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mind over matter...


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is it just me, or does just about everyone around you feed you the line of "you just need to put these things in the past. people have had it much harder than you and have managed to get through life fine. just let it go. it's all mind over matter."

ARGHHHHHHHH! how can you even begin to tell me that? are you serious??? do you have any idea that when i close my eyes or even while i am doing other things i have 15 million thoughts running through my head that are all negative in one way or another, and that none of them ever really finish? how am i supposed to "write down 5 good thoughts" for every negative thought when i can't stop the random sentences from whizzing by?? how do i just shut off the voice that says "you are an idiot, an ugly piece of trash, no one wants to be around you"??

ok, so i am venting. the odd part is, i am physically not getting angry. i never really have. i internalize everything and cower in fear. is that what a mood stabalizer does? makes you vent but not get angry???

blah, i just severly hate it when i feel that there is no one on this planet that can possibly understand what i am dealing with since no one seems to believe that there is such a thing as "mental illness".

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It is true...people who don't understand MI tend to view it as a charecter issue as opposed to a disease.

I often find myself using that logic on myself....for instance, this morning I had my tdoc appt and I spent 45 mins of it trying to sort out all the shame, guilt, blame I have for myself and my life. After therapy, I get on the Metro and see a guy in a wheelchair and the first thought I have is that maybe my life ain't that bad...and start to really loathe myself for not being "strong" enough to deal with my problems.

I guess it is all a matter of perspective.

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To be honest, all that countering thought stuff never worked until I could first accept that I had the thoughts, and not make myself feel bad about it.

So, I'd be headed for a job interview. I'd think 'I never get these jobs, I'm a failure.' Then I'd feel down. Then I'd beat up on myself for thinking the thought that made me feel down. Then someone with no idea about MI would suggest I was positive like them. Then I would beat myself up for not being like them, or not feeling understand. Then I would feel worse.

So eventually, I learned to just accept that I have those thoughts. I have always had them. They might always be with me. I don't like them. If I had a choice, I'd unthink them. Sometimes I can choose what I think and focus on the positive. A lot of the time, it's just me and my odd negativity.

Since I gave them some space in my head, without having to fight them, or run with them either, they have decreased a lot. It's ironic that the more you can tolerate your own craziness and hold it with some understanding and compassion for yourself, the less crazy you seem to be.

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To be honest, all that countering thought stuff never worked until I could first accept that I had the thoughts, and not make myself feel bad about it.

Since I gave them some space in my head, without having to fight them, or run with them either, they have decreased a lot. It's ironic that the more you can tolerate your own craziness and hold it with some understanding and compassion for yourself, the less crazy you seem to be.

I hear that. I read Tom Wooton's Bipolar Advantage and it comfirmed what I already knew. Countering still doesn't work for me, and depending upon which part of my cycle I'm in, I may still feel bad or negatively about myself.

Now if I can just apply the same level of tolerance for others as I sometimes manage for myself... I get really pissed off when people try to tell me what they clearly no NOTHING about.

And the comparing thing never works for me either. I have my own shit and that's that. I hate being attacked on the basis that I'm more or less than someone else (it's happened to me here on CBs by a mod which really pissed me off... got no joy from complaining about it so I guess it's a hazard of being on the damned boards). Fact is, I got what I got, I am what I am and no amount of drugs therapy or other people's ignorant b.s. will change it. When people bring it up, I tune out... or get riled up and start looking for who I can smack. ;)

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ok i get it, we are supposed to learn to ignore our bad thoughts and remind ourselves of all of the good things......but what if your brain transfers from thoughts so fast that you can't figure out what direction you were headed in??

for example. i walked across the street to get lunch. was thinking randomly bad things on the way there...something about how this was supposed to work i think, and on the way back it was a completely different topic and i don't remember what it was.

so how will ignoring thoughts that i can't make out help me?

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i can't add anything to karuna's very wise post, but if i may...

So eventually, I learned to just accept that I have those thoughts...Since I gave them some space in my head, without having to fight them, or run with them either, they have decreased a lot. It's ironic that the more you can tolerate your own craziness and hold it with some understanding and compassion for yourself, the less crazy you seem to be.

see, haley? she's not suggesting that you ignore the thoughts, but that you accept them...give them space in your head...without fighting them or being freaked out by them, but without becoming attached to them either...it takes some practice, but it can be done, and it works.

when i was learning buddhist meditation, the first and simplest form they taught was calmly concentrating on counting to ten, and when unwelcome thoughts arise, just let them drift off. don't judge them as good or bad, don't follow them to see where they're going, just let them float away like clouds, then go back to counting to ten. i mention this because the visual imagery was really helpful for me.

karuna's focus on understanding and compassion for yourself is right on. again, you may need to learn to do it, but you can. starting to try is half the journey right there.

i hope this makes some sense, and i wish you luck in dealing with this.

bean

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zenbean's angle is something that has and does work for me too. Meditation techniques like allowing the thoughts to come but not attach or stick do work when contending with the data-rush we live with all the time as BP people (we're warrior archetypes--that means we have to work at the non-attachment stuff a lot).

I don't always remember to use meditative techniques but the times that I use it, stuff I don't need to btoher with doesn't stick and I get things done or at least I don't go down that dark alley with the vortex in the ground (the suicide hole). Non-attachment doesn't mean unaware of what's not sticking.

An aside: same goes for happy thoughts. Precisely because we BP folk have mammoth and high speed thought generation that goes all over the damned place, is why I can't stand followers of The Secret and other western inversions of eastern stuff. If I had a penny for everytime some happy-happy-butt-munch tells me I've "attracted" bad things in my life because of my undisciplined thoughts I'd be a millionaire... well, a pissed off millionaire. People who believe that crap don't have our wiring and will never understand the way we operate. So I take "advice" even from my tdocs and other spiritual introspection people with a grain of salt. Everything "normal" requires adaptation to the broadband parameters of a BP mind.

What people are saying is true but not in the same way for us as it is for them so we have to adapt their advice to how we operate if it's going to work otherwise it's just crap and we feel like crap.

On a good moment, I realize I cannot control everything in my mind. My mind is way bigger (or as a BP wired person means we're tapped into way more brain power than "normals" are) than anyone can "control." I work with what I can at any given point in time. Use techniques that help me, listen to advice and adapt it to my own way. That took me ten years to figure out then I figured out I have to know how my own mind works and I'm still working on that one.

I hope this helps because I like to be helpful and mostly I think I'm not helpful.

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ok i get it, we are supposed to learn to ignore our bad thoughts and remind ourselves of all of the good things......but what if your brain transfers from thoughts so fast that you can't figure out what direction you were headed in??

for example. i walked across the street to get lunch. was thinking randomly bad things on the way there...something about how this was supposed to work i think, and on the way back it was a completely different topic and i don't remember what it was.

so how will ignoring thoughts that i can't make out help me?

Ignoring sounds a bit like 'I won't look, make it go away, la la la!' I try to just give the thoughts room. Like they rent a room in my head, but I get on with my life in the mean time. I don't push them away, try not to think them or ignore them.

But I don't get really involved in them, or run with them. I don't try to chase them away with good thoughts. In fact, I don't try to do anything. I just be.

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well that is something that i desperately need help with. i go back for therapy tomorrow...hopefully she can help me re-train my thought process.

how i explained it to my husband today is that i know my thoughts are not logical, like it's not logical for me to think that everyone is ashamed of me, that everything i do is wrong, that every look someone gives me has a negative conotation behind it, etc., but for whatever reason my brain does not know how to "give room to", subdue or ignore any nonsense thoughts. it only knows how to latch onto them and run with them, making my problems worse. it's like brushing your teeth, you know you are supposed to do it so you do - it's habbit. well it's habbit for me to think negatively and as we all know habbits are a bit tricky to get rid of.

i think with me, before meditation will work or anything "zen-like", i need to get on an even keel with my moods. i need to get to a point where i can be logical and not dwelling on every stupid little thing that could possibly go wrong or is wrong. once i get that taken care of i can focus on the cognitive aspect of therapy and really retrain myself how to process things; otherwise i am afraid that therapy won't work because for every suggestion i will give 100000000000 reasons why it won't work and just end up getting angry and so continues the roller coaster i've been on for the last decade. the abilify really seemed to help with the evening out of my intrusive thoughts that is until i stopped sleeping. hopefully 2mg of xanax xr at bedtime will cure that problem......at least that's what the doc is hoping for. ;)

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Haley,

Yes, having meds to lift your overall mood will help you have the energy to deal with the thoughts. When you are very low, this habit seems more ingrained. I do think that some cognitive work, something like the 'Mind over Mood' workbook would be a more tangible, practical route for you to go down right now.

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