Stinkin’ Thinkin’

“No more of that Stinkin’ thinkin’!” That’s a phrase my dad used to use when I would start talking negatively growing up. So everytime I catch myself thinking negatively it comes to mind – I can label it – “that’s stinkin’ thinkin’.” And I find that when I am feeling depressed that stinkin thinkin just takes off. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The stinkin thinkin or the bipolar? I wonder, how much of this stinkin thinkin is in my control, and how much is out of my control?

When I first started researching natural treatments for bipolar I got really excited about the nutrients and supplements. Also, my diet. I wasn’t eating enough meat, I needed more magnesium, I need more omega-3’s – that’s what’s wrong with me! It’s not me! It’s that I don’t have these wonderful nutrients in my system! If I just got more of this good stuff everything would be better and I would be healed and we would all live happily ever after, right?

Wrong.

I started to get better, yes. My mind began to return to me (yay!) but then something happened that threw me for a serious loop. I got fired. Out of the blue. It was only about 3 months after a 3 week leave of absence due to my episode and I was only just starting to feel like myself again. I still remember a phone call the morning I got “laid off” with a colleague and let me tell you – I was in a great mood! We laughed and talked about some upcoming projects, and I was thinking, “Ok, I can do this!”

Granted, after the return to work after staying the hospital I was jumping from pill to pill and I was suffering from severe depression. I was hating my job and felt completely miserable but I didn’t know what was the illness and what was situational.

For a healthy person, my job was absolutely amazing. It truly was. I got to travel, meet amazing people, drink plenty of dranks, fun creative projects, high energy team, growing and succeeding company, etc, etc. But, my heart wasn’t in it. I remember trying to plan a work trip that logically I should have been super pumped and excited about but I felt nothing. Actually, I felt dread. The idea of having this amazing work trip but not actually being able to feel happy at it was giving me pre-anxiety a half a year before the trip. I truly did not know if I would ever feel better again.

Regardless, they let me go. They chalked up it up to a restructure and I didn’t want to fight it. In college I had a boyfriend that took me years to get over – that story is for another day – but my takeaway lesson was that there’s no reason to fight if if someone doesn’t want you there.

Whether it was the sickness or not, my heart wasn’t it in at the time. Instead I caught myself reading health and nutrition books, trying to research breadcrumbs of bipolar treatment theories, the latest research, etc.

My thoughts about the job were negative at the time. I didn’t feel like I fit in and didn’t feel like my contributions were valued. It was stable and secure but maybe the writing was on the wall. But what next?

Regardless, getting let go threw me DEEP into depression. I was panicked, beating myself up physically and mentally. I just felt so stupid and worthless and… broken. Who would want me? Can I even handle another job? What do I even want to do? Did I even like what I did? That deep darkness went so deep I started thinking about suicide again. But it was different this time. I had experienced suicidal thinking on my medicine before but this time it was something that once I decided I wasn’t going to go there, I was able to start climbing my way out of the darkness. It took time and I’m still recovering but it was scary.

That experience has me thinking about our mindsets again and the programming of our minds. Why do we go to that dark place when bad things happen? This was thinking that I could control, but I didn’t really know how. How do you truly discipline your mind? And if you’re into the Law of Attraction and other New Age mind-over-matter mindsets, does it really work? What can we think our way out of, and what can we not?

Now I am taking time to relax and reevaluate. What is my life really about? This blog is serving as a sounding board for me in many ways. I know there are others out there who are going through or have gone through similar situations. But I want them to have hope. I don’t know the happy ending here yet, but I’m going to continue to work and fight for it.

No more stinkin’ thinkin’ people! Instead, focus on your Better Bipolar life. Peace and love!

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