Consistent nagging, reminding you of all your faults, creating new fears and social anxiety, old tapes being replayed over and over again in your head, and endless reel of imagined scenarios draining the last of your sanity….. Those ugly voices in your own mind won’t rest. What can you do?
These thoughts are a part of your bipolar, they are not real, the are not right, and you don’t have to put up with their abuse. First of all, you are worth more then this, your life deserves to be better, and I’m going to share how I erected a wall, keeping most of it out of my life. It was not easy. It’s taken me 18 years to first acknowledge what they are, to learn how they work in my own mind, and to develop some strategies to combat them.
Firstly, I know myself very well. I am honest with myself to a fault and at times I have twisted this honesty into a macabre style self-deprication which I have used against myself and to justify the attempt of suicide. Yet, for what ever reason, I failed seven times. But the honesty I have with myself would be my ultimate tool.
Honesty with yourself is the most important source of strength to combat your depression.
With the help of various counsellors and doctors, I ravaged every corner of my mind to figure out the way my mind works and how this disease was affecting me. This took years, from about age 20 to 29. It felt like two steps forward and one step back. During this phase I began to try ways to combat the negative thinking that always started quite benignly and ended in a rapid decline into suicidal tendencies.
Positive Thinking is Key, it’s the first stepping stone to greater mental freedom.
Yes, the power of positive thinking works amazingly well. For me it was a return to the bible scriptures of my youth, for others it’s been positive mediation on buddhist sayings or Koranic texts, or even self-help books. What ever form you use, it is important to repeat positive sayings into your life.
Positive reading, music, and people do wonders for your mindset, and this tool can be used against negative self-talk. This was the first positive step I experienced, but it wasn’t the complete key to success. I had to learn to recognise the negative thoughts. I had lived with them for so many years I had to find a way to identify them and block them out.
Eventually I got to where I would get a negative thought and immediately combat it with a positive one. This was quite trying, and sometimes I learnt that avoidance was the answer: say “NO!” and get up and go do something else. I can be in the kitchen doing dishes when my mind acts up. Putting down the pan I will say, “no”, and go find some music, or clean the living room for a while before I return to the dishes.
Divert or Redirect negative thoughts
Yes, my family and friends often say, “what?” but I just play crazy or make up something. But I’d rather be looked at a little weird then have those negative thoughts running through my head. This is a tiny blob of complex information. It takes serious time and serious dedication, and I am by no means free of these thoughts, but I no longer feel weighed down by them and free to live my life unencumbered. It starts with being honest with yourself, and finding out what works best for you.