I know I’m not alone in this world and neither are you… I promise.
So whenever my anxiety starts screaming in my ear, I tell it what I tell my 11-year-old-self, regarding Marvel movies: Why don’t we just stop… take a deep breath… and think about this for a second? We’ve been through all of this like a million times. This is never going to end up as world-shattering as you think it’s going to be. We can just wait for our anxiety attack to come out on Redbox.”
During my recovery, I did learn the very important lesson of how vital it is to affix the oxygen mask to yourself before you assist the person next to me. It’s sometimes still hard to remember in my everyday life especially when the “Beth Signal” goes up in the sky but then of course I have to remind myself that, if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t promise I’ll be able to respond to the “Beth Signal” the next time I see it and that would be a real shame.
The truth of the matter is, that no one deserves the fate of Sisyphus: forever rolling a heavy boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back to the bottom. No one deserves to have to live through the movie Groundhog Day in real life. So if you’re finding yourself consistently prone to relationships or situations that are bad for you, sometimes you just need to take a moment to truly think about what you are looking for in life and how you can get it for yourself in a healthy way, of course.
I spoke in coded phrases, seemingly in an effort to sneak cries for help past my larger than life “happy” manic persona. In dropping these metaphorical breadcrumbs, I truly felt like I was begging… screaming even for help. Looking back, my cries for help were really obscure and, of course, with my current knowledge that I have Bipolar Disorder, they make perfect sense. At this point though, I was desperate. Desperate for companionship. Desperate for understanding. Desperate for being saved from myself. I was waiting for Superman.
After admitting that I needed help and checking myself inpatient, the next factor that really determined how quickly I progressed in my recovery was finding a therapist that I trusted could help me. I mean really there are two parts to that statement. Finding a therapist you trust. And believing it is possible for you to be helped. Both are equally important but I’ve actually had an easier time finding my soulmate than a fitting therapist.
So I remind myself when someone says something mean to me that they simply don’t understand and are afraid and, rather than being silent, I should continue to speak my truth. If I can comfort one person while being judged by 10… I think that’s a ratio I can live with.
Just because something needs to be said doesn’t always mean it needs to be heard.
Simple words like “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” can make someone blissfully happy; however, even more easily words can shatter a person entirely.