Time for MY STORY
Let’s see…. to make a long story (NOT) short…… hmmmmm…. much to tell. I hope you hang with me. 🙂
I’m writing this story today in the hope that I may be able to help even one of you, who may be stuck in a land of mental imparity. What I mean by that is: mental “illness” is a state of being. But does NOT have to be your “forever story”!
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) a number of years back. What a DARK period of my life!! I wouldn’t wish it on my most dastardly enemy…. I “bought into” the diagnosis, went on the meds, & lived a nightmare for several years.
Let’s take a look at that period of my “being” bipolar, then we’ll step back & see what led up to that point in my life. So, after the diagnosis, I began to see a psychiatrist. He would meet with me on a regular basis and we’d talk for awhile, he’d adjust my medication, and I would leave his office every time feeling crazier than when I went in. Hm. It was not made clear to me by this Dr. that therapy for a mood disorder was twofold: medication AND psychotherapy, or counseling. I thought he was my “counselor”, but OH NO…. ’twas not the case! As a result, I ended up just medicating myself & not really getting the help I needed. The meds really messed with me (as any of you on mood-stabilizing drugs can probably attest to), and had me in one big, hot mess! In an attempt to make this long story short(er)… I went in and out of mental health facilities on a couple of occasions, was extremely suicidal, got to the point where I literally could not FORCE myself to get out of bed, and also ended up losing custody of 2 of my children.
Surprised??? Those of you who know me as the bubbly, happy, “self-help guru” of today would probably never have guessed that was a part of my past, huh? That’s why I’m here! To give a testimony… to bust the myth of mental illness. I call it the “mental illness trap”. And I truly believe with all my heart that is what it is. It is a dark, murky, disgusting mire that drags you down & keeps you there, like quicksand. If you lose yourself completely in it… you are truly lost for good. But I’m here today to tell you it definitely does NOT have to be that way! There IS a way out! I know because I found it. 🙂
So let’s take a look at how I arrived at bipolar-land. Most of my entire life I have been what some people love to call “flighty”. Forever, exhaustingly, changing jobs, homes, boyfriends (& yes… several husbands), churches, etc. No “stick-to-it-iveness” whatsoever! This obviously has caused much drama and stress in my life, and especially in the lives of those whom I love dearly. (INSERT: a thousand, billion thanks & kudos to my sister, Julie, for always being there for me to pick up the pieces… bless her beautiful heart!!!) All of this led me to question, like ALL the time: “What is WRONG with me?!?!?!??????” Therefore, I eventually did search out a “real reason” for my being the way I am… and the long road of looking for answers led me to bipolar disorder.
NOW. I want to share how I got OUT of that ugly trap. I literally “quit” bipolar disorder, cold turkey. !!!! I will never, ever forget the day… (what was it again??)… oh yeah!! August 6, 2005. Or was it August 5, 2006……. 😉 ANYWAY. I just woke up one day, sick to death of my “no life” life, and decided it was time to change. Had to be done. Not necessarily for me, at that time, but for my kiddos. I still had little Sarah to look after, and the hopes of getting the other 2 back one day. Just like with any other thing people quit cold turkey, you have to, as my friend says, “get pissed off enough about it to say ‘enough’s enough’!!!” (That’s a lotta “enough”s!) 😀
What I actually did that morning was [*gasp!!*]… take personal responsibility. :O Some of you may be saying, “What’s that?” And if so… Ima slap you in the face! Ok, just kidding. But seriously, I realized I had been using my “disorder” as a scapegoat, to avoid taking that personal responsibility. I was blaming anyone and everyone else for the mess I had made of my life! It was time to bite the bullet, so to speak, and admit I was the one & only cause… and then to do something about it.
As with any “hole” you create in your life, by quitting something or whatever creates it… you need to FILL it with something else. That’s the ONLY way to get passed the hell, and get through to the other side. So I filled myself with self-help reading material. Thank goodness! The BEST thing I learned, and what I believe was the crucial piece that moved me forward in the healing process, was……………….. drumroll, plz……………….. Positive Affirmations!!
You are what you think. And as Mike Dooley, from The Secret, always says, “Thoughts become things… so choose the good ones.” That’s why I chose at the very beginning to call my articles “Shakti’s Mind Medicine“… everything I write about pertains to the way we think. It’s Oh-So crucial!!!!! I cannot stress it enough!!! And trust me, I’m STILL learning, day by day, because I forget sometimes too.
The affirmations I used back then were along the lines of:
“I love myself. I trust myself. I will be myself.”
“I am restoring my inner radiance so I may light the way for others.”
“I am a child of God. I am worthy of ALL GOOD.” etc.
Nowadays, as the “new, bipolar-free me”… I say things like:
“At my core is a deep well of calm.”
“I am in the center of my power. No attachments. No resistance. No urgency. No agenda. No fear. No expectations.”
“Whatever I need to know is revealed to me, and Everything I need comes to me in Divine, right order.”
Whooooowee! I knew this was gonna be a long one! If you’re still here with me…. thank you 🙂 The last thing I want to add, because trust me, I could go ON and ON and ON……. is something I learned just recently. Looking back at my life, I realize my real problem was always just this: I have always had this nagging sense of dissatisfaction. About life. About everything! As if there was always “something missing”….. if I could JUST find that One Missing Piece….!!!! And guess what?? I have finally learned that life is not about GETTING. If you’re not focused on getting, you’re not missing anything!!! So. What do we focus on? GIVING. And what is the number one, most important thing we can GIVE?
& I love you all very much. 🙂
Thanks for “listening”.
Till next time….
***Medical disclaimer: This article is, of course, only my thoughts & opinions, and never intended to be medical advice. I do not advocate quitting mood-stabilizing meds, or meds of any kind, without the help & advice of a professional. I DO, however, want you to know you CAN live a med-free life!!! Trust in yourself, trust in the Source of ALL, your own Higher Power. And know that I am always here if you want more information or have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org