Isn’t ironic that actress, Linda Hamilton, best known as Sarah Connor from the movie Terminator and played the leading role on the TV series Beauty and The Beast was later diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 40. I admire her courage for publicly announcing on Larry King about her disorder. I find it interesting when she admitted the signs of her illness during her first marriage, reared its beastly self during pregnancy. How beauty turned into her own beast.
That is exactly when I felt my own behavioral change as well. Could it be that the release of hormones while pregnant exacerbates bipolar disorder or was it just my age that helped lend entering into the beasts cave? I distinctly remember thinking that these behavioral reactions never were so pronounced as then. Yet, I was the least bit alarmed. I felt my reactions were justified. I’m right and the whole world is to blame.
Today, the beast in me is faced wih the shame in the aftermath. Yes, the men were poor choices. I was drawn to the needy, thinking I could nurture to change despite my knowledge that I am incapable of changing anyone. Instead, I went broke supporting them. Sometimes money suddenly disappeared from my account. And that’s just the financial aspect. Allow me to skip the painful abuse I endured.
Rick Hanson,PhD.and Richard Mendius,MD states “your mind is built from experiences you have.” taken from the book Buddha’s Brain. “Implicit memory” is your “expectations, models of relationships, emotional tendencies, and general outlook.” The idea that something tragic or negative will make you stronger. I never agreed with that notion. All I ever felt from these emotional traumas is a numbness that “the pain was so big, I felt nothing all.” ( John Lennon) How could I dismiss the horror when I was filled with so much fear?
My support team says I need to find the positive experiences rather than suppress them as a negative experience. Seriously? “Look for the beauty”. Ha! Where is the beauty in the beast I’ve become?
I’ve been working on this homework for weeks now. And I am moving forward in recovery by “internalizing the positive”. Imagine that, I am finding the good in my daily life. The enormous gratitude for the loved ones who stood by me. The look of unconditional love in the eyes of my husband when he looks into my eyes, the laugher when viewing older video tapes. The beauty in past experiences before the rabbit hole began. The laughter and beautiful smile I should strive to reestablish.
Dr. Hanson and Dr. Mendius recommends to “savor the experience.”An example is “when someone is good to you, let the feeling warm your heart, throughout your chest.” Savor the moment. As my therapist classifies me, I am a “newborn” in the healing of recovery. “You have all the skills, a hefty toolbox to work from.” The phrase from Tibetan Buddhism-The clearing of these (skills) is a progressive process of training, purification and transformation.
Can it be that I can calm the beast within? In conclusion by Dr. Hanson and Mendius, virtue, mindfulness, and wisdom are the pillars of everyday wellbeing. Is it working? All I can tell you is that my family are reacting positively and my smile is returning without effort. It’s the best direction I’ve had in a long time and I’m enjoying the beauty. So long to the beast. Will she return? Possibly but, I have the strategies and skills to deal with her.