Category Archives: Happiness

The Last Post of 2016, Direction for 2017

 

 

 

 

It is hard to believe that this is the last post of 2016, every year at this time causes me to reflect on the progress that has been made by this blog and the gratitude I have developed because of creating this blog. To have the support that I have built in my life, both in the professional area and in the non-professional groups and personal relationships, makes me awe struck.  I have more than I could ever have imagined. That, I think, is what 365daysofbipolar is about. Sharing the fact that there is hope, that we can come out of the darkness of bipolar, into an incredible life. We can, if we work for it, find joy and inner peace.

That is the proposed goal and direction of this blog for 2017, to focus on what we need to do to feed our mind and spirits to expose the joy and inner peace that resides in all of us. Yes, joy and inner peace is within all of us, it is not something that is found outside of us and brought in. Joy and inner peace is something that resides within us and needs to found, fanned and brought forth to shared with everyone. Our eyes may face outward, but all the real treasures are found within ourselves. Our journey in 2017, will concentrate on that inward focus and on the stated goal of mental wellness, not concentrating in mental illness. What you concentrate on expands and we want to expand our mental wellness to overcome and manage our bipolar disorder.

The other goal for 2017 is to start the 365daysofbipolar YouTube channel, commencing on July 9th, 2017.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I want to wish you a Happy New Year and a fantastic 2017.

 

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:

 

https://myselfandhealth.com/posts/

 

 

 

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself This Christmas

 

 

I want to share with you the greatest gift anyone can give themselves this Christmas. It is a gift that we may have to struggle for, but it is also gift that once found and practiced will radically alter your life in the most positive of ways. It is a gift you can only give yourself and you don’t even have to go shopping to get it. Because all the best gifts are already inside us.

As Earle Nightingale said, many times: “Because they are free we place no value on them.”

Only those that have practiced and mastered this gift know its true value is worth more to them than all the money in the world. This gift opens the door to real living, without this gift you can never truly live.

This gift is something that, once mastered, will remove great weights from our shoulders.

When I tell you of this gift, you will say that it is wrong, it can’t be life changing, but it is. It is a gift that I cherish every year as I review my year to see of I am moving toward my stated goal of being a better version of “me” from year to year.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is the simple act of self-forgiveness. Learning to forgive yourself is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. When I can forgive myself for the errors that I have carried around for decades that I feel make me a bad person, all that weight disappears and we can find that natural joy that resides in all of us.

In 2017 I urge all my readers to practice the art of self-forgiveness.

Someone is going to suggest shouldn’t we forgive others first? My answer to this is, we need to practice these things on ourselves first so we learn what they feel like and make them authentic before we practice them on others.

Have a Merry Christmas

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:

 

https://powerofenduring.wordpress.com

 

 

Blending Truths and Absolutes

 

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What are our tactics for dealing with bipolar? Herman Gorter’s quote says that our tactics must be based on absolute truths or they would lead to defeat. That is why I shared my three absolutes and my five truths, my tactics for dealing with my bipolar are based on those things and they are absolutely true for me. Thus my tactics seldom fail and even when they do, I automatically reach out to someone to help me find a new tactic to add to my arsenal of tools and tactics that work for me. Failure then, is not really failure at all, it is just a learning experience.

The Five Truths have proven true for myself and many others, but they are usually too general to be absolute truths for everyone. It is only by finding what is absolutely true for ourselves, individually, can we find the tactics to manage our individual bipolar.

I find I can only explain this by telling my story as it relates to  those absolute truths on which to base those tactics, as they are my truths. But i hope to be a guide to help you find your own absolute truths to base your tactics on.

When I began my journey towards mental wellness, I had no tools and no tactics. I had only my illness. What was different? I had made a decision to change because I no longer liked living in this illness. My decision to change was the start of my first absolute, “I have BP 1 and left unchecked my life is a disaster.”  I needed to learn the things that would check my bipolar

Awareness, real awareness, is the beginning of all change. I had been aware that there may be something different about me, even wrong with me, since I was about 8 years old. That, maybe there is something but you can’t quite capture it, feeling.  That does not constitute real awareness. Real awareness is when the problem comes and slaps you upside the head. It is at that point real awareness kicks in. For some of us it took a lot for that to happen. The reason is we have to run out of other people, places, things and situations to blame and be faced with the stark fact we are responsible for what is going on.

It’s like the term, “situational depression.” Meaning if you weren’t in that situation you wouldn’t be depressed. I spent a lifetime being situationally depressed, because I was always putting myself in situations I was uncomfortable in and couldn’t deal with. I never learned to ask myself or anyone else, “what situation am I supposed to be in?” Or more importantly, “how do I stop getting into these situations?” One day there was just too much situation and too much depression, I needed to reach out for help.

One of the sad facts of bipolar is that few people ever seek help when they are manic.

There was nothing I could blame this time; I had done it. I had gotten myself in this predicament and now I needed to find someone to help me get out of this situation. This led me to the collision of my second absolute and my first truth.

To be continued…………………

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.

 

 

 

Armageddon

 

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Armageddon – the end of days, this is supposedly a Biblical or Religious way of thinking. It may be expressed so by many, but for those of us who have placed ourselves solidly on the path to mental wellness we have faced our own personal Armageddon and put an end to the days our illness controlled our lives.

If someone told you that you must give up to get ahead, you would not likely believe them. To have an end to our illness most of us get the idea that if we take our meds we will be just fine. I have said this many times in this blog, this is an absolute fallacy. If all you do is take your meds you are still at the mercy of your mind (thinking) and your emotions. Your mind and your emotions still rule your life and until you learn to rule them nothing will change. This is where the work is and I will say at the outset this is hard, hard work. It is hard because the focus is totally on you and you are the one looking at yourself.

Recently I read an account of US Airways flight 1549 that made an incredible landing in the Hudson River in January of 2009. What struck me was a statement made by the aircrafts Captain, Chelsey Shellenburger.   “One way of looking at this,” he said, “might be that for 42 years I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, and training. And on [that day] the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”

He basically said his years of experience, education and training was what allowed him and his crew to pull off that incredible landing.  How does this apply to battling BP? In the case of controlling our mind and our emotions we have nothing in the bank of experience, education and training to draw on. If you never have tried to control your thinking, your emotions and your reactions to life you have no idea that it can be done. If Captain Shellenburger did not have his experience, education and training that incredible landing would have been an incredible disaster, with the blame laid squarely at his feet.

In relation to our illness, those that say they cannot control their thinking, their emotions and their reactions to life’s situations do so out of ignorance. They have invested no time in the education or training required to understand that there is a real possibility of learning to control their thinking, their emotions and their reactions to life’s situations. They have not reached the point of Armageddon in their lives that makes way for opening that new bank account and put an end to the days when this illness controls their lives.

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

What are your motives at Christmas

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It’s the Christmas season and my inbox is full of tips and tricks on what to do and not to do for our BP during this time a year. My own experience with this season pretty much encapsulates the complete range of these ideas. We can either be depressed, not care – go with the flow, or manic as hell. I have done them all. This particular season seems to lean towards the go with the flow, but having a really bad cold has not helped in revving my engines towards Christmas glee.

Personally, I want to talk about motives. Why we do what we do. I have spent a fortune on Christmas’ past trying to by everyone’s love, or at least someone’s love. Wallace Wattles wrote “that man’s greatest expression of love is in giving.” The unsaid part is that there should be no expectation of love in return with the giving.  I never learned that until recently, I always gave to get. If I gave you something I expected appreciation, if not adoration, in return. I expected to get something for my giving, be it sex or whatever. Where that fits in with our illness I do not know except maybe the selfishness that our illness creates within us. This way of thinking, give to get, is something that is very predominant in my circle of BP sufferers that I use as a sounding board. It may even be the predominate way of thinking in society in general I do not know.

What I have done in my own life by recognizing this motive is to remove that expectation of getting something in return for what I give. This has not been easy and I had to start with something small at first, I chose the Salvation Army Kettles. I was always way too selfish to give money to the bell ringers, there was no reward for me in giving something that I didn’t even get a tax break on. The past few years I have not passed a kettle that I have not deposited something into. In taking that baby step I have been able to expand giving without any expectation of return to other areas of my life. The last to fall of course was in the intimate relation category, family and close friends and last Christmas was a success because I was able give fully without expectation of return. This Christmas will be more so as I have had a year of birthdays and other occasions to practice on.

The more I find the motives for why I do what I do and check them against reality, the more I find I need to change my motives.

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

Why do we give up the things we enjoy?

 

 

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It’s stupid not to try to get back something you enjoy. Nora Roberts.

Having given up, denied or thrown away most of the things I enjoyed in my life and then later coming up with some justification why I no longer have the right to enjoy them. This quote from Nora Roberts book Angel Falls kind of shook me.  I don’t know if this is part of our illness or more part of our low self-worth that comes from our illness.  The reason is actually unimportant it is what we do that is important. In talking to others it seems that many BP sufferers fall into this type of thinking. We feel we have no right to enjoy anything. We use statements like; “I used to enjoy that.” With a wistful undertone. Or feel our whole being light up as we describe how we did this or made that thing. Then feel the liight fade as we say at the end; “it’s too bad I can’t do that anymore.”
In those statements are we looking for sympathy or just lamenting the past?
For me it was a bit of both. The truth is why can’t we get back something we enjoy. Why can’t we feel that joy again that activity brought us? There is nothing stopping us but ourselves. Oh sure, for some activities the requirements may have changed a bit and we may to learn those requirements. We may even have to take a class or two and maybe pass a test. We may have to do some work to get whatever it is we threw away back, but the thing that awaits us is a smile on our face and joy in our hearts when we resume doing what we truly enjoy.

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

Happiness

 

 

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If you blame BP for your predicaments and circumstances this message I hope upsets you and makes you think.

I want to be the first to tell you that if you are doing nothing to overcome this illness and are blaming the illness for your problems then you need to reread this sentence.

The problem is not the illness it is you and your lack of action.

If you are sincerely trying to overcome this illness and are trying to look for happiness the problem may simply be not understanding what you are looking for.

Happiness is only a by-product of something else. There is no such thing as a happy person, it is a fleeting feeling unless the person possess the product that allows happiness to remain. When it comes to happiness there is always a way of feeling that proceeds it and happiness only remains as long as that other feeling is present. No matter how fleeting the happiness the other feeling must proceed it and as soon as that feeling evaporates happiness disappears as well. We can recognize happiness as it overshadows the other feeling and the other feeling remains hidden in the rest of our lives so we think it is happiness that we seek. In reality we seek the other feeling, the bedrock on which happiness is built. That other feeling is called a few names, Biblically it is called peace, in modern terms it is called contentment. If you search the happiest times you can remember, no matter how fleeting, you will find that you were content as well. For happiness cannot exist without contentment. This is a truth that most of society has not understood. The truly happy person is content before they are happy, it cannot happen any other way.

I lost my humour yesterday

Where it went I cannot say

With it went the light inside

That burns so bright to lite my eyes

Today I woke and fell to pray

In slipped my humour right away

With it came that inner lite

With a whoosh it did ignite

On Gods command I think, right?

j.p.stefanuk published in Island Wonders 2013

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

 

Forgiveness Continued

 

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It is all fine and well to practice the art of forgiveness on others, but it is in forgiving ourselves that we make huge gains but it is the hardest to accomplish.

We have all made mistakes and we have all done things in our illness that in moments of lucid reality almost made us physically sick. It is those things that are hard to put behind us or forgive ourselves for. How many times have we said in our heads?

“I can never forgive myself for, what I did to, how I acted.”

If we think holding something against someone else is making us a prisoner. Being unable and unwilling to forgive ourselves makes us doubly so. This is the one area that can stop our quest for mental wellness and negate any gains we have made.

Forgiving yourself is one of the most important things that we can do and it starts with one simple thought.

“I am no longer that person.”

If we are sincere in our attempts to change then we are no longer that person.

I found it to be the great out that I needed to forgive myself. I was no longer that person. I did not think like that person, I did not speak like that person and I did not act like that person.

When I think or speak about my past lives that is exactly how I do it.

I think and say, “In a previous life.”

I have convinced myself that all that bad crap happened in another life and not in the one I am currently living. This has worked for me. You have to come to place that works for you.

I have had three previous lives that all ended the same way, me very ill and with nothing. I do not intend for this current life to end that way and right or wrong I needed to build those partitions.

I can talk about my previous lives in the context of helping others but I do not have to relive the feelings nor do I have to relive that life.

It is not that I wish to forget the past because what I write about is how I overcame the past and stepped into a very bright future. I have to be able to bring out my past to do that. But to do that I needed to forgive myself first.

That is why I can tell you it is important to forgive yourself and also say it is not easy. But if you want to stay on the road to mental wellness that is exactly what you need to do or you will never stay on the road

Forgive your trespasses as you forgive those that trespass against you.

Jesus taught us to pray that way for a reason. It took me a long time to figure out the reason. I hope I just saved you some time.

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

 

Understanding Happiness

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We think it is happiness that we seek.

If you blame BP for your predicaments and circumstances this message I hope upsets you and makes you think.
The problem is not the illness, the problem is you and your lack of action.
I want to be the first to tell you that if you are doing nothing to overcome this illness and are blaming the illness for your problems then you need to reread the above sentence.
If you are sincerely trying to overcome this illness and are trying to look for happiness in a life that has held very little of this quality, take heart, the problem may simply be not understanding what you are looking for.
Understand that true happiness is only a by-product of something else. When happiness comes into our lives, there is always a way of feeling that proceeds that happiness. That happiness only remains as long as that other feeling is present. No matter how fleeting the happiness may be the other feeling must proceed it and as soon as that other feeling evaporates happiness disappears as well. We all easily recognize happiness so we think it is happiness that we seek. There are thousands of places to look to find the formula for happiness, but few that lead you to find the feeling on which happiness depends. We think, and are told, it is happiness we seek. Seldom, if ever, are we told to seek and cultivate the other feeling, the bedrock on which real happiness is built. That other feeling is called a few names, Biblically it is called peace, in modern terms it is called contentment. If you search the happiest times you can remember, no matter how fleeting, you will find that you were content as well. For happiness cannot exist without contentment. This is a truth that most of society has not understood. The truly happy person is content before they are happy, it cannot happen any other way.

I lost my humor yesterday
Where it went I cannot say
With it went the light inside
That burns so bright to lite my eyes
Today I woke and fell to pray
In slipped my humor right away
With it came that inner lite
With a whoosh it did ignite
On Gods command I think, right?
j.p.stefanuk published in Island Wonders 2013

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