The Viktor E. Frankl quote that I used holds the greatest clue I have ever found to learning to manage bipolar. The imputes for this week’s blog was an article on strategies for managing anger written by a Doctor. I could not agree with anything the doctor said in that article. In the past that article would have made me very angry because for me all of the suggested strategies, medication, deep breathing, pause and communicate and the like, never worked in my life and my experience has been that these strategies have not worked for many others. But they are always the go to strategies of the medical profession. I said in the past this article would have made me angry. Did the article make me angry when I read it now? No, it made me sad that things have not changed. The real clue to dealing with all my emotional issues is contained in the Frankl quote
All people, places, situations and things affect our lives, this is called external stimulus. Responding to external stimulus is the clinical definition of being alive. It is how we respond to that external stimulus that defines our lives. For the most part, as bipolar sufferers, we respond to stimulus badly, that is what bipolar does to us and why we can be diagnosed. Once we are stable, triggers are the external stimulus that we continue respond to in a negative way.
No disrespect to Mr. Frankl, but he was definitely not bipolar. If he was he would know that space, he talks about between stimulus and response does not exist in a bipolar person. Also a bipolar person does not respond to stimulus either, they only react to it. If we do not have that space required to respond to stimulus and only instantly react to stimulus, how do we change that? Because that idea of freedom sounds really good. At least that is question I asked myself when I came across that quote. The idea of the existence of that space offered such a ray of hope for me.
How do we go about this change? We need to learn to create a space within ourselves that allows us to think before we react to the stimulus around us. We then need to learn to respond rather than react. Our proper diagnosis and proper medication has provided that stable platform from which we can learn to create this space and learn to respond rather than react. We can learn to create that space from which we can grow and become free with a lot of practice and help from our support team.
Next week we will look at the mechanics of creating that space in which we can live and from which we can grow and become free.
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.
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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.
I am trying a new feature of sharing sites that I have found helpful in my search for information on Bipolar.
Bipolar Site of the Week: