Allison feels fear is a trap and shares what she’s learned so far from her online research and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to VAPORIZE it.
Hi! I’m Allison Strong with bpmagazine’s bphope Vlog.
Today I’d like to talk about fear of bipolar depression relapse.
Do I have it??
Absofrigginlutely, BUT… not HALF as much as it used to.
Something ‘clicked’ the last time I dug out of a bipolar depression.
I became determined NOT to live in a state of anxiety over its’ return.
Here are top five things I know about fear:
#1: It’s NOT our fault or a moral failing. Like our ancestors, we’re hardwired to harbor it in order to keep us safe against dangers faced in the wild. Evolution just hasn’t caught up.
#2: There are very limited benefits to worry.
#3: FDR was right when he said in his first inaugural address, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself.”
#4: When I’m depressed, I ‘self-stigmatize.’ I compare myself to others and come up short. I dread that the most.
#5 If I am depressed but continue anyway with my ‘go to’ pastimes, I can fill my mind with more constructive thoughts.
But there’s more…
In DBT I’ve been encouraged, in the most Zen way possible, to accept the train of scary self talk that surfaces. (Acceptance is at the heart of Zen Buddhism).
Fighting a negative thought doubles its’ weight.
Instead, we have to accept it.
“Oh, golly gee, I realize I’m thinking about relapsing.”
Then we can gently challenge it. Half of what we worry about never comes to pass, so that cuts its’ credibility by half.
If it’s a feeling rather than something real, with Teflon minds, we let them slide away.
I’ve also put measures in place, sorta like insurance policies, to limit the damage of a bipolar depression.
Here in Florida, that means making sure my hurricane shutters are in good working order. Making sure I have enough water, batteries and cat food.
This coverage I’m speaking of also includes my hobbies, activities, and interests. Stuff I’ve discovered to be helpful in past depressions.
Example, I’ve always loved to read. During one such relapse, I checked out an autobiography by the famous actor Alan Alda.
I actually laughed!! Comedy is great! Even if I’m the only one who gets the joke!
And I LOVE celebrity autobiographies. Liz Taylor? The Kardashian’s? Jackie O. Books? Bring ‘em on! Total diversion. Like gossip.
I like seeing how other people have handled hardship.
I love to write and make jewelry too.
But my coverage isn’t complete….
I’m in a bit of a rut.
I don’t socialize enough. I lack friends.
Instead, I’m always on my computer, compulsively clearing my inbox.
And then there’s social media.
Everyone is on a different platform!
I’m sooo OVER my computer being the center of my world.
(Sigh) …I believe life is a horizon.
With your mind, you can go further than the eye can see.
So I better go create what I want, right?
Before I go, if you have fear of bipolar depression relapse or have gotten over it, please, share your thoughts and ideas, insights, solutions with us in the ‘replies’ section below.
I’m curious to see what you think.
On behalf of Bipolar Magazine’s online community, bphope.com, I’m Allison Strong. Thanks for watching!
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community