Bipolar Disorder, Healthy Minds Canada

A Shift In Perspective

This post originally appeared on Healthy Minds Canada: https://healthymindscanada.ca/a-shift-in-perspective/ 

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Your thoughts are powerful and you can convince yourself of many things. You can convince yourself you are capable and smart, or you can convince yourself you are worthless and useless. It all depends on your state of mind, and what you want to believe.

Over the past few days, I felt brighter, and less foggy and actually wanted to do things. I noticed I had been productive at work (maybe having a long weekend last week helped) and I had been feeling like cooking. I am sure the nice weather helped too.

I managed to clean out closets/cupboards and make a stew in a crockpot (first time using one). I just did. I went for a walk on Friday. I never want to do these things. Maybe something inside of me is telling me it’s time to change or it’s time to make the time to do these things. I don’t always have time to cook, but I know (as much as I hate it) that some form of exercise is important for body and mind. It’s important to start small, but it is also important to have the actual desire or want. Without it, these activities seem like awful chores or daunting tasks.

I personally become irritated when someone tells me to be positive, because sometimes it is not always that easy, so I would never tell someone to do that. Instead, I like to think of having or being in a different, or “better” mindset as “a shift in perspective”.

Every day is different and some days are better than others. If I have been able to have a few brighter days for one reason or another, I’ll take it. Medications help, but they only go so far. We know how destructive thoughts are/can be and I don’t think medication can suppress my thoughts or make me stop thinking. Part of the recovery and healing process is learning how to reframe your thoughts, which if you think about it, is shifting your perspective, the way you see/think about things/situations.

Right now I am just grateful to have had a chance to genuinely laugh and smile this weekend and enjoy good company and not feel bogged down by the weight of the world (a.k.a. my thoughts).

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Bipolar Disorder, Healthy Minds Canada, My Real Opinion

Be Relentlessly You

This post first appeared on Healthy Minds Canada’s website: https://healthymindscanada.ca/be-relentlessly-you/ 

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I am admittedly not a sports fan, but I did watch the Super Bowl last week, including the fantastic performance Lady Gaga put on. She performed a variety of her songs, including “Born This Way”, which has lyrics that I know resonate with many people, because of the message.

Predictably, Internet trolls and people who had nothing better to do started posting about Lady Gaga having a “stomach” and other unnecessary comments. As soon as I saw those articles start to appear on social media, aside from rolling my eyes, I felt angry and frustrated. This woman is a talented musician and she has an amazing figure and she is proud of her body. She is not ashamed. She didn’t have to, but she did respond to those “haters’, and what she said is powerful:

 

No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. – Lady Gaga

From personal experience, it is exhausting being anyone but yourself. The mask becomes heavy, you question who you are and if people actually know you. Having a mental illness is difficult for many reasons, but the worst part of having a mental illness is stigma. The stigma makes it difficult to be yourself, if you fall victim to it. I didn’t want to hide anymore, so I’ve been sharing my story. The best way to fight stigma is to stare it in the face and show you are not afraid. I am not afraid. I am not the problem. It’s people who are afraid of mental illness that are the problem- and we shouldn’t cater to them.

I also really appreciate that Lady Gaga is not ashamed to talk about mental illness. In an article from Esperanza Magazine, she discusses her experience with anxiety and depression and talks about acceptance.

 

No matter how much success you have, no matter how many people accept you to your face, the person that really needs to accept you is you. -Lady Gaga

Remember, your opinion is the one that matters the most.

 

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