We recently used the analogy of the swinging pendulum to describe what happens sometimes when we shift and make changes, so today let’s talk about a different kind of swing. You see, I have a client that I’m so proud of. She’s in her thirties, and she’s been dealing with the major ups and downs of bipolar disorder for probably about twenty years. And for the first time in her life, she’s handling these cycles with massive amounts of awareness. And you know what? Her experience has been totally different. Yes!
You see, she recently realized she was starting to experience the highs of mania. And this is what she did. She called me to set up an appointment. Great call. And she had already called her psychiatrist to move her previously scheduled appointment up. Another great call! She’s on a couple of meds that work well for her, but he added another one to make sure she gets plenty of sleep, which is really important when you’re in a manic state. And then she’ll discontinue it when she comes back down.
So she’s having this amazing feeling and a ton of energy, but she’s aware that it’s the temporary manic state; it’s not her. So she’s not lost in it. In the past, she’s racked up over ten thousand dollars in credit card debt by making purchases she didn’t need. But she felt so good, so why not? Buy this! Buy that! So what did she do this time? She gave her husband her cards. Wow! That’s a really big deal. I told her she can write a book on how to do bipolar. And I’m serious.
She made sure to have weekly sessions with me during this manic time, and it lasted about three weeks. Then she came in the next week feeling low. She wasn’t in that amazing state anymore. But you know what? Again, she had awareness, so she was not lost in it. Getting lost in it would’ve sent her way down the tubes to the depths of depression. Instead, she stayed in her wisdom, which stuck to the facts. She was able to remind herself that this is part of the deal. Of course it doesn’t feel good to come down off of a high, but let’s not make it worse by staying in our head and getting lost in our thoughts (which nobody else even hears or cares about).
She used the best analogy for this low state, saying it was like she had the flu. When you have the flu, do you beat yourself up? Is it your fault? Did you do anything wrong? Or is it just the flu. Let that sink in… Pretty amazing, isn’t it? That one blew me away. So clear and simple and powerful. So she came in the next week, and her mood had started to rise back to normal. I was just so proud of her!
We all cycle, and some do more than others. I certainly do. But you know what? The less we get caught up in our thoughts – which nobody else even hears or cares about – there’s a reason I keep saying that! – the less disruptive the cycles are in our lives. The highs and lows aren’t quite as high or low. They also don’t tend to last as long – that’s big. And they’ll probably even happen with less and less frequency. So that’s the plan. And to this amazing woman, I say thank you on behalf of all humans! And especially those that struggle with their cycles, whether it’s classified as bipolar disorder or not. I love my job! Because to play such an intimate role in this kind of awakening, with a front row seat, is really, really special and really, really cool. Thank you.