For the past nine years, I focused really hard on my bipolar symptoms. Instead of pushing through and making a choice that would benefit me in the long run, I would focus on my bipolar mood and feelings and let them control the situation. If I had all these nine years to do over again, there are many decisions that would have been made differently.
Let me give you an example to help you understand what I mean. I may have plans with a friend on Friday night. I had a lousy week at work, it is raining outside and I am feeling somewhat depressed. I call her up and cancel because I chose to drop my head between my shoulders and wallow in my mood and feelings. I decide my mood and feelings will win out since they are yelling the loudest.
Go with me instead of canceling the dinner with my friend to making a decision to meet her. We eat some great food. The service is excellent. We enjoy each other’s company. I get to unload on my friend about the lousy week I had at work and I talked through why I felt depressed. What a big pick-me-up! That was much better than lying on the couch staring out the window and letting my icky feelings continue to keep building up.
I have so many instances in my past where I wish I prayed about the decision instead of going down the easy path to wallow in my cave of bipolar fear, anxiety, loneliness, inadequacy, unacceptance, weirdness, etc.
Here’s another example: I am feeling bored and lonely which will lead to depression if I am not careful. These two feelings always make me want to eat to fill a false sense of comfort. I raid my purse for change to use in the vending machines. I scan the cupboards at home for chocolate.
What I know I need is stimulation for my mind and the chance to feel loved and accepted. Like thousands upon thousands of times before, I chose the comfort of food over the comfort and companionship of God or someone else that God might bring into my path.
Options to the Bipolar Control
What I have learned along the way when I am wanting to choose my bipolar, anxiety or my loneliness over the fulfillment of God’s blessings, I try the following:
- Praying to God
- Taking a walk outside
- Talking to somebody who will encourage you
- Texting somebody who will encourage you
- Watch uplifting YouTube videos
- Read an uplifting book
- Read an uplifting magazine
- Surf the Internet for uplifting information
Now, you may think I am oversimplifying the food disorder disease. I know I am not. Why? Because I have an eating disorder too, called overeating. I have struggled with it for all my life and will continue to struggle. A list like this helps me because I am able to stay grounded and focused on the things that matter most and the One who can give me perfect love.
God is in Control
There is a reason why praying to God is number one on this list. Since I have my head screwed on more tightly, I know through experience that when I pray, God has been there to help me with food cravings and a growling stomach. I no longer eat a midafternoon snack like I used to. God has replaced that need for comfort with a sense of accomplishment when I am at my job.
Trust God to get you through whatever the situation whether it is a mental illness like bipolar, or it is cancer, MS, or lupus. Feelings, moods and ingrained beliefs are difficult to fight against. I am not saying that making the decision for God is easy. Focusing on your feelings and moods does sound a lot easier to manage. But you cannot fight them alone. You need God. Call on Him!
If you think you or someone you love has bipolar symptoms, please see a doctor. Visit the websites below for more information on bipolar disorder.