Author: Rebecca James
The bipolar mind is often a chaotic place. It can be scary, lonely, sad, or wild. In the center of it, we all need some moments of peace. I’ve found that affirmations, or easy, reassuring sentences, help me navigate the bipolar mind. Here are a few examples of affirmations I use.
This moment is enough.
Finding time for oneself may be a challenge, and finding serenity within those moments may be even more difficult. As well as grappling with bipolar disorder and panic disorder, I care for my young child who has special needs and demands a great deal of my time and energy. So for many reasons, I have to cling to those moments of calm, quiet, and stillness. When I cuddle with my favorite blanket and pillow set in my chair, when I stand in the steam of the shower, or when I relax into my husband’s hug, I tell myself, This moment is enough. Sometimes, I say this to myself again and again as long as the moment (or minute) lasts. I acknowledge the value and immediacy of the moment. I don’t have to grab hours of time at once; that’s rare. A moment can nourish and heal me. And when it’s over, I say, This moment was enough.
I will _______ soon.
Reading and writing are my passions, and both require time and energy I often don’t have. Bipolar mania can steal my focus while bipolar depression can rob me of my drive. But I always come back to what I love. I tell myself I will write again soon or I will read soon. This comforts me, and it also reminds me to stay committed to what makes me who I am regardless of my mood state or struggles. Sometimes, those pursuits can seem far away, but they’re waiting for me. We can also do this with our more basic needs, such as I will sleep soon or I will eat soon, before the body and mind can begin to panic when we are in a stressful internal or external situation.
I love my _______.
Sometimes, bringing the mind to a brighter place is deceptively simple. An affirmation won’t reverse a depressive episode or change a current worldview, but it may turn on a light. I like to think about what I love. Certainly, we love people, but I find this works well with the small, concrete, and specific. You can do this in your mind, out loud, or in writing. I love my sparkly gold shoes. I love my face mask with violets on it. I love my silver star blanket. I love my son’s shark T-shirts. I love my husband’s black glasses. I love my spiral notebook with electric guitars on it. Directing my thoughts this way derails some depressive tendencies and soothes some manic ones.
________ cares about me.
We can easily forget how important we are. But for someone with bipolar disorder, knowing their worth to others is vital. Of course, we need a strong sense of self-worth, but we also need to know who needs us, who notices us, and who loves us. This helps us stay strong, not just to avoid suicide or self-harm but to continue in the daily fight for wellness. So I can close my eyes for a moment and think about who cares about me. I try to think of less obvious people as well as my closest friends and family. My husband cares about me. My stepmom cares about me. My son’s therapist cares about me. The girls I used to work with at the bookstore care about me. My former boss cares about me. My other former boss cares about me. The mother of my childhood best friend cares about me. The network of care grows to surround me.
Moments are enough. We will do what we need soon. We love so much in our lives. So many people care about us. Think of your own affirmations, just simple sentences that ground and comfort you.