Bipolar disorder can be very confusing because you’re always second guessing every emotion. For example, the normal human emotions I’ll twist around into something which I feel are caused by bipolar. When I’m too emotional or confused, I’ll automatically blame it on my disorder, even though, this is something felt by those NOT suffering from bipolar. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, then you know how much emphasis I give to self-learning, and finding ways to understand my trigger points. However, I face an even bigger problem which I’ve just realized.
Life can bring some very tough situations, and every-day when I head out I really don’t know what to expect. No matter how much I’ve tried to understand my triggers, and avoid situations which put me in a crummy mood, I find myself with a new battle. When my parents told me to appreciate every single day because I’ll never get this time back, I’ve learned to be grateful for the opportunities I have. However, I’ve also learned it’s important to always have my guard up because of the negative energy I could experience at any given time.
Here’s the problem,
When you don’t trust your emotions because bipolar makes you feel like your different, and have to experience new emotional challenges, you begin to question a lot. I remember asking myself:
“Is this normal or do I feel this way because I have bipolar?”
What’s worse is NO matter how much I try to build myself to be stronger, and handle my emotions, I’ve found something always throws a monkey wrench right in the middle.
To be completely transparent I decided to write this blog post because lately I’ve been going through emotional ups and downs. With work piling up, my relationship up in the air, and having to go out more because of meetings, I’m experiencing more than I’m used to. Even though I’ve prepared myself very well by understanding my emotions, and learning to accept them, I still run into problems because I have to second guess my feelings in new situations.
For example, is it normal to feel this way? Do others struggle with the same emotional stress? Are my bipolar mood swings taking over again?
It’s the same damn struggle over, and over again.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is you have to communicate your feelings because it’ll help you understand your emotions, especially, how they connect to your thought process. But, where do you start if you have to question how genuine your feelings are, and if they are supposed to be here in the first place.
Over the years, I’ve try to follow what I learned through the psychosocial therapy model which is to understand your environment, and emotional triggers so you can avoid them going forward. However, I find it works better as long as you experience the same circle of emotions…right?
For example, how should I react when I encounter something new which is bound to happen, especially, when I want to progress in life. I believe in order to grow my business I have to market products to more clients, and meet to people in the industry. This leads to a lifestyle change which involves things I normally try to avoid i.e. drinking, sleeping later, tweak in diet, etc.
Growing everyday requires progress, and this is something all of you should realize. Think about it…
Even when I first got diagnosed with bipolar, it required me to put effort into opening up to my GP, then to my psychiatrist. Afterwards I took on a huge responsibility to start building myself from the ground up, and I promised this disorder would NOT stop me from accomplishing my goals. Simply put…you have to keep moving forward.
I know living with bipolar makes me question things NO matter how much I try to avoid them. This is why beating bipolar is so damn hard. I’ve spent years self-educating myself on motivation, confidence, leadership, but still run into emotional dilemmas once in a while. What’s worse; they throw me into a complete spin because I feel as though everything I’ve done up to this point hasn’t taught me anything. I actually took time out to think about this, and finally came to this conclusion…
Conquering bipolar is tough, and I work hard at controlling my emotions. I work even harder at understanding them so they don’t interfere in my life. However,
I face another battle which I’ve failed to prepare for, and it’s how to deal with bipolar effectively when you don’t think your feelings are genuine. As I’ve mentioned before, I find myself questioning if what I’m feeling is normal, or if I’m feeling this because of bipolar. I sometimes think bipolar is artificially creating false emotions which forces me to perceive things in a negative way. That’s the true battle…no?
My path to beating bipolar has been to understand what triggers my emotional conflicts, and what leads to my manic episodes. This involves breaking down whatever the battles, and finding constructive ways to deal with them the next time.
It’s funny because I watch a show called Mayday on the Discovery Channel based on airplane accidents. One strategy they use to understand what happened is to go through every single scenario breaking it down until they find the cause of the accident. I do the same; breaking down my emotions until I find what caused a manic episode. Just like the show, I find ways to avoid the same thing from happening. However, there’s a big “BUT”,
I continue to struggle with accepting my emotions as normal. I always feel as though someone who’s NOT bipolar wouldn’t be feeling the same way as me. These mix thoughts are the toughest battle I’ve been facing ever since being diagnosed with bipolar in 2000. I’m constantly questioning how genuine my feelings are, and comparing myself to others NOT suffering from bipolar disorder.
Last month, I decided to bring this up with my life coach, and he gave the following advice.
It’s all about knowing yourself, and respecting the person you’ve become over the years. You’re always going to have emotional struggles, and you’ll have to question what’s right, and what’s wrong. However, if you have a solid foundation there’s really nothing to worry about. He went on to explain the following,
You have to be sure about the person you’ve become, and are becoming. For example, if you are honest, reliable, straight forward, and hardworking, then why do you have to question how genuine you are. You are embedded with the traits, and characteristics, of someone who is genuine so give your thoughts more credit. Next,
He said something which stands out until today, and I want all of you to build yourself around this thought…
The fact you’ve been questioning your thoughts, and been asking if there normal is what makes you unique. Only unique people question their thoughts because these lead to improvements in your life. When you question what is right, and what’s wrong, you tend to make small tweaks within your life which makes you better as a person. In the end, it’s not about if your thoughts are genuine or not, it’s about what change they bring.
In all honesty my coach has a point because it’s these thoughts which forced me to find ways to do things better. It’s these changes which have allowed me to live a more enjoyable life. Every time I questioned myself, I wanted to figure out why, and would go searching for the truth asking questions like:
- Why am I feeling like this?
- What can I do to avoid this feeling next time?
- How can I approach the situation next time?
- What can I do to block this thought process?
These exercises helped me prepare myself going forward for different situations because the same strategies can be applied to different scenarios throughout my life. Think about it…
You can ask these same questions when dealing with friends, family, co-workers, and in close relationships.
In the end,
One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome is questioning how genuine my feelings are especially while living with bipolar. You all know bipolar disorder can be tricky to control because through our eyes we can distort reality to work against us. In the end, you have the power to conquer everything, and I always tell myself its “ME vs. ME” so I have ultimate control of the outcome, and destiny. Here’s something to ask yourself that should sum everything up…
If you truly know you’re a genuine person, then why should you question how genuine your thoughts are…right?