Saturday, September 24, 2011

Emotion and control

As many of you may or may not know, I have bipolar--a mood disorder. This means that due to environment and/or biological causes, my brain either has too much of a certain chemical that controls moods---at times there is not enough/too much or it doesn't have the receptors to receive what is there.

In regular words, this means that without medication, I will cycle through emotional stages that overwhelm my senses, decrease my attention span, increase impulsive actions (like spending, sexual activity, or other addictive behaviors), and even maybe cause thoughts of grandiosity--where literally I believe that "anything you can do I can do better" Literally. Or, at other times I am in the depths of despair, with feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and extreme guilt.

Sounds fun right? I consider this condition of mine a challenge to my goal of perfection. I wouldn't say it is a conscious goal. It's not something I actively add to my to-do list, but there is this undercurrent drive of the need to be better. On the flip side, this might also be interpreted as "I'll never be good enough". It just really depends on the mood I'm in.

On reflection, I see how this condition is the perfect check to the potential pitfalls of pursuing perfection. (I got really alliterative there!). It reminds me that I cannot put everything in a little box where it should behave as I want it to, or hope it will. Not people, not things, and not even my own body and mind.

At first glance, it would seem that this inability to check emotions without extreme awareness and assistance of medication is meant to spur me further into achieving perfection. At one time it did. Still does. But that is a mistake, because what it really is there to do is remind me that I cannot achieve perfection.

So, what is the solution then? Resign myself to being a failure? That is one way to look at it, but will inevitably encourage depression and cynicism. So far, the only thing I have found that really brings peace, that in moments of feeling out of control and anxiety, panic that to reach a place of calm serenity I must accept. Accept where I am, who I am, and what I have in that moment. Accept my limitations, my abilities, and knowledge. NOT what I wish I had, not the people or things I think I should have or be; Just WHAT & WHO I AM. Accept without reference to past or future goals.

Because it is only when I accept what I am, that I can perform and participate to the best of my ability. This is my starting point to wellness, and will be essential should I ever achieve pregnancy, as for the sake of the baby I will NEED to stop taking medication.

In this moment, I have peace of mind. I have skills to assist me in reaching that peace of mind. And I have  supporting, loving friends and family that will help me get there. But I have to do it.

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Motherhood Wanted approved!

Motherhood Wanted approved!
Diana Farrell, MA


Motherhood Wanted approved!