Category Archives: False Beliefs and Assumptions

Bipolar Makes Us Ego Driven

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. I write about how to resume our connection with our authentic selves. I write from the perspective of someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, not as an expert. I share the knowledge I have gained in the hopes it may help you.

Having bipolar means a lot of things but understanding having bipolar makes us ego-driven can give us something to watch for and try to correct.

We all think of egotists as those prideful, boastful people and as bipolar sufferers, we have nothing to be prideful or boastful about so we cannot be ego-driven. The truth is our egos explode when we are afraid, feel less than and unworthy. Our ego pops out in subtle ways that make us think that can’t be ego, but it is. Our ego pops out to hide the emotions we feel like a protector in a sick way. Our ego keeps us from learning what normal human emotions really mean and how to handle them so that we can become the person we were meant to be. Our ego does more to separate us from our true self than anything. The fact is anyone connected with their true self has no ego as they don’t need the protection ego provides.

These are the signs you are ego-driven:

Are you afraid to be alone?

Are you defensive?

Are you insecure and doubt yourself?

Are you obsessed with you and your life’s outward appearance?

Are you constantly seeking outside approval?

Are you easily offended by criticism?

Are you arrogant or become arrogant when you feel better than others?

Do you worry about what others think of you?

Do you seek revenge on those that hurt you?

Do you only hang out with like-minded people or people that agree with you?

Do you constantly apologize?

Do you always have to be right or get in the last word?

Do you have to be better than others?

Do you always have to prove yourself?

Do you talk about others (gossiping)?

Do you point out the flaws in others?

Do you bully and intimidate others?

All these manifestations of ego stand in the way of learning to love ourselves and connecting with our true selves.

‘To love yourself, you must be yourself. To be yourself you must believe in yourself.” Ed Mylett.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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 at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 Kenna McKinnon.

The Greatest Skill -Reparenting Ourselves

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. How to resume our connection with our authentic selves. I write from the perspective of someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, not as an expert. I share the knowledge I have gained in the hopes it may help you.

I feel that the greatest skill we can learn on our journey to mental wellness is the skill of reparenting ourselves. As bipolar sufferers we have suffered trauma of one form or another and this has skewed our world view. We have been trapped as hurt and damaged children in our adult bodies. To deal with that skewed world view we need a therapist. To repair our inner child, we must learn to be the understanding and caring parent we never had. I have spent a lot of time on this blog trying to convey the things we need to do to heal that injured inner child that is the make up of most bipolar sufferers when we finally seek help. Recently I came across an article that explains everything I have been trying to say in a clear and concise manner. I have included this article in my blog of the week. I ask that you read this article as it explains everything I have been trying to say better than I have been able to.

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 and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolarcom. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 Maxine Harley

https://lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk/users/3881-maxine-harley/posts/17933-how-to-heal-and-re-parent-your-inner-child

Ten Things to Think about

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.  I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. How to resume our connection with our authentic selves. I write from the perspective of someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, not as an expert. I share the knowledge I have gained in the hopes it may help you.

Although bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it, there are many common traits. This week is I propose ten things to think about on how we treat our best friends better than we treat ourselves.

  1. We can always trust our BFF. Yet, we never trust ourselves.
  2. We would always be accepting of our BFF. Yet, we always have trouble accepting ourselves.
  3. We would never lie to our BFF. Yet, we always lie to ourselves.
  4. We would never judge our BFF. Yet, we are always our biggest critic.
  5. We would always listen to our BFF. Yet, we seldom listen to ourselves
  6. We would always forgive our BFF. Yet, we can’t forgive ourselves.
  7. We would always make our BFF feel wanted and included. Yet, we isolate ourselves.
  8. We would always celebrate the successes of our BFF. Yet, we instantly downplay anything good we ever do.
  9. We don’t have to try to do things with our BFF. Yet, doing anything in our own life is a chore.
  10.  We are always kind to our BFF. Yet we are seldom kind to ourselves.

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 and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com.

Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 Margarita Tartakovsky M.S.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/are-you-making-these-4-communication-mistakes-in-your-romantic-relationship/

I Suffer From Imposter Syndrome

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. I write mostly about somewhere to start in growing and healing. How to resume our connection with our inner selves. Yet with all the knowledge, I have gained in battling my own bipolar disorder I still find things about myself that are quite eye-opening.

Having written this blog for five years with organizations wanting to pay to be part of this site, published a children’s story, with a second in the process of being published and asked to write a book about my take on bipolar disorder, which are all good solid accomplishments. Yet, there was always this nagging doubt in the back of my mind. This doubt that I was not worthy or just a plain fraud. This doubt has been holding me back. Keeping me from fully enjoying these accomplishments and striving for more, no matter what I do. But today I have a name for what is holding me back. It is called imposter syndrome. For me that is important, putting a name to the problem. Marc Brackett of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence said it best, “Labeling your emotions is key. If you can name it, you can tame it.”

That is what I am now able to do, work on taming this feeling that I am an imposter.

What on earth is imposter syndrome, you may ask? “The imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Not an actual disorder, the term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have.” Psychology Today.

That sums up how I feel. Now that the problem has a name, I can find a solution. Having overcome other things that hitched a ride on my bipolar disorder, like addiction and severe codependency. The clinical term is comorbid disorders, but I really dislike that word. “Hitched a ride on my bipolar” paints a better picture in my mind. A picture that shows, yes these are separate things, but they stuck to me because of my untreated bipolar disorder.  

Today, I know that there is a way to root out these deeply internalized feelings that are blocking my connection with my authentic self. I will keep you posted on how dealing with Imposter Syndrome in my life progresses and what tools I use to rid myself of these thought patterns.

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 at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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
Susan Biali Haas, M.D.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/prescriptions-life/201903/make-good-habit-stick-notice-how-good-it-feels

Finding a different starting point

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.

I had to find a different starting point for many things in my life. I had to find a different starting point in the area of meditation than what was being offered me, as none of those ways worked. I had to find different definitions for ambition and success before I could really move forward.

When I read the quote, “Discover who you truly are and fully give every aspect of your uniqueness to the world. This is your path to an extraordinary life.” James McWhinney.

That is what I really wanted, “an extraordinary life” but I only saw one part of what the author was saying, that is “give every aspect of your uniqueness to the world.”. I latched on to that part of the quote and missed the rest. Because I did show “every aspect of my uniqueness to world” on a lot of occasions and all it ever got me was rejected or locked up. So that approach has a real stigma attached to it and “showing my uniqueness” was not my path to an extraordinary life.

What I am writing about is how we, as bipolar sufferers, must look at things that are said and written and then set out for the “so called normal” world. We must recognize that we see and interpret things differently. Even when we are on the path to mental wellness, we must be careful that we are hearing and reading what is said and written and not go by the reaction in our head. When I read things like the above quote I need to slow down and read the whole quote a few times. Then relate that quote to what I know.

For me the path to extraordinary life did lay in discovering who I truly was. I called it “growing my inner child”, but “giving every aspect of my uniqueness to the world” was not part of that path

I am not about show my uniqueness to the world ever again, because my uniqueness to me means me in my illness.  I have worked diligently at discovering who I am so that I can present that person to the world, the sane reasonable person. I find I am not that unique when I am close to mental wellness. I can find sameness or shared ideals with others that do not make me feel isolated, unique and different. Those feelings and actions of isolation and uniqueness are a part of my illness. Always thinking I was different was fuel for my illness.

If I want to carve a path to an extraordinary life, my uniqueness and the stigma attached to that word is not the direction that I need to go in, I need to find a different starting point. On this issue of finding an extraordinary life, I find looking for the sameness with others, especially those I respect, to be the starting point for me.

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 at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 Melanie McKinnon as appeared in BPHope blog.

Due to a technical error this blog is unavailable.

Grow that Inner Child Up Part 1

Image result for inner child quotes

 

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. There are things that seem to be common to all of us as sufferers of bipolar disorder. A couple of those things are our wounded inner selves and the angry, demanding and demeaning voice in our heads. I am not a fan of the term inner child, but it has become quite popular and most people know what I am referring to when I use that term. The other term for the inner child that I have come across is “inner shadow” a term made popular in the book “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels.  Nor am I a fan of the concept that your inner child or inner shadow will always be with you. I believe that we can learn to grow that inner child/inner shadow to adulthood by learning to parent ourselves. The job of a parent, to take an infant and nurture it to maturity. Why can’t we take the same approach to the scared, immature child/shadow that bipolar disorder seems to have created within us and by practicing good parenting skills bring that inner child/inner shadow to maturity?

We cannot even start to nurture and love that scared, immature inner child/shadow without first dealing with that angry, demanding, demeaning voice in our heads. In my case, that voice was what my inner child had been afraid of all along.  First, you must believe as an adult you have the power to change that voice from angry, demanding and demeaning to a loving, caring voice that encourages and never criticizes. Secondly, you must bring in new knowledge and practice shutting down the old voice and introducing the new voice. I will be the first to tell you that shutting down the old voice will cause great inner turmoil in the beginning but battling through this turmoil is worth it.

When I was first told that I could change the voice in my head from angry, demanding, demeaning enemy to a loving, caring, encouraging friend I had a hard time believing it. I also had a hard time believing that voice in my head was not me. I think most of us do because we have lived with that voice for so long. Learning that only about 26% of all people have the voice in their head, their inner narrator, also was eye-opening. That statistic told me that I could even eliminate that voice if I tried and really helped convince me that I was not that inner voice. I am still a long way from eliminating that voice in my head, but I have converted it to an encouraging friend.

For this week I want to conclude by saying that before we can even reach our wounded inner selves we must deal with our inner voice and we will continue that topic next week.

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 Dr.Ellen Albertson

http://drellenalbertson.com/6-steps-to-overcome-fear-and-step-into-your-brilliance

 

Therapy and Self-Talk

 

 

I believe that to manage bipolar disorder effectively therapy is essential. I also believe that when we decide we no longer want our bipolar disorder to rule our lives we become two distinct people. The person who wants to get mentally well and the person we were who resists change.  To over come that resistance we need a third person objective opinion to help us change. That person is a trained therapist. A therapist is needed to help us change our thinking and challenge our beliefs to bring us back to reality.  I owe a lot to the therapists that have helped me.

When it comes to sharing about therapy, I can only share my experiences and what I have learned in the hopes it helps you. I am not a therapist or councillor.

I was miss diagnosed with OCD for many years. Thus, my experience with therapists prior to my proper diagnosis was never good as we were all working on false assumptions. Kind of like trying to fix the tires on a car when it was the engine that was the problem and wondering why it wouldn’t go. Once I received my proper diagnosis of BP1 my experience with therapists changed dramatically.

In therapy, the first lesson I learned was that my self talk fueled my bipolar. What I said to myself fueled both my manias and my depressions. I knew that my self talk fueled my manias before I ever met a therapist. I had described the highs I had (mania) as “being driven by ideas, good or bad” for years prior to being properly diagnosed. The lesson for me was how my self talk pushed me deeper and deeper into depression.

“What I learned in therapy was that myself talk fueled my bipolar, both the manias and depressions”

The second lesson that I learned was that myself talk was based on my irrational beliefs about myself, others and the world around me.

“You will find it difficult, if not impossible to manage your emotions and life while holding irrational beliefs and using irrational self-talk statements.” Lynn Clark Ph.D. From the book “SOS – Help for Emotions.”

Although that is not exactly what my therapist said to me, it is close. This is when my therapy experience turned into beneficial work. My therapist and I had to find out what my irrational beliefs were and how they affected my self talk.

“What I learned in therapy was that my self-talk was based on my irrational beliefs about myself, others and the world around me.”

The third lesson I learned in therapy took a long time to believe could happen. but was talked about in the same session where we discussed how my irrational beliefs drove my self-talk was discussed.  My therapist told me I can remove and replace my irrational beliefs with rational beliefs. More importantly, I can change my self-talk from the negative way I spoke to myself and others to an encouraging, positive way of speaking to myself and others.

“What I learned in therapy was I could change.”

The fourth lesson I learned in therapy was to listen to myself. My therapist had been doing something since that first session that I did not know about until we reached this point. He had been listening for my most often repeated negative words and then counting how many times I used these words in a one-hour session. As this session ended he handed me the page from his legal pad.

It read:

Stupid – 10 times
Dumb – 5 times
Useless – 2 times
Hate – 25 times

In a one-hour session, I had used the word “Hate” 25 times. No wonder I was angry. I also showed what I thought of myself at that moment in time. I was stupid, dumb and useless. Today I know that none of those words were ever true, back then or now.

Then he said, “If this is what you are saying out loud, I can only imagine what you are saying in your head.”

From that day forward I tried to listen to myself. First by listening to what I said out loud and after time to what I was telling myself inside my head. It was only by doing this could I hear and then change the negative words that I used.

“What I learned in therapy was to listen to myself, what I said out loud and in my head.”

I attended regular weekly therapy for two years. In that time, I learned many things about myself. The main thing I learned is that when serious issues come up even today I need that third person objective opinion to help me change. The objective opinion of a trained therapist.

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.

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.

 

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 the link to their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Angela Ayles

http://www.activebeat.co/your-health/13-symptoms-of-bipolar-disorder-are-you-bipolar/

 

 

A Talk On Antidepressants And The Word “Addictive”

Image result for words are important quotes

 

I seldom enter discussions about drugs used in the treatment of mental health conditions for two very specific reasons: 1: I am not a doctor. 2: In the case of my own illness, bipolar disorder, I believe bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it. This means what works for me may not work for you. This applies to meds, the tools I have developed to control my own illness and even how my illness affects me day to day compared to you.

That said, there has been a lot in the media, both regular and social, lately regarding the “Addictive” nature of antidepressants. To such a level it even encroached on my personal life. Which is why I have chosen to write this blog post.

I believe words are incredibly important in our lives, especially around what we tell ourselves, what we say to others that boomerang back into our own mind and what people we feel are authorities tell us.

Since this topic of the “Addictive” nature antidepressants came to affect someone I really care about, causing them to question if they should be taking a medication that seems to be helping them. I want to share what I told this person.

First, I want to state clearly, I am a recovered addict and I take an antidepressant. This gives me the only credentials required to take on this subject.

When the media and even the book learned professionals within the mental health community sensationalize this issue by using the word “Addictive” along with the word antidepressants they are causing a problem for people they have never met. The problem they create is causing people to question “IF.”

“If this medication is “Addictive” maybe I should not take it, even if the medication maybe helping/or could help/ me.

All this doubt based on this one word, “Addictive.”

Let us look at antidepressants and how they are handled. No one is ever prescribed an antidepressant without there being a need. Now I am the first to admit there may be pill pushing doctors out there but these are a rarity not the norm. In normal circumstances, there must be a need for any medication to be prescribed. The key word is prescribed. It is regulated by dose and by the amount taken. Antidepressants are to be taken as directed. Do people abuse prescription drugs? Of course, a small percentage does because of their own issues. Again, this it out of the norm, most people take their medications as prescribed.

The other issue is the word ““Addictive”” which scares people and causes regular ordinary people to imagine they will become one of those people in back alleys with brown paper bags and/or shooting drugs in their veins. This is the image conjured up in the mind of the person I care about after being told that the antidepressants they had been prescribed were “Addictive.”

Having been an addict, I can tell you if you are sincerely trying to overcome your problems and need meds to help, that won’t happen.

In my opinion and in the opinion of professionals I respect this word ““Addictive”” must go because it is not the correct word to use. “Addictive” means there are no controls beyond self-control and if you are an addict you have no self-control.

This is not to say that long term antidepressant use is not without possible side effects. One of the main side effects is dependency. You can become dependent on the medication to get you through the day.

Isn’t dependency and addicted the same thing? No, it is not. Firstly, to become dependent you must be on an antidepressant for a long time. The rules in most of the western world are that to renew a prescription after so many refills you must see your doctor first. A form of control, “Addictive” means there are no controls

To say you “may become dependent on a medication if taken over a long period.” is very different than saying “this medication is “Addictive”.” One way lets a person know there are risks. The other makes the person feel they are personally at risk. One is fact based, the other plays on your emotions, mostly creating fear.

The word “Addictive” must go from our discussions about antidepressants and be replaced with the word “Dependent.”  There has been enough damage done.

 

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.

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.

 

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. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

How to Become a Mental Health Advocate

 

 

Questioning What is Behind Our Thoughts

 

Image result for Strong beliefs

Bipolar causes us to believe things that are flatly untrue about ourselves, others and the world around us. Bipolar distorts our thoughts which are driven by our current needs and our past experiences. What we believe to be our current needs and our past experiences are tainted by the false beliefs we have accumulated, the perceived slights we have received and the resentments that we hold. This in turn gives us overboard emotional responses causing absurd actions and leaves us with bad results.

Our thinking drives the wheel that leads to our results, if our thinking is wrong we have no choice but to have bad results. But our thoughts must be based on something and that something is all our past encounters, either through what we have heard, what we have seen or what we have felt. We have allowed these encounters to collect in ourselves without ever questioning their validity. We have not put our lives through the true or false test. We have just lived our lives without posting a guard on our subconscious, the place where all this information is stored and used, for and against ourselves.

We also have a design flaw that makes fixing this false thinking even harder to correct because all our data collection (our five senses) that our past experiences and on which we base our needs bring everything from the outside inwards. Yet what we need to fix is inside and it is an entire paradigm shift to turn your data collection inwards to make your senses a garbage removal detail and then do guard duty to keep you in reality. Yet that is what we must do, look inside, hear ourselves, smell our fears, touch our own hearts and learn what hope tastes like.

First, we must understand what our shared illness does to us. How our disorder twists and makes sick what we think is our current need. How our disorder distorts our experiences to isolate ourselves from everything good. In coming to that understanding we quickly realize that although medication can and will stabilize us, it will never fix us

My experience with my own disorder and in my discussions with others who have worked hard to overcome their own bipolar disorder, has led to a belief that bipolar takes one or more of our normal human needs and blows it all out proportion

Human needs can be broken down into a few broad categories, those needs that connect us to others, those that are for our physical well being, those that keep us honest with ourselves, those that allow us to play, those that give us peace and personal autonomy and those that give our lives meaning.

In most cases what happens is our bipolar disorder usually takes some of our normal needs to connect with others and blows them up so badly that that need can never be satisfied. In my case it was my needs for acceptance, appreciation and belonging. Causing me to feel that I was never accepted, appreciated or that I never belonged, even when I was accepted and appreciated and worse when I was included but pushed everyone away. This caused all sorts of bizarre reactions in my life to the point of almost destroying it.  For another person that I know well, it was the need for safety, security and support. This unfulfillable need for safety and security and support caused this person all kinds of grief in their life, they could never have enough money saved and could never spend any, they horded things and sucked the life out of everyone they met.

It is by recognizing what our bipolar disorder does to what are supposed to be normal needs and the unbelievable, unreasonable expectations that these unfillable needs cause in our lives that makes our lives so out of control. It is by bringing those needs back to reality that we can gain control of our disorder. It is only then that load of garbage, the false beliefs, the resentment, that created our thoughts can be removed and we can have real peace and serenity.

I have linked The Center for Nonviolent Communication’s Needs Inventory to this blog for anyone who wants to look at this idea of out of proportion needs for themselves.

https://www.cnvc.org/sites/default/files/needs_inventory_0.pdf

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.

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.

 

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. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

#positiverolemodel

 

A Questioning Attitude for 2017

 

Let’s start 2017 with a question, or a series of questions. Let us start the year with a questioning attitude that keeps us questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes all year long. Questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes leads to change and 2017 is a great year to change ourselves.

When someone speaks of managing bipolar disorder, they speak of eating right and physical exercise. Why are nutrition and exercise spoke of more often than fixing our thinking and feeding our minds things of a positive nature for a mental illness? Is it not our minds that are sick?

Why is the pain that causes many of our bizarre behaviours and addictions never identified as spiritual pain as expressed by our emotions?

Why do so many people think that taking medication is enough to manage bipolar disorder?

This first question is my aim for 2017, to speak out about feeding our minds. Changing our thinking is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. I am not negating proper nutrition and exercise. I just want to put the importance of each in the right order. What we feed our minds with bipolar disorder can be more important than what we feed our bodies. Training our thinking can be far more important than training our muscles. We are dealing with an illness of the mind; we need to concentrate on healing our mind.

There is mounting scientific evidence that developing a strong spiritual self is helpful in dealing with bipolar disorder. It is becoming evident that the pain that drives our bizarre behaviours and many of our addictive ways is spiritual pain as expressed by our emotions. Our emotions are the only way to express pain, be it physical, mental or spiritual. It is impossible for emotions to express pain as emotions are the vehicle of expression, not a location like mind, body and spirit. When people suggest they are expressing emotional pain, they are really expressing spiritual pain.

As we feel pain when we over use our muscles or over tax our minds, we can and do feel spiritual pain. We can also strengthen our spirits, just as we improve our muscles and our knowledge. In strengthening our spirits, we are better able to cope with the ups and downs of our lives.

So many feel that once they find medications that level out their highs and lows and they feel stable that is all they have to do to manage their bipolar disorder. Popping a few pills only gives you a stable platform on which to build. We failed in building the life we wanted because we had no stability. We could play the blame game or be victims of our illness, but in reality our lack of emotional stability stopped us from building anything. Once we have a proper diagnosis and proper medication that gives us some stability we can fully enter the school of life and unlearn all the bad habits that bipolar disorder created in our lives. Replacing them with good habits that allow us to become useful and productive members of society.

Let us make our goal for 2017 mental wellness and becoming useful and productive members of society through constantly questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes, replacing those that lead to false ideals with realistic beliefs and attitudes.

 

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.

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.

 

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. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2017/01/01/few-smokers-with-serious-mental-illness-get-help-to-kick-habit/114511.html