Opening Post

Just Don’t Take Up Residence There

I had a hard time falling asleep last night. It happens sometimes. Thankfully, not often. At least not as often as it used to. I just couldn’t turn off my head, ya know? Lots of tumbling thoughts. Disjointed thoughts, one after another.

I hate when this happens. You would think I’d be used to this after all these years, but I’m not. It still throws me off.

Those racing thoughts. So typical of bipolar disorder. When they happen during the day, we consider it a symptom of a manic episode. But I know I’m not in an episode. I just had trouble falling asleep. I don’t confuse the two.

Couldn’t stop the racing thoughts, couldn’t shut the mind off, when all I wanted to do was fall asleep. But that was like it just made things worse, because it was like then I was trying TOO hard to go to sleep, and the thoughts just got worse.

The problem was, I started thinking about my past. And that’s a bad place for me to go. I think it’s ok to visit your past, but just don’t take up residence there. So I really try not to dwell on my past when my thoughts do take me there.

Needless to say, my past was a very dark and negative place. And when I think about it too long, I get depressed. That’s what has happened to me many times when I have gone into bipolar depressive episodes, and found it hard to even get out of bed or, if I did, to get up off the couch.

I try to be a positive person, I really do. I believe in using affirmations. They help me a lot. I used to be very self-destructive, and now thinking things like, “You are loved,” “You are worthy,” etc. kind of negates those self-destructive tendencies and keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Also, my faith keeps me strong. I got clean and sober in AA, through which I learned to practice the 12 steps. I heard it said that the first 3 steps are, “I can’t, God can, I think I’ll let Him.” I think that’s a really cool way of looking at it, and in that way I practice the first 3 steps every day. It doesn’t just keep me clean and sober (for 15 years now), but it keeps me on a straight, faith-filled path.

My faith also helps me be strong in my bipolar disorder. I don’t think I would have been stable since 2007 without such a strong faith. That’s the last time I was in the hospital for an episode.

I’ve had a couple of breakthrough mini-episodes since then (only about 2 or 3), but they were controlled with medication.

I have such a good life now. And I am so grateful for my many blessings. Sobriety. Stabily. Sanity. and Serenity. I wish the same for you in the coming year, my friend.

Wishing you joy and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,
Michele

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