Still bipolar

When I woke up this morning it was one of those days when I realized I was still bipolar.  Every so often I'll experience a stretch of relative evenness.  As an optimist, I will be lulled in to a false sense of well-being.

Then, all at once, I'll realize I have snapped at all the people I love (as well as anyone else who wandered into my orbit that day) and I'm trolling the cabinets for chocolate.  Anger, regret, self-soothing...

That is the best case-scenario for someone who is manic and depressed at the same time.  I recently learned that people most often attempt suicide when these two mental states coincide, and that more often than not, people with bipolar disorder have substance abuse problems.

Medication, eating well, meditation, daily Kundalini yoga practice, writing as therapy, and purposely weeding out parts of my life that bring only negativity are all key to maintaining my moods.  But sometimes, it's still not enough.

I am grateful to be able to recognize what is going on with my moods pretty quickly and arrange my activities accordingly.  After years of confusion and "powering through" I have learned when things just aren't going to work out and there's no shame in knowing my limits.

This requires knowing that I am not simply my body, including a brain, and some misfiring neurons.  I am also an intangible being watching this life play out.  I literally imagine my spirit moving out of and away from my body to get a different perspective.

It's only in this removed state (free of any earthly ego or attachments) that I can see my struggle, have compassion for myself, and move back in with more clarity.

This excerpt is from a book that shattered my perception of self in a fantastic way:

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection,  This is done by constantly remembering that you are the one inside that notices the voice talking.  That is the way out.  The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent.  It is a doorway to the depths of your being.  To be aware that you are watching the voice talk is to stand on the threshold of a fantastic journey.  If used properly, the same mental voice that has been the source of worry, distraction, and general neurosis can become the launching ground for true spiritual awakening.  Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.  (p. 13 the untethered soul)

This book, by Michael A. Singer, is a great starting place for people who have that constant irritating narrator chattering in their minds.

So, I'm sitting in the tiny control room (the real me) watching this fragile woman struggle with bipolar disorder.  I feel compassion for her pain and I applaud her far-reaching efforts to shut off the inner critic.  I love her like I love my own daughter -- even on her bad days.

Can you say that about yourself?

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