Angry

I’ve had a dip and I feel a little bit like I’m losing ground. Mostly this dip is making me feel all sorts of angry.

I’m not a negative person. But negative thinking and self-talk are a by product of Bipolar Disorder and I’m learning to counteract them but keeping a wellness journal and reminding myself that in spite of everything I’m still a good person. But sometimes even when I have best intentions and even when I try all of my strategies I still feel angry.

Here’s why:

I’m angry at myself for going my entire life and not recognizing that what I just assumed was who I am was actually symptoms of bipolar disorder.

I’m angry at friends who have turned their backs on me. Sure what I’ve gone through, the choices I’ve made, the reactions I’ve displayed, the secrets I’ve kept are uncomfortable. They may challenge your values, you might even judge them. But here’s the thing why would you walk away from someone during their darkest hours? For the record judgement is just fear. So you’re not better than me but something about me elicits a fear response in yourself.

I’m angry because I can’t shake feeling angry, and being emotional even though I’ve been in a really good place since my hospital stay.

I’m angry because my medication increase happened on Friday and I’m not feeling calmer just tired and angry.

I’m angry because I cried on the phone when a friend called me and asked how I was doing and for one of the first times I wasn’t able to just put on a brave face and say “pretty good.”

I’m angry because in a heightened emotional moment this afternoon my travel coffee mug broke on the driveway… confession, I threw it on the ground because the actual mug when I picked it up triggered such strong physical response that I felt like I was going to be sick so I acted without thinking.

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I’m angry because I’m struggling with past choices. I want to just forgive myself, make peace with my past and move forward but I can’t.

I used my journal today to remind myself to breathe. To show myself compassion and self love and pray that tomorrow is a new day and I feel less angry.

 

 

 

Distance Between Friends

 

Self blame.  That’s a game that I am really good at. When things go wrong I take all the blame. I over analyze what went wrong, what I could have done to change things and what I am going to do to fix it. Often it comes in the form of a long written out justification/apology, baked goods, gifts,  flowers, coffee, sometimes even more elaborate and expensive gifts.

Why do I do that? Obviously a relationship is a tide. An ebb and flow. Sometimes one person needs a little more and the other person can offer that and sometimes it’s the reverse. It works the same in tough times. Sometimes one side demands a little more and the other side has more to give. Without keeping score, it always seems to balance out. I guess this is the key to a healthy relationship.

Sometimes though, the relationship isn’t healthy. One side demands a little too much and it cause the other side to break. Sometimes one side is really doing all the giving and the other side taking. Sometimes one side doesn’t make sense or is downright shocking.

Sometimes one side walks away when the other just really needed them to be there. To put aside their values, judgements and lack of understanding. They just needed them. It’s important to put yourself in their shoes. To reflect on their backpack so to speak of life experience. Where they have come from, their value systems, their insecurities and the internal and personal difficulties they are experiencing.  You never really know what is going on with a person.

It happens.

Distance between friends. It’s a thing. But I’m learning that it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Absence can make the heart grow fonder, we’ve heard that before. Or time heals all wounds that makes sense too.  But what if moving on, appreciating the past moments but recognizing that the future moments will never be the same or not even happen is ok too?  My sister recently told me friendship happens for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” I really loved this and it’s made me come to peace and feel settled with the idea of the distance between.

So rather than feeling sadness, anger and regret I feel light.  I am able to send people, even ones that I feel caused harm, warmth and light and then move about my day.

And I like that.

xo

 

 

May The Fourth – 2 Years Apart

May the Fourth, Star Wars day.  Always a fun day in my home for William and I since we are fans.  Admittedly I love it even more because how much William does.

Facebook memories showed me the photo on the top left this morning from 2 years ago.  The bottom right picture is from today. Not that long ago I would have looked at the old photo and looked at myself now and be upset that I was much thinner then.  I would have tried the shirt on today and immediately remove it in disgust. It would have ruined my day.  I would have been emotional, short with family and friends.  I probably wouldn’t have eaten very much and worked out a ton. I probably would have researched diet options and developed an intense calorie restricted plan. But today I didn’t. Today I proudly wore my same shirt, took a silly photo to represent the joy I am starting to feel.

I did compare the two photos. Blonde hair, bold glasses, and smile.  The girl in the top photo.  She wasn’t actually happy. Things internally, emotionally and in her world were escalating and spiraling out of control.  Control. Control made her feel like life made sense. As she was starting to feel out of control she learned to find it by striving for perfection. She had lost a significant amount of weight but kept losing because she felt that it would make her happy,  desirable. It would make people want to be around her and love her . As mentioned before her greatest fear is the fear of being alone.

The girl in the bottom photo is about 15 lbs heavier but she doesn’t care. Or at least she tries not to care. She’s learning that people don’t love her because of her hair colour, or size or what she puts on even though she had been made to feel that was important. She sees that people don’t love her because she’s perfect, but rather because she’s not. They love love love her because she’s quirky.  She’s mischievous and full of spark. They love her because she’s fiercely loyal and values their presence in her life.

Today’s theme was really about reflection. Reflection is so important. It’s not the same thing as dwelling on the past. Rather it’s taking inventory on where you were and where you are in this moment and where you want to go. I have to say I like where things are going.

 

The Positive Side of Bipolar Disorder Series One: The Feels

“Bipolar disorder is a severe and debilitating psychiatric disorder with an unpredictable course and a high impact on social and occupational life.”

While this is a true description of Bipolar Disorder it’s also severe and harsh because the truth is, for all of its darkness there is an equal amount of light. Yes, I am saying that there is a genuine positive side to Bipolar Disorder.  I’m not going to list all the great things right now about having Bipolar Disorder but rather I want to do a series and highlight one at a time.

The Positive Side of Bipolar Disorder Series One: The Feels

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Some might see this as a curse. To feel everything with intensity. But I say it’s a gift. Picture the colour purple. To you it’s just purple, maybe the hue is slightly red or maybe a little bit blue but you haven’t really stopped to think about it. To me purple can be soft and velvety and smells like baby powder. It can be electric like the indigo lightning streaks you see over the ocean at night.  Purple feels like gelatin if you stick your fingers into it softly it bounces back and it’s coolish to the touch.

Feelings work the same way with the same level of intensity that I would perceive a colour. I feel with depth and intensity and this makes me a very empathetic person. In a manic or depressed state I will admit I tend to be more self-centred but when my mood is optimal my empathy game is on point.

I am an excellent listener and often I can gauge if advice is needed or just a shoulder to lean on.  I’m sensitive to the feelings of people around me. Sometimes this one is a struggle because I tend to take on the feelings in the room, and sometimes I get self-conscious that I’ve caused the mood that you are in. Often I can sense your mood even if you aren’t sharing it or you are denying it. This can work well for you because I can cheer you up without you having to ask!

I am naturally giving.  If I have it to give you I will. I like to do things just to make you smile. That might be baking you my most amazing banana bread, sending you flowers, or dropping by with a coffee or tea just because. I’m an excellent gift giver. My gifts are with intention and really have you in mind.

When I pay attention to it (ha!) I have good intuition. My gut feelings are strong. My heightened feelings allow me to understand even if I haven’t directly experienced what you are going through. I can easily put myself into your shoes and see it from your perspective.

I forgive easily because I have gigantic heart that is filled with love. I just want to love the people around me and let them know that I care.

I think the range of emotion I feel the highs and lows have taught me to appreciate that the two can co-exist. That the darkness really allows you to appreciate the light. That struggle and sorrow always pass and happiness is waiting on the other side.  Some people see feelings, sensitivity and emotion as a weakness.  Not me, I see it as strength.

 

 

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