When writing my blogs on my journey living with bipolar, I had to draw inward to the depths of my disease and the havoc its created. It has put me in a place of inner contemplation, shame, unparalleled hurt, and remorse. An article written in Huff Post by New Harbor, talked about “monkey mind”. I never heard of this description of the mind but, it is called “autopilot scripting”. New defines autopilot scripts as “ when the mind takes off on its own, replaying the past or worrying about the future.” It can prevent us from experiencing joy or happiness. I had to get out of my head and into the present. I decided to focus on the things that bring me joy. I think my intervention should be writing those things that make me happy on a post-it and sticking the post-it into a jar. So when moments of despair consumes me, I can look back and remind myself of the things that bring me joy.
There is much I can be grateful for. It is like my latest venture of gardening that best describes my happiness. Preparing the land by weeding and lifting the dirt below. The planting of new life within the depths of the darkness. My daily care by constant watering and feeding that ensures the flowers will bloom to their fullest. The spray of pesticide to prevent any harm comes to them. More weeding when necessary. To finally, taking in the beauty that they produce by the team effort that was given.
Allow me to share what brings me happiness.
Happiness is…Identifying that I choose to get better. Bringing new life into the old one.
Happiness is…Preparing the land recognizing that my illness is a lifelong treatment. Weeding out my old behaviors, coming face to face with my darkness from within and seeking the treatment required.
Happiness is.. My daily care. Maintaining my treatment plan designed by my pMD is an essential part of my everyday life. I have been successfully in a natural state of mind for 2 ½ years and this has greatly enriched my life and my families.
Happiness is…taking my illness less seriously. More compassion for myself.
Happiness is…an abrupt course to retirement that helped give me a new look on handling my illness. And quality time spent with my husband and family.
Happiness is…aspiring new hobbies and old. A new set of golf clubs and cart. A newly decorated crafts room to expand upon my love for sewing and crochet. A renew love for gardening.
Happiness is…Taking in the beauty that surrounds me. The beauty of the flowers that are beginning to bloom. The puppies that fill our lives with so much joy and laughter.
Spraying the pesticides and weeding when necessary by being mindful. Yet, can sometimes lead me to autopilot scripting. Staying focused on the present and of those who love me most. I am “thankful for the difficult people in my life, for they have shown me exactly who I don’t want to be.” Leaving the past behind me. Looking forward that all the progress I’ve made is not in vain. Putting to rest the relationships damaged by gossip and stigma. The circumstances beyond my control will no longer taunt me.
This is the beauty of my illness that continues to blossom.