self love

What has The Good Guy discovered today?

My Good Guy doesn’t take bipolar lying down. He is dedicated to researching and learning as much about my illness is as diligent as my own. I gain insight from his discoveries, and together we are developing coping strategies and skills to live cohesively amidst this madness.

Stress

Stress is what always brings on an episode now and I am pretty quick to figure out what is causing the stress in my life – bphope.com

He subscribes to the above site and sent me an article which I’ve found enlightening. One of the points addressed was the effect of stress as a trigger. Getting to know me, he’s noticed stress is my number one trigger. While I already know this, and may roll my eyes behind his back, what I didn’t realise was just how soaked in stress my daily life is. It can get confusing living within the confines of highs and lows, aggitation, mixed episodes, depression and panic attacks. Sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees. But having an outsider’s objective perspective contributes to self-awareness and brings circumstances into a rational focus.

Self Love

I don’t fit into someone else’s mold of how a person should live. This is my life and I won’t apologize to anyone for living it the way I see fit. – http://www.bphope.com

I find it difficult to love and accept myself. Living within the ever changing and cycling moods of bipolar can be an ugly existance. But The Good Guy is trying to teach me to practice ‘self-love‘.  In fact he’s insisting on it.

Breathe

To start cultivating mind awareness and switch off “autopilot mode,” which can trigger symptoms, Marchand suggests a three-minute breathing exercise.

He is always telling me “Breathe, babe. Just breathe”. In the beginning I was ungratiously annoyed by what I presumed to be a frivolity, a cliché. Something they say but don’t understand the fruitlessness of their advice. Until one day, stressed out at work, I realised I was holding my breath. And so I breathed. And breathed some more. Great big, gulping balloons of air exhaled inhaled and slowly exhaled with considered care. My heart rate went from a gallop to a trot, followed by a calmer frame of mind. And I began to cope again. I gained a lesson that day – not to presume an outcome without actually trying it first. What I consider a cliché was a fact. A truth. So breathe. It really does help in a crisis

The Hospital Chronicles – Part 4

Values are invaluable

I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for a week. I’ve had my medication adjusted, an addition to my diagnosis and received some invaluable therapy. This is a documentation of all that I learned.

Codependency is also referred to as the Love Deficit Disorder. A broad definition is this: I can only love myself when I’m making someone else happy. I have no boundaries due to fear of abandonment and loneliness. But the real dysfunction occurs when I perpetuate the cycle of abandonment by choosing people who are abandoners. On a subconsciously level this abandoned state has become my normal, my comfort zone becaue it’s all I’ve ever known. But its time to break this dysfunctional pattern of behaviour.

This year I have learned about codependency and relationships. I’ve always been driven by a desperate need to be wanted. So if a person crossed my path and wanted me, that was the only criteria required to enter the inner sanctum of my life. I would invest the full intensity of my bipolar energy into being the person that would make them happy and ‘want to keep me’.

So we’ve established I’m lonely and its putting my health at risk. My doc has given me permission to enjoy the company of men without forcing it to become a deep and meaningful relationship. I grew excited at the opportunity of dating again. But when I attended one of the group therapy sessions about personal value systems, I learned *shocker* that I have none. No core fundamental beliefs that drive my decision-making. But how could I if I’m constantly changing who I am in order to please people. To, by default, live their life and not my own.

The beauty is, I’m learning how to face my beast
Starting now to find some peace, Set myself free
Today, I don’t have to fall apart
I don’t have to let the damage consume me,
-Blue October (Fear)

I can have all the permission in the world to mingle, but until I discover and develop my own value system, I will perpetuate the cycle of choosing abandoners. Before I start dating, I need to build up an arsenal of key values to live by. If you’re looking for me I’m over at Youtube or Google learning the shit outta values and self love.

 

 

Self-love has been the missing piece

I’ve had a bit of an revelation regarding my distressing feelings of ‘aloneness’. I’m thinking its not about being alone. Rather its about being alone with somebody I don’t like. Me! I don’t like myself. I certainly don’t love myself. No one enjoys the company of someone they don’t like. That must be an unpleasant and distressing experience…..? So now I’ve discovered the faulty wiring of my thought pattern, hopefully I can begin to work towards developing self-love and live in harmony, not ‘aloneness’ with myself.

 

Do you like you?

My previous post [here] about how I sometimes feel like a monster, was an attempt to try to change my own perception of myself. Its part of my skill set. Logically I realise what I feel isn’t necessarily true, so I try to look at things from another angle, and in writing that, hopefully I process that logic and transform it into an emotional reality. And in posting it, maybe change someone else’s perception of themselves.

At the time I wrote it, I did feel like a monster. I still do a bit. My plan is a work in progress. Thank you for all your affirming comments. I have read them and re-read them and I want you to know they are making a difference in my outlook during this extended depressed episode.

Painkills2 shared a song which is so amazing I just had to share it. It shows me I try too hard to be what others want to see and reaffirms the original intent with my ‘monster’ post – that I’m no monster, just another extraordinary human being with faults and beautiful attributes. Some things I can’t change. But despite that, I like the me I am growing into. I don’t have to try so hard. All I need is to get up and try to like the best of me.

Wait a second,
Why should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself
Do you like you? Do you like you?

– Colbie Caillat

 

And maybe being brave and accepting yourself …. can be fun….

 

Flying free

I had such a lovely day

doing everything my own way

I splurged and bought a new dress

so that I don’t look such a hot mess

blue shoes to match

I look a fine catch

not that I’m looking, hell no

relationships for me are a no go

I’m happy just to be

splendidly me

‘cos a girl can’t fly if she’s not free

and free is what I choose to be

Painkills2, your words inspired me and, as I said I would, I put your inspiration on my Whatsapp profile. Thanks my friend, you’re exceptional! And if anyone is not following her blog All Things Chronic well you’re missing out on a beautiful, diverse, informative, fun, intelligent work of art.

My profile

My profile

Pot belly

I am bipolar and a recovering anorexic made fat by both side effects of bipolar medication, and a damaged thyroid caused by Lithium. Living single and alone, its not only a challenge to cook for one, but it’s a daily battle to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. Or even just to eat at all. I transition between starvation, comfort and binge eating. Everything to extreme, and nothing balanced.

This is my weekly journal of some of my meals. An attempt to keep account of my successes and failures with food. I’ve thrown in some recipes and tips and tricks as I journey towards balanced, healthy eating.

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I watched Pulp Fiction last night. One of the characters talks about the beauty of having a pot belly. Where every other part of her body – her arms, her legs, her breasts, her face – were all correctly proportioned, except for her protuding pot belly. The character found this physical feature quite appealing.

Hypothyroidism and bipolar medications have given me a belly too. But not quite the romantic pot belly from Pulp Fiction. No, mine is neither beautiful nor sexy, cute nor appealing. Mine is a big rotund buddha belly. Think Michelin Man and you get the picture.

I’m ashamed of my belly. But I try to tell myself that having this buddha belly means I am alive. I fought back from an ingrained behaviour of starvation. And despite this I am alive, albeit with a belly. Every day I try to be grateful for my life affirming belly. And sometimes, when I’m down on my luck, I rub my belly with both hands and make a wish

Hello. My name is Pieces, and I am a people-pleaser

I wish I could be that girl that swoops into the office, carefree, blowing invisible kisses in return for her birthday wishes. Who giggles coyly and goes out for drinks after work, getting tipsie, never roaring drunk. Who skips down the passage spreading rainbows and glitter moonbeans from her arse, and everyone loves her for it.

I’m not that girl. I’m that girl who lacks dress sense and common sense. The girl that is melancholy and moody on her birthday. That girl who’s comfort eating has restricted the selection of her wardrobe. That girl that doesn’t want her aging acknowledged because she has achieved nothing in her tired, insipid life.

HELLO, MY NAME IS PIECES, AND I AM A PEOPLE-PLEASER

I have spent 43 years contorting myself, denying myself, damaging myself all in an effort to please others. And the more I succeed in pleasing them, the greater their demands become. What a curse of life, for there is no life to be lived in trying to please people. It becomes a deadly cycle that brings about the death of me, the self, the individual.

I don’t exist. In pleasing others you deny yourself. You live out other’s expectations, desires, dreams and ambitions. You live a life that doesn’t belong to you. You are expected to bend and bow at their demands. You forfeit the right to your own identity, your own voice. You don’t have your own dreams or ambitions because after a lifetime of pleasing people, you don’t exist.

No matter what great self-destruction you bring about yourself in exchange for someone else’s validation, her approval, his permission; to submit or conform or comply……. to be loved…. it is never enough, never quite achieved. And if it is, the personal cost to yourself is far greater than the rewards of pleasing these people.

So for godsake, my birthday wish is simple…………… cue Diana Ross aaaaaaand……

STOP! In the name of (self) love , before you break (your) heart……Think it o-o-verrrrrrr…….

GO ON! DO THE ACTIONS. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!