Category Archives: Contemplating Life

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?

Where’s Your Happy Place?

When I was a kid I had a place where I could escape all my childhood cares and be completely at peace with myself. It was along a disused railway track and up a slope. There was a stile where I would sit and look out over the beautiful fields. Skylarks and Yellowhammers were always twittering and made heavenly companions. If I was angry to begin with, I’d inevitably feel more calm after 10 minutes or so just sitting doing nothing except soaking up nature.

In a way I didn’t even feel alone. I definitely felt some kind of universal presence, call it God or Spirit. Nature always had a subtle power to befriend me and allow me to offload my troubles.

This is gonna sound so stupid but even watching cows or sheep grazing helps me refocus and calm my emotions. I love the way all they care about is grass- chew, chew, chew. All they seem to think about is where the next best bit of grass is. I love it! Their lives are so simple! Kind of brings any of my worldly problems back into perspective! Sometimes I think animals are way smarter than humans.

I also have an imaginary happy place that I “visit” when meditating, under a big oak tree at the top of a gently sloping wildflower meadow. It overlooks hills and trees. Here I imagine sitting and reading. All the dogs I’ve grown up with are with me, lying around in the sun, as well as the horses I used to ride. No people though!!

Dogs are brilliant too. My dog Cassie is never sad. She might get a bit worked up when she knows her dinner or walk is due, but afterwards she never fails to jump up on our laps for a cuddle. She’s so happy! She doesn’t worry about impressing anyone or what she needs to get done or relationships. Once the belly is full she’s the most contented animal ever! A lesson in gratitude from a dog!

School Days: Anxiety & Fitting In

Different at Primary School

Wherever I go in life I never feel like I fit in.

I’ve always been a bit different. Ever since I started primary school I felt out of place. During break and lunch I was equally happy to play on my own as with others. In fact I would often go off on my own if a game wasn’t interesting to me. I think I probably came across as a bit of an outsider. I think other kids would think my games silly or not want to play them. I was always off in my little fantasy world, dreaming about flying and winged horses, unicorns and magic. To me this was totally natural. I was never interested in sporty games which I guess would isolate me a bit from some of the others.

I never struggled in school either. I don’t think it was really until middle and high school that the other kids would start to tease about being a teacher’s pet. I never intended to be a teacher’s pet. I don’t think I ever really was one, it’s just that the others would see me as a bit of a know-it-all/goody-two-shoes. I didn’t mean to be like this, I didn’t set out consciously to irritate other kids. I could be a bossy kid which always gets on other’s nerves. I liked to help other people with work, but I think I’d go a bit overboard. If we ever worked in groups I liked to be the leader!

Different Beliefs

Two of the main reasons I’d get picked on were for being religious (went to church every Sunday with my family) and I was a bit podgy- not fat, not then. Just a little overweight. I still remember how horrible it felt at playschool, when all the other kids were dressing up and I was the only girl who couldn’t fit into the pretty ballerina tutu. I wanted so much to be the fairy!

I guess, when I was a kid, I would have wanted to be popular and for everybody to like me. I wanted to be pretty, wear fashionable clothes, have fashionable toys that everybody wanted to play with. I wanted long, blonde hair that I could wear in long braids (I had a stupid boys hair cut that my mum made me have- I hated it). I wanted beautiful dresses! I just wanted to be liked by everyone! I didn’t want other people to talk about me meanly behind my back- who does? I didn’t want people to pretend to be nice to me.

Fears

Another difference was my anxiety and sensitivity. I found teachers fairly terrifying! I hated displeasing anybody, but the punishments were what I feared the most. Even something like being told off in front of others was a trauma-inducing thought! School really scared me. I would often have “stomachaches” or “earaches” and Mum would let me stay home. I never realised when I was a kid that I suffered with anxiety, but now it is obvious to me that I did. I dreaded going to school: fear of other kids mean-ness during breaks and the teachers’ anger during work time was enough to stop me sleeping. Summer Moon from My Bipolar Bubble has written a great post on Separation Anxiety and Bipolar in Kids which really resonated with me.

Do I think I had Bipolar symptoms back then? I don’t know. I definitely had separation anxiety though and anxiety about school. I’d be upset more easily than others and hurt by comments or criticism.. I cried quite a bit!

Different Passions

At high school I started to learn that it was a bad thing to know the answers or to be good at music or art. It made me different. Was I arrogant about it? Was I boastful? I don’t know? Maybe I was, though it was unintentional. I soon learned to keep quiet.

I loved dancing, but dancing is what all the popular girls did and I never fit in with them. So that made me not like dancing so much- well not the social group anyway. I used to dance at home a lot, to all sorts of music, often classical (this was during ages 11+). I definitely got the feeling others thought I was weird for liking classical music. I tried not to hide it, just because I loved it so much. I was passionate about it- certain pieces of music would move me to tears, even at the age of 11. I didn’t want to hide something I loved so much. I wanted to listen to classical music all the live-long day! And watch ballets- I loved watching ballets. I’d dance around the living room pretending to be different characters in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. I would enter a whole new world. It was magical and helped me to love life, despite hating school. There was always ballet and music- I’ve never lost my passion for them. I’m still convinced I was a dancer in a former life!

The First Bipolar Signs

I think my first Bipolar symptoms cropped up in high school. I remember getting very hyper and talking a-mile-a-minute. I’d get loud, precocious, silly, really giggly and hysterically laugh. I’d find it hard to calm down. Other times I couldn’t stop crying, usually when I was at home alone in my room. I’d sob silently, about nothing in particular sometimes, other times because I felt very alone and helpless. Sometimes I thought to feel despairing and terrified was normal, well it had pretty much always been normal for me. Other times I thought I was a freak. I always thought that maybe I’d be happier if I just fit in better with the others, then I wouldn’t get teased. I thought that there was something “wrong” with me for liking the things I did, for not being someone who people liked. I felt defective and this feeling I still carry with me today. I can tell myself I’m perfectly normal until I’m blue in the face, but the feeling of being defective remains constant. Maybe it’s starting to lessen a bit. Other times I feel like I was born on the wrong planet!

Still Different…..

Even now I don’t fit in with “regular” folks my age. I used to wish I liked the fashionable music and clothes, and liked clubbing and drinking and having a huge group of friends, just so I could fit in. But I’ve tried so desperately hard to like these things and fit in with “popular” people that it’s made me utterly miserable. Why do I desperately seek the approval of others? It seems so silly sometimes. I want to love life, not hate it by being someone I’m not, just to fit in. So I’m going to learn to love my differences and to shout about them, rather than hiding behind a rock the whole time.

Similar posts: Free To Be Average; Bipolar & Perfectionism Part 1; Perfectionism Part 2; Bipolar Disorder & Trauma.

Check out Separation Anxiety & Bipolar in Kids by Summer Moon on My Bipolar Bubble.

Photo Credits: Violin by Maya via freedigitalphotos.net; Child in Autumn by chrisroll via freedigitalphotos.net.

Wishes!

Carla from Seasons Change and So Have I has just posted asking what we would wish for if we had three wishes?

I enjoyed thinking about mine, so thought I’d share them here (though I did cheat and have three wishes for the world, and four for me!)

Wishes for the world:

1. To have all world leaders and political groups to be motivated by love, peace, and the health of the environment, not power and money.

2. For all animal cruelty to stop. Period.

3. The Western world to stop living the madness of a materialistic life, running around like headless chickens doing the jobs they hate, just to keep up with the Jones’s. Move towards working in what we love.

Wishes for me:

1. Enough money to pay off our mortgage; to have extra to buy a bigger house and garden (not huge though); to be able to pay off my immediate family’s mortgages; to donate regular large chunks to Save the Children, Unicef and the RSPCA; to go on a luxury holiday each year, plus a short break; to have thousands in savings!!! Overall I guess that’ll be I wish for £1 million then!

2. To be a successful writer/artist/spiritual teacher/counsellor- all rolled into one! And to love it with a passion! Fulfilling my life’s purpose!

3. To be completely stable emotionally and irradicate anxiety on natural health products alone, and to easily achieve a lifetime of healthy eating patterns.

Funnily enough I wouldn’t say I wish I wasn’t Bipolar. All those experiences I’ve had have taught me a lot about myself and the emotional pain of others. I’d like to use this some way as part of fulfilling my life purpose.

That’s probably way more than three wishes, but it was fun thinking about it!

Oh no I’ve thought of a fourth:

4. For me and Chris to continue to grow healthily and happily in our relationship together and to get married!

Photo Credits: Bride freedigitalphotos.net; Dandelion Wishes freedigitalphotos.net

Time to Go

Why do we stay in situations that we know are unhealthy?
Maybe because it’s the easiest option for us? We’re scared to change? Fear of the unknown?

Work

Quitting my job has freed me from a toxic workplace that I had no idea was eating away at my soul. I hated going in. Most of my co-workers were stressed-out and obviously unhappy in their jobs, and life in general. It was so easy to become one of them. I felt I had friends and could fit in if I became one of them, I felt less alone.

This was all unconsciously done of course. But now I’m out of the situation, I look back and can’t believe how abusive I was to myself by forcing myself to go every day. And of course those co-workers were not really friends at all, just co-workers. My soul was screaming at me stop, stop, STOP- I can’t take anymore! My moods were swinging, I was hyper, aggressive, irritable, and very anxious (though I don’t think I would have admitted it at the time).

Why did I stay for two years?

I told myself that by working in this job I was contributing to society, that it was expected of everyone, that if I didn’t work I’d curl up in a lonely ball of depression and never come out from under the duvet. If I didn’t work, other people would reject me, criticize me, disapprove.

Well, so far, I’ve been nowhere near depression and have felt so well and healthy. I feel myself again. It’s amazing! Yes, people don’t necessarily approve of me for quitting. But I know I’m giving myself exactly what I need at the moment- which is a lot of R & R and me-time. I’m not forcing myself to do things anymore.

A New Challenge

Having let go of the reins on my job, I know I have to deal with bigger demons now.

Eating, food, sugar, addictive and emotional eating, stuffing down my emotions. I need to feel the pain inside me, not stuff it down.

I think this unhealthy situation I am in with my eating habits is far scarier for me to let go of.

Yeah I want to be healthy and full of energy and fit. I want to wear whatever I like and look good in everything! I want to enjoy the summer, not spend the entire time trying to cool down and avoiding doing things that will heat me up even more!

So why do I keep eating addictively????!!!

It’s easy to keep doing. It makes me feel good temporarily. It feels safe and comforting. I cling to it for security. When I was suicidal it would distract me from destructive thoughts and give some pleasure to my day, some small thing to look forward to, to keep me plodding through life. If I stop, will the pain come back? What’s underneath all the food and fat? Do I want to see? What if it’s too terrifying to imagine?

Am I ready to say goodbye yet? It doesn’t matter. I have to, for my health, and to recover love and compassion for myself through self-care.

Do You Really Want to be Here?

The things that are hurting us have such a forceful hold. Often we are blind to how destructive a situation or relationship is until we realise we can’t continue to live in this way. I felt like I was dying inside when I was working at my last job. I had to let it go.

The best way to tell if you need to let something go is to honestly answer the question:

Do you still want to be in this situation in a year’s time?

No? Well, that’s a salad for me then please…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

Photo Credits: Woman with Staple Gun Free Digital Photos; Salad Free Digital Photos