. Somov, PhD

Everything is Resilience