Low self confidence came bundled with the onset of my bipolar disorder, the perfect little package right? Truthfully, my self confidence is just pretty much non existent. When the mood swings started to become noticeable I became embarrassed and confused. As things continued to escalate with my illness, and I became violent and suicidal, I grew ashamed. I began to feel worthless and helpless. I was at war with my own brain, I had no control. It was like a war began and I was locked up as a hostage, witnessing the ambush. I sat there, behind bars, being tortured while these villains invaded my life and wounded the people trying to fight for me. I felt powerless, defeated.
It’s usually our mood that carries our self esteem (which would explain the introspective whirlwind throughout the stages of bipolar disorder). Even now that I am, for the most part, stabilized (not out of control running wild and wrecking havoc).. I still feel so worthless. Don’t get me wrong, I have my good days where I am able to live in the moment and just enjoy life, but I still have a lot of bad days. I still get beyond frustrated with myself when I fall into those deep holes.
“It is a gut-wrenching, heart-searing, melt-into-the-sofa feeling that makes you sure your mere existence is getting in the way of how the world should function.”
After a horrible day, I sat down to self reflect. I examined the common feeling I have of being an abnormal, crazy, unfixable, freak of nature that is not worth anyone’s time. I feel a consistent pessimism. I really dissected these feelings… I asked myself why I felt this way… Conclusion was – I didn’t have much of a choice in what happened to me. I mean, I didn’t look for the sign up sheet and write my name on the list for bipolar disorder. I’m not altering my brain chemicals and tinkering with my neurotransmitters. The underlying cause of these feelings is my illness, which doesn’t make it my fault. Wait… So why do I have such a hard time not blaming myself? The logic of it sounds so simple. It’s those damn chemicals and moods that try to trick me! Half the battle of this illness is staying myself… But I have a history, a personality, a story…
It is so unbelievably hard to keep this logic from getting buried beneath all of these feelings and moods. Trying to keep this mindset feels impossible sometimes, it requires constant reminders. It is so refreshing when I am able to hold this thought in my head. You can’t let a diagnosis determine who you are and what you can do. The brain is simply a physical manifestation of the mind itself. The mind is not a physical entity. Who you are, your soul, that is your mind. You are not your brain! Just like you are not defined by any other body part. Wouldn’t it be silly to think your arm defined you? 🙂
“People are so much more than what their brain is trying to tell them they are and the brain often gets in the way of our true, long-term goals and values in life”
We have to learn how to activate our mind so that it can help adjust our brain to work for us, rather than against us. We have to identify the deceptive brain messages taking over our minds, change our perception of the importance of those messages, and clearly see the thoughts, urges, and impulses for what they are.
I am determined to give myself those much needed constant reminders. I am insistent on learning how to regulate my brain to work for me, rather than against me. I hope everyone else that struggles with similar issues can find the courage to do the same ❤