Category Archives: Anxiety

Exploring Negative Thoughts

ID-100114054I’ve done really well today so far! I’ve started my new sleep schedule over the last few days (bed by 11.30pm, wake up at 8am) which I’m keeping to and I went for a short walk this morning and did about 20mins yoga and some meditation.

So why am I down on myself all of a sudden?

I’m scared of the thoughts that are creeping in, and feel anxious about them. This is the sequence of thoughts once I got out my sketchbook and pencils:

1. “I can start to do this art work, but there’s not much point as everything I do is rubbish and it’s not like I have a career out of it.”

2. “I have nothing else planned for today. I must do something productive or the whole day will be wasted.”

3. “I could go and get some biscuits and chocolate and watch some movies/tv, then sleep off the sugar hangover. (Feel excited by the prospect).”

This is when I decide to blog first. Writing out a conversation with myself yesterday really seemed to help pick me up.

I’m going to respond to the first thought, as it seemed to trigger the others:

1. “I can start to do this art work, but there’s not much point as everything I do is rubbish and it’s not like I have a career out of it.”

Why do you feel this way do you think?

I’ve never studied past GCSE level (high school). I’m behind everyone else my age. Nothing ever looks the way I want it to. I don’t enjoy it anymore.

If you don’t enjoy it, maybe you don’t have to do it?

ID-10053350I feel I want to. Everyday a little voice inside me says draw, paint, let me have my voice! I don’t understand why I feel the need to suppress this part of me.

This voice, could it be your inner child?

Yes, I’m certain it is.

Why don’t you want to let her speak?

Because she can be scary and out of control. That same part of me that wants to create, my inner child, she has had major tantrums before and can be completely out of control.

This is what young children are like! They know how to express themselves! But adults teach them to suppress these ‘difficult’ emotions, usually because they can’t handle them themselves.  Sometimes children aren’t taught to deal these feelings in a healthy way.

What is a healthy way to deal with feelings of anger, disappointment, shame, etc?

Well, let’s look at how you feel now?

Ashamed that I can’t function like a normal person.

Ok., so how do you think you ‘should’ behave? What do you see as being ‘normal’ behaviour for an adult?

ID-10034835I should have a job and be earning my own money. Not scrounging off the government. I have heard so many working people express anger and resentment at having to pay taxes, so that others can have benefits. 

Ok. So how much income tax actually goes towards benefits? It is 20%. (UK) Therefore the working population are taxed 80% for many more things. Why are you so worried?

People will hate me and ridicule me. I feel so ashamed at not being able to support myself. I know I have more potential.

It is highly unlikely anyone will bat an eyelid about you being on benefits. Other people are wrapped up in their own lives. Any ill-wishing you receive from them is their karma, not yours. It is time to start releasing the need for the approval of others, a little bit at a time. It is safe for you to be you! It is safe for you to express your feelings and to paint and dance and make a mess!! Please don’t expect for this healing to take place all at once. It is likely to happen gently over a long period of time, so that you are not overwhelmed.

What do I need to do?

Be aware. Be aware of when you are trying to please others or gain approval. Be aware of when you are putting their needs before your own. You are your world. You do not need to make others feel safer or be responsible for their fears and insecurities. People are generally living their own lives, and aren’t too concerned about what others are doing, as long as it doesn’t affect them.

Why do you feel you should have a job like everybody else? Why can’t you do the things you love and make money that way?

Because it’s standard and acceptable to society. It’s easy to go with the majority. It’s difficult to forge my own path. I don’t know how I would start! Having a mentor would be very helpful. I don’t believe I’m good enough. I don’t believe I’m worthy of earning money for doing something that makes me happy!!

But you are worthy and you are good enough! Other people are doing it so why shouldn’t you?! Why do you feel so unworthy?

ID-10081670I don’t know. It still feels too childish. I want to feel deserving of earning money by being my childlike self and drawing or painting, writing, or creating in some other way. Or helping people! I feel if I’m earning money then it should be by directly helping others. Being creative feels selfish.

You are worthy. You are good enough. You are talented and deserving of using this talent and nurturing it. By being creative you are shining your own light into the world and making it ok for others to do the same. You are forging a path through which others can follow. You are making it easier for them! Therefore you would be helping others by being creative! You would be helping others to shine their love and light into the world!

It still feels difficult to draw or paint. I still feel a resistance to it.

It will take time, patience and practice. Start slowly- maybe even 15 mins of doodling at a time. Opening up to your creativity, it will be very healing and open many new doors for you! Allow yourself to feel worthy! Allow yourself to receive from the universe- be it financial gifts, or spiritual ones!

Thank you for the guidance and for caring enough to sit and listen to me.


So I don’t feel loads better. But I am grateful for the guidance, whether this is from my higher self or a spirit guide. I am grateful to myself for writing, rather than running to the chocolate straight away. I am grateful to myself for at least trying to overcome unhealthy habits. I am doing my best in these circumstances with the tools that I have.

I love and approve of myself just as I am.

I am worthy of living as my true self.

I am worthy of expressing my true self creatively!

Related Posts

Conversations with Myself: Exploring Low Mood.

Releasing Judgement: The Love Thermometer.

Overcoming Boredom

10 Ideas to Distract Depression: Don’t Feed the Monster!

Photos: freedigitalphotos.net

Advertisements

Overwhelmed!

Overwhelm seems to be happening a lot at the moment.

I can cope with one thing in a day, eg. work, but not 2 or more. Try adding on choir, cooking, seeing friends etc and my anxiety levels shoot up. Being productive with any other activity other than work is just not happening- I can’t concentrate, get easily distracted and restless.

Overwhelm seems to happen when exciting things are happening too. I recently went away to Edinburgh to sing in a choir I’m part of. Most of the members I hadn’t seen for a few months and we were all really excited to see each other again- well, I was excited anyway!!! Couple this with singing awesome music and trips out to shows and tourist attractions and soon I wasn’t coping. Too much excitement!!! I had three panic attacks that week. I hadn’t had one previously for a good few months. I was overly emotional.

I didn’t take this limitation very graciously, and was very angry and frustrated with myself for not being able to join in everything I wanted to. I could try, but panic attacks had already resulted from doing too much.

Accepting limitations is something I’m still working on! Remembering it’s not my fault is important, but also to evaluate whether I’m putting too much pressure on myself or judging myself harshly.

Affirmations that I’m finding helpful from Louise Hay’s companion book to You Can Heal Your Life are:

I have the power, strength and knowledge to handle everything in my life.

I relax into the flow of life and let Life provide all that I need asily and comfortably.

I am enough just as I am.

Louise Hay

 

Newly Diagnosed Bipolar: You’ve Got This!

Healthline have just launched a video campaign for bipolar disorder called “You’ve Got This” where bipolar patients can record a short video to give hope and inspiration to those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/youve-got-this

Healthline will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to To Write Love On Her Arms, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we’ll receive and the more Healthline can donate to research, support, and treatment programs for mental health disorders.

Below is a beautiful video posted by Julie about her experiences with Bipolar Disorder:

Related Posts

To Write Love On Her Arms

Resources

Healthline

To Write Love On Her Arms

 

Face Fear: Making Peace With Your Shadow

ID-10033305I’ve recently made a big life decision which involves me facing up to some pretty intense fears, by going back to work. Throughout my life, starting at school, I’ve had fears of being trapped and not being able to get away from a situation if I need to. The underlying fear is of being consumed by some intense emotion and reacting in an uncontrollable way. It is a very child-born fear and, as with many anxiety states, is something which is extremely difficult to rationalise myself out of! Placing myself in a working environment, this fear is precipitated by the need to be in a certain situation/role/building for a fixed amount of time, during which I feel I must “hold it together”. By this I mean be able to show only those aspects of myself that are adult, professional and self-controlled.

The Shadow Side In my spiritual development classes, we talk about the shadow side of ourselves. The shadow is made up of those aspects of ourselves which we prefer not to look at- mainly our fears and past behaviours which we have judged ourselves negatively for. This fear of not being able to “escape” is part of my shadow. I unconsciously judge myself for this fear- that it is silly, childish, irrational. These judgements make me feel ashamed of it, of myself. This is part of me I prefer not to look at. This is only one aspect of my own shadow side.

Accepting Our Shadow. Making peace with these shadow aspects of ourselves frees us from the shame we ultimately condemn ourselves to from harsh self- judgements. We’re aiming towards accepting that this fear exists by feeling the fear (physical sensations, emotions, thoughts), acknowledging it from a perspective of non-judgement and compassion, and then gently encouraging ourselves into situations which may trigger the fear- if this is something which needs to be done: I need to be able to make a living and fulfil some kind of useful purpose in my life, therefore I am choosing to face this fear in order to grow and become stronger as a human being. (Of course, being terrified of snakes is probably a fear we can live with- it affects us on a very small scale, unless you happen to work in a reptile house: pretty unlikely, given the fear!)

Compassion for Ourselves Accepting and making peace with this particular aspect of my shadow can look like a conversation between the Shadow Self (which in this case is the frightened, traumatised child) and the Adult self, who is rational, experienced, capable, strong, comforting and soothing:

Shadow Self: “What if I cry or react in some other uncontrollable way at work? I’m terrified I won’t be able to escape or leave when I need to!”

Adult Self (rational, comforting soothing- coming from our higher selves): “Why do you think that might happen?”

Shadow Self: “Because it’s happened before with really bad consequences”. “I don’t feel safe with people in authority, particularly men”.

Adult Self: “This is completely understandable given the experiences you have lived through during childhood and as an adult. You are doing whatever you can to protect yourself. This is a normal reaction to past events. It comes from that part of you which is still a frightened child and that is ok! I, the adult, am here now, and I can take care of you. I am capable and strong and will not leave you in danger. You are safe. It is absolutely ok to feel scared, but know that you are safe now.”

Shadow Side: “But what if it does happen? I will feel so ashamed.”

Adult Side: “What is so shameful about letting out emotion and expressing our truth?”

Shadow Side: “It’s embarrassing and not accepted socially. I’ll be ridiculed and isolated socially”.

Adult Side: “What if I told you that other people’s reactions have nothing to do with you?! They are as important as the speck of dust on your windowsill. The way other people react is their karma and nothing for you to worry about. You are not responsible for any reaction on their part. How they feel about you need not be a significant part of your life. Free yourself from the belief that it is up to you to keep everything and everyone happy and stable. Is isn’t! If you need to express emotion- then that is what is most appropriate for your healing at that moment. It is safe for you to express yourself”.

43397jx6aupqgejBy this point my Shadow Side (or fearful inner child in this case) is feeling soothed, comforted, accepted for who she is, and supported in moving forwards in facing these fears. Once the judgement has been removed from the fear of crying uncontrollably with no escape, space has opened up for me to do it again if I need to- I’ve given myself permission to express myself. I am safe. If I ban myself from doing such a “terrible” thing, I automatically tense up and restrict my true self- I squash myself into a rigid box, compounding the feeling of being trapped. I feel suffocated.

The freedom I have given myself may be completely invisible to other people, but to me it is a precious gift.

Working through these thoughts as I have done above, forms a script, and one that will need to be repeated on numerous occasions until I have trained my mind to be loving and kind to myself! This is a much better platform from which to go out int othe world and face my fear!

Bach Flower Remedy Recommendations

I am now offering personalised Bach Flower Remedy Recommendations for £7 via email 19011nsfqzk509a(equivalent price internationally).

Buy Now Button

Please email me detailing how you would like me to help (click email icon at bottom of post).

Bach Flower Remedies are a great way to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. For more information please see my Bach Flower Remedy Page.

Related Posts

Bach Flower Remedies: For Depression, Anxiety & Hypomania.

Depression SOS: Bach Flower Remedies

Bach Flower Remedy Consultation: Anger & Low Motivation

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

ID-10021637This post is based on my opinion as well as extensive research and experience throughout the last few years.

My Spiritual Experiences During Hypomania

During episodes of hypomania I have frequently felt more at one with nature and in harmony with life in general, as well as with spirit. These experiences have had a euphoric quality to them where I have felt “high”, believing that I have energetic powers including healing.

I always assumed this was part of mania and that I was having grandiose delusions. I would have so much energy that I would feel I was bursting out of my skin.

But what if I wasn’t delusional- what if there was some truth to these intense intuitive experiences? It may sound grandiose now- but what if we all have these dormant psychic skills ready to reawaken?

The symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (as well as depression and anxiety in general) are extremely similar to those that occur as we awaken spiritually.

ID-100136585Spiritual Awakening and Ascension

Spiritual awakening is the process by which our spirits are reunited with our bodies and minds. Our higher self is integrated into our lives as we begin to see how we are all connected as one, and that we have higher purposes in our lives.

This process is occurring increasingly in many people, as earth and all its life forms evolve to a higher dimension, whereby we see each other as brothers and sisters and live from a place of love. Psychic abilities will also develop in many. This is known as Ascension.

As we ascend as individuals, we undergo spiritual awakening, which brings about many symptoms in our mind, body and emotions as we clear out old baggage, and mental and behavioural patterns which no longer serve us.

Many spiritual writers and teachers are sharing information regarding ascension. Diana Cooper is a favourite of mine and explains more about the phenomenon here.

Spiritual Awakening Symptoms

As we awaken, our bodies and minds need to shed old patterns and beliefs which no longer serve a purpose in our lives, and keep us at lower vibrational energy. This leads to many symptoms that include the following:

  • depression & anxiety
  • periods of high energy manifesting in our lives as hyperactivity, racing thoughts, creative bursts (sound familiar?!) etc.
  • new sleep patterns whereby we often wake up between the hours of 2-4pm, fall back to sleep, then possibly wake up again.
  • periods of intense emotion & mood swings- crying at the drop of a hat, switching to laughter.
  • life altering events.
  • growing interest in spirituality.
  • a sense of higher purpose or wishing to know what this is.
  • a feeling of being “different”.

These are just a few of the symptoms. For an extensive list please click here.

As you can see quite a few of the experiences listed overlap with Bipolar Disorder symptoms.

There are a few resources, discussion forums and videos on the internet which discuss this phenomenon. Here is a Google search of Spiritual Awakening and Bipolar Disorder.

ID-10035460What does this mean for us?

The tie-in between Bipolar and Spiritual Awakening may have no meaning for you whatsoever! But for me, and hopefully more and more individuals, it is profoundly meaningful and has changed my life.

I no longer feel a victim of my emotions and, through guidance in spiritual and personal development from a wonderful teacher, I am learning to grow and take charge of my life.

Spiritual & Personal Development

For me, spiritual and personal development have meant taking the reins of my life. Where my emotions have frequently felt like an out-of-control horse running away with me, I am now learning to balance myself and that it is perfectly fine and right to live a life that is different from others. It keeps my emotions in balance. I am so much happier after only a year of this work! I have spent much more time in quiet and solitude, and have learnt to protect and value my innate sensitivity. This development work is something we can all do!

I have also come to learn that many of the emotions I experience are not actually my own, but that I am energetically picking up on the emotions of those around me. It is quite possible you do this too! Development work teaches you to discern which emotions are yours and which are other peoples’, as well as how to clear these emotions from yourself and protecting against further experiences.

Related Posts on this Website

Many of the posts on my blog chart my journey through spiritual and personal development with Bipolar Disorder. Here are a few:

Bipolar Disorder: A Spiritual Perspective for 2013

Self-Forgiveness: A Work in Progress

Bipolar Disorder & Depression: Baby Steps Towards a Spiritual Solution

Bipolar Disorder- Towards Healing: Self-Forgiveness

Other Websites & Blogs

Read my guest post Bipolar and Highly Sensitive People on mentalhealthtalk.info.

Spiritual Awakening: doctors label it delusional but one healer calls it magic.

The Underrated Relation Between Bipolar Disorder and Spirituality

Bipolar Disorder: A Spiritual Awakening?

Mania or Spiritual Awakening?

Relax with Gentle Meditation Music

One of the most effective methods I’ve found of inducing relaxation is by listening to gorgeous meditation music. The track below is one I find particularly peaceful and I find I’m deeply relaxed after 5-10 mins.

This type of music is also great for insomnia- something which I am very familiar with- and I would say 99% effective in getting me back to sleep.

There are also some very effective relaxation meditations available on You Tube, for example:

Music and Meditation are a great way to calm the racing thoughts of anxiety or hypomania! The deeply relaxed state you are guided towards is perfect for releasing tension & stress too.

Related Posts

Yoga Benefits for Mental Health

Self-Forgiveness: A Work in Progress

Self-Forgiveness Meditation