“Oh that is pretty common.”
The above quote is almost what people say when they hear that I have a condition called bipolar disorder (depression & mania). It is true that the mental disorder is quite common, but that doesn’t make it easier.
Can you just picture this:
You’re inside your body. Your mind is racing. You can hear everything that everyone is saying around you. You can see everything that is happening. You just can’t seem to do anything “right”. You’re stuck inside your own body.
And then when you get around to explaining things, the mechanics of your mouth can only convey so much that everything comes out like a blabber. It is so unclear but yet everything makes sense to you.
In your head, you KNOW you’re meant to relax, you KNOW you’re meant to take deep breaths, you KNOW all these common sense and yet you cannot control your mind.
This is how I feel whenever I’m manic.
I’ve gotten a lot better now and each time I have one of these episodes, I am in control of my mind more.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned thus far is: stay true to yourself, you’re the only person who know yourself the best.
Let’s take a look at this yoga analogy: imagine yourself in a group class, surrounded by people of all levels and also full length mirrors. This is a great environment for comparing yourself with others YET it is an activity which requires full focus and mindfulness.
The positions you have to hold are adjustable based on your own level. All you need to do is know yourself, do the best you can and not compare yourself with others.
Imagine balancing on one leg and your arms stretched. This pose requires focus. Once your mind wander off to compare yourself to those who are “worse” or “better” than yourself, your attention is divided and you will start to lose balance.
This is exactly what we need to remember in our daily lives. Everyone has their own progress and there really isn’t a benchmark to measure life. Don’t compare. You will need to first fix your thinking before you can work on other parts of your life- be it work, school or other skills.
As for those of us with mental disorders – just rememeber that YOU are still in there. You just need help and more time to realise that, in all the chaos, there is an organised mess that is life.
Just keep going, don’t doubt yourself, and focus.