Actually, it isn’t being bipolar that I need to learn — it’s how to be bipolar without destroying myself. On Friday I went for therapy (only the third time with this therapist, but I feel as if I’ve known her much longer) and talked about why I don’t use my coping skills. I’ve been in therapy for 17 1/2 years, plus inpatient hospitalizations. I’ve learned a lot about coping with strong emotions. So why don’t I use my skills?
Some of my excuses:
1. It’s hopeless anyway
2. I don’t feel like it
3. I don’t have enough energy
4. I don’t care
5. It’s too painful
6. I don’t want to get well because I’m afraid
7. I’m not worthy — I don’t deserve it
8. It’s overwhelming
9. Someone else is responsible, not me.
10. I have too many other things to do
…… and so one, and so on, ad nauseam!
Actually, after I made the list and looked back on it, I had to laugh. What an astonishing array of excuses! Some of them are at least partially contradictory. But I am sure these are the kind of subconscious thoughts I have all the time. And they do set up road blocks to my progress.
What would I be like if I did “get well”? Would I still be interesting, or is my mental illness the only thing that makes me worth the attention of others? Would I still be able to write? Would I lose my sense of humor? These questions and many others pass through my mind and feed my fears, but I know that the fears are unfounded. So I will take the chance and see what happens!