This has already changed my life. I can tell.
This has already changed my life. I can tell.
“Bipolar is not just a disorder of mood, it’s a disorder of judgment.”
“The Unity pastor suggested that we take a big yellow legal pad, and fill the front and back of a page, every day, for a week, writing “I deeply and completely forgive -________.” I don’t have a yellow legal pad but I do have a lined journal that will work just as well. I am going to take this challenge, because you know what? I want love in my life. I want healing. I want to stop drinking the poison.”
Original post from bipolaronfire.
“The urge was addictive, and I couldn’t think of anything else but ending my life. The ability to see how my death would hurt others was lost to me, and I still don’t quite know why I went back home after two hours. I stopped being angry, I think.
I have never considered suicide when depressed; even thinking about it would be too much effort in that situation. However, anger and panic are what drive me to think such thoughts, to harm myself, to chain-smoke and take more pills than I should. Any type of fear sends me into a blind panic; I just don’t know how to deal with the emotions. Or any emotion, really.”
While my therapist/psychiatrist and I established that I do not, clinically, have Borderline Personality Disorder (a constant nagging fear of which haunts me with surprising regularity), I definitely DO exhibit some serious BPD traits. The above quote from HBG was like a lightbulb for me: it’s not depression that makes me think life is worthless, it’s anger and fear! I’ve discussed my inability to name my emotions before, and with this new insight I feel like I have one more glimpse into the dysregulated organ that is my brain. Now to determine if I’m actually angry in these situations, or if it’s all a manifestation of fear. Specifically, the fear of being betrayed. Well, of being betrayed and not knowing about it. But still.
New goal: let’s separate the three emotions and figure out a better way to respond. Like, now. Actually like, two weeks ago would be nice. But you can’t undo the past, right? Dang it. #dbt.
So strugglingwithbipolar linked to an article about hypomania, which led me to this next article about handling hypomania without obliterating it with medication. First of all, I really don’t like that this guy calls people with the illness “bipolars.” It’s actually really dated to refer to anyone as their disorder, and the current shift to the recovery paradigm in mental health teaches us to respect ourselves way more than that. Regardless, the post is interesting. I was recently medicated for being in a hypomanic state, and I had only been that way for about a week. I told my doctor I felt “crazy” and that I couldn’t control my emotions, but I’m not sure I was truly on the track to mania. Was it better to be safe than sorry? Will I permanently be on a higher dose of medication without actually seeing if I could have de-escalated on my own? I guess I’d rather be here than in a hospital, but I have a great deal of clinical support in place – the hypomanic part of me really wants to see where it would have gone this time.
Which is why I blog. To see just how textbook I am. ;) I told you I miss the mania.
Okay, whew, distracted. Here is the article about hypomania. What do you think? Can “Four Secrets” teach us to reign in hypomania and use it to our advantage? Is it worth a try?
PS: I think reducing it to four steps is like calling us “bipolars.”
I just posted a comment on Jaen Wirefly’s blog and I thought maybe I’d post it here to remind myself and share the skill with others that may not know it. Jaen is a smart cookie so I’m not saying anything she doesn’t already know, but I know from experience that being a social worker means we learn an incredible amount of skills and it’s impossible to remember them all the time. Espesh when we live with emotional dysregulation ourselves. Anyway, here’s my comment:
“One of the things we can learn to do is name our emotions – we tend to only think of things as “ANGRY” or “devastated ” or “SO HAPPY ” so we think we have a smaller range of emotions. But learning to define our emotions with other names and to distinguish between them, to learn that while we are experiencing SO ANGRY we can also experience other emotions, helps us to let them go and/or respond to them more appropriately. Just a thought!
A brilliant professor of mine said we can learn to see our emotions as if on a ticker tape (does anyone even know what that is anymore, ha) – we can view it separate from our bodies, watch it go by, watch it leave…which then gives us room to see what comes next on that ticker tape. To experience the next emotion…to let go of the one that makes us feel so out of control.