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Of Mind Battles and Relapse Moments!
One thing about being a bipolar disorder warrior is that the battle is invisible. The battle is in the mind. And so you are smiling, well dressed, look all together, have a great support team but the voices are still there. The voices show up when you start thinking and feeling what others aren’t thinking about you. Soon, you learn that, when you act on your ‘perceived thoughts and ‘feeling’, there is a counter active reaction that mars good relationships that are your support team. This in itself is a relapse. Some days, the relapse moments are so much! The victory isn’t in socking in the self-pity, guilt and victim mentality that becomes the aftermath of what I call a pessimistic relapse. The victory lies in owning up to our actions and being willing to take positive steps to redeem our relationships and self-image.
So today, I want to share about how to get back to the flow of things after a relapse moment.
I know that no one want’s to talk about a relapse moment because they are usually ugly moments. Their memories come with pain, regret, guilt and anger. But you have to learn to forgive yourself. You see, you live with yourself. You should be your biggest fan. Come what may, you need to forgive ‘self’. One proof of self-love is self-acceptance. Do you love and accept yourself while working towards becoming a better version of yourself?
Make an empowering choice.
You are a human being, not a robot and you can make a mistake. But we must recognize that we also have the ability to make empowering decisions after a mistake. We can make good decisions that that lead to positive outcomes. The choice is yours. As I write this I remember that day in the hospital, when I got to the end of myself and succumbed to the pressure and angry emotions I felt. I vented on the nurse caring for my son. Even though I had been provoked, I knew deep in my heart that it wasn’t an empowering decision from me! I could have done better. What empowering decision did I make in this situation? I made up my mind to forgive myself and to amend the relationship. I bought her a gift and apologized to her even when the fault wasn’t mine entirely.
Identify your triggers.
Lately, I discovered that when I am exposed to enormous pressure, or to excessive angry emotions, I can experience a relapse moment. Study the emotions you feel in a day. What are the activities around you? How do you respond emotionally? How does what you hear, see and think about make you feel? If you can sincerely answer these questions, you are on the way to identifying your triggers.
Avoid or manage your triggers.
The good thing about managing your triggers is that, it helps you to avoid a possible occurrence of a relapse moment. For instance, I manage pressure to meet up with deadlines by reminding myself that my mental health is important and that I need to out-source or delegate to meet up the dead lines where necessary. Also, I remind myself to rest. The best form of rest for me is sleep. Usually, when I wake up, I have a clearer perspective and renewned strength to carry on with the work at hand.
Tell yourself the truth without feeling bad.
Sometimes, it is better to look yourself in the eye and tell yourself the undiluted truth, than to seek others opinion. Especially if the truth is unpleasant, it is easy to be told a lie or a distorted version of the truth. As a young mother, one of the things I learn about every day is parenting. Some days, it is easy to focus on the fact that I’m doing a fantastic job and encourage myself, but sometimes, this is not my reality. I often have to remind myself that my mistakes do not define me. My ability to identify them, avoid the regret, learn the lessons and move on does. What about you?
What battles of the mind are you combating? What are you contending for? Whatever your peculiar situation may be, please choose your battles wisely by choosing empowering thoughts. Never, Never, Never talk down on yourself! Give no room to negative self-talk. You are valuable. No matter what, your past do not define your future. Your mistakes are not your identify except of course you choose to make them your identify by believing the negative self-talk and allowing your behavior and character to be shaped by it.
Till the next post, please take good care of your mental health, because your stability depends on it! And please remember to say a word of prayer for me and for yourself. Pray that God will give us the strength to keep walking in the fullness of His grace to be who and to do all the things He has called us to be/do. In Jesus name, Amen.
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