Bipolar

Keeping Your Emotions in Check

There is strength in understanding your emotions.

I haven’t always been able to trust my own thoughts and feelings.

I’ve had staunch thoughts and feelings on a particular matter, and a week later they’d already be irrelevant because my thoughts and feelings have done a 180 flip (or flop). Confounding. How can my perception completely shift? Bipolar has this capability.

This frustrates life in regards to relationships, jobs, parenting, and my own goals or lack thereof.

Through cognitive behavior therapy and medication and practice, I’ve learned to take a beat, to think through situations more slowly, meticulously, and to not trust my immediate feelings concerning important matters.

I’m an emotional person.

My emotions are intense…yet can also be flat out lacking. I can don a mask without trying, and move through life. Frequently, I detach myself emotionally from daily life just to function and be productive; determining and understanding my emotions have the power to slow me down, so I avoid dealing with them altogether. I’ve had a lifetime perfecting this; however, bipolar isn’t the sole cause.

Since childhood, I often felt “not good enough” due to the bullying and ostracization I endured from my peers. I became a people-pleaser; I wanted to be accepted. This lack of self-esteem and self-confidence became ingrained in my being and has affected nearly all aspects of my life. When I fall short, I’m crushed. Crushed, as in my heart has been ripped out and stomped on.

When I don’t get the job…when I receive criticism…when I’m left out…when I screw up as a parent…and even when I fall short keeping the house in order.

What Now?

All of this can overwhelm me. As a result, I struggle to function. I freeze. I’m unable to truly enjoy life due to ruminating on how I can be productivite and find validation. I appear as if I have it all together…I wear that mask often…but on the inside, it’s often turmoil. I may be a people-pleaser, but I’m not always one of the people I’m pleasing. I’ll do for others to my own detriment. What sucks is when I can’t please others or myself. Then, I spiral down.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

 

Luckily, I can keep on track more often than not these daysI may derail every now and then, but I’m able to steer myself back. It’s been a life of strife handling my emotions, but it’s also been a valuable learning experience that has guided me to understand my emotions (including their causes and effects) more thoroughly than the average person. This is a gift of skill and strength.

 

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