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Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

Since I was diagnosed bipolar I’ve found myself in a constant cycle. I remain compliant with medications and avoid substances and I enjoy euphoria and life for that matter. However, the second I deviate from my prospective recovery regimen everything goes awry and I’m left institutionalized. 

The same happens with jobs and money. I am pretty good at finding jobs but it’s keeping them that is the problem. I go from doing nothing and being unemployed to working 44 hours a week while volunteering. Then I hit the inevitable brick wall and I fall and tumble. And don’t even get my started about money. I spend like its water, no matter where I am in this vicious cycle. 

This past weekend was pretty tough, I found myself in the depths of my cycling about to quit my second job in two weeks and I was so overwhelmed and stressed I found myself having an anxiety attack on the highway. Last night didn’t bring anymore relief, my anger got the best of me and I punched a massive hole in my wall. That only left me with regret and guilt. 

I constantly feel like I’m on a merry-go-round and everyone around me is just watching as I do the same mistakes over and over again. Einstein once said “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again.” So am I insane? I like to think not. For one main reason, I have insight into the fact I continuously follow through with the same actions. I just haven’t found out an alternative to fix the problem. 

That is, until last night. I thought originally if I ignore the problem it will go away. But as everyone knows that does more harm than good. I looked around my room and found dozens of self-help books and my mindfulness cd. Over eight hours of calming and soothing mindfulness. 

I first started with my DBT book because that really helps with anger and aggression. And as I started to read it, all of my schooling came rushing back to my mind and I started to not only reap the therapeutic benefits of the workbook, but also the pure enjoyment of reading about something I love and am passionate about. When I felt I was pushing my limits I simply stopped. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m certainly not going to finish that book in a day. 

Then I turned to mindfulness. I remember the first time I tried to do mindfulness at the hospital and I just laughed, wide awake, judging everyone that thought they would be cured by such witchcraft. But you see, I realized, it’s so much more than that. It’s about staying in the now, staying present with you. Focusing only on the breath and what is around you at the present time. And this brought me the greatest relief. 

Sometimes, it’s not about some elaborate recovery scheme to get out of a funk. It’s about figuring out YOUR personalized way to get off the merry-go-round. 

Comments

Hi Ashley,

I find it interesting that DBT works for you. I went through the training twice and got kicked out twice. I guess it is ok, but I'm not going to become Buddhist as some suggest.

Take it easy on the walls and your hand.

Of course i can't talk, day before yesterday i let my temper go on a receptionist over the phone.

Thanks for sharing.

Thank you! I needed this today! Thankful you wrote them AND shared them.

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