Why is everyone so damn annoying??? I just want to be left alone to do my thing. I don’t want to play your stupid social games. Just leave me be!
I was a freak in high school. Performing all sorts of anti-social behaviors was my norm. I would argue with the entire class over something trivial. Or I would pick on people that wore crosses. At the time I found people that followed religious traditions bizarre and confusing – blindly following along.
The above is how my mindset was in high school when I 16 years old. It was the mind of an introvert or was it? I suspect that I was probably in a different mindset than most of the people around me, but no one ever investigated further simply dismissing my angst as being a youth. And I kept being annoyed and angry.
A few years later I fell into a deep depression with suicidal thoughts. I was later diagnosed as a Bipolar Type 1.
At the time this was a perfectly acceptable, this gave me confirmation that I was sick and not screwed up beyond repair.
It took 5 long years with a few hospital stays before the doctor was able to stabilize my mood. Some of the drugs made me manic where I developed a God like persona that I was invincible while a majority of the drugs left me a lifeless zombie. I remember one drug that left me staring at wall all day while drooling. In the 1990’s there weren’t many drug choices.
I lived with the bipolar label for over 20 years.
My outlook has completely changed since I have reversed the “incurable” bipolar diagnosis.
Today I see bipolar as a thought disorder and the way out is to do practices that give you separation from the thoughts. When I had bipolar I was possessed by thoughts.
I do believe the psychiatric drugs provided enough stability to allow me to do the practice necessary to escape the label. My doctor never talked about being medicine free, it was too be a life sentence. I was “incurable.”
My doctor did not support my decision to go medicine free after all it took him 5 years to figure out the right combination. He was a world renowned bipolar specialist in a teaching hospital in the city with numerous accolades and publications – this was not the path he preached.
Looking back I see that is something that kept me stuck with the bipolar story. He was the “knowable” one, and I had to treat his word as the truth — after all what did I know about bipolar it was his job to fix me.
I simply knew one day that it was time to let go of the medicine. Through practice I learned to trust my intuition. I do not recommend anyone not to follow their doctor’s advice. I made the leap, it could have failed and I could have slipped back into suicidal thoughts. It worked out for me as I reclaimed authority over my body.
Today, I continue to practice watching the mind. The mind is filled with thousands of stories about how things should be. Some of the stories have resulted in conditioned responses. Asking folks, “how are you?” Then not really caring what they answer. It will take some time to strip the power away from all the stories.
Lately, I have been working on consistency when I meet someone. When I met someone what is my default behavior? Do I treat them as an open book, or do I have a preconceived story in my head?
If I cannot read minds, then how could I know what is going on with them?
If I met someone yesterday, why am I convinced that I know everything about them? I had no idea if they had a shift in ideas or beliefs since we last spoke.
Anytime there is a story in our head we leave the present moment. We have to leave this moment to go relive the story in our head. We become time travelers as we relive the past.
When people annoyed me it was because I was reliving a story in my head that everyone needed to behave a specific way. We can control no one — it was a waste of energy to be annoyed.
Are you in the present moment of reliving a story?