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Tag Archives: bipolar healing

How Gratitude Has Led Me To Give Back To Others

“Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
~ John Wooden

 

As a sit here reflecting on the book launch of “I Don’t Dwell,” I’m in awe.  When I think of my recovery, a deep sense of gratitude fills my body and tears begin to well up.  I think of Lou Gehrig who had ALS, when he said “I feel like I’m the luckiest man alive”.

practices to settle the mindHow did I survive that car accident at 6 years old?

How did I survive being suicidal with bipolar?

How did I survive with being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?

I survived because I had no choice.  I like to think that I was in control of my life, but looking back I can see that I had very little control.  I was placed on this Earth for reasons unknown to me, only known by God.  As Einstein once said “God doesn’t throw dice”.  There are no mistakes and no luck; there is a divine plan unknown to us.

The only thing I know for certain is that I can control how I react and respond to my thoughts. That sounds so simple, but it wasn’t easy. It took time to see that I had thoughts, but they were not my thoughts.  Through my five minute daily practice I was starting to get separation from my thoughts.  It took a lot of vigilance to stick with the practice. My thoughts were in my face, yelling and screaming at me that I wasn’t good enough or wasting my time. These thoughts were impossible to ignore at times, but the more I ignored the mind the quieter the mind became.

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A World of Fear

world of fearI found myself on a stretcher being pushed into a bright room with a lot of noise and commotion. The next morning I woke up to find tubes connected to me, connected to all sorts of machines keeping me alive. I suffered head trauma, a broken hip and a broken arm.   I was 6 and I’d been hit by a van.

By my twenties, I’d completely lost reality. One day I’m role playing with Brad Pitt for the movie “12 Monkeys.” Another day I’m staring at a bottle of sleeping pills wondering why I should continue to live.

By my thirties I lost the ability to take care of myself. One day I found myself unable to walk.

By my forties I was a walking train wreck.  Suffering was “normal.”   In my twenties I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In my thirties I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was also diagnosed with a few other things along the way to keep life interesting.

I read all I could about my various diseases, usually focusing on all the bad stuff contained within the books. I had discussions with my doctors to confirm what I read was true — they probably said it could happen which I turned into “will happen.”

I was trapped in the world of fear. I was convinced that all the stuff I read would happen to me. I had no realization that I gave up responsibility of my health over to the doctors. It was the doctor’s job to fix me — they were the “knowledgeable” ones. In my world, there was nothing I could do.  I was destined to live a life of suffering since there is no cure for my ailments.

Being disabled, I watched a lot of TV.   I was a couch potato watching up to 10 hours of TV a day on the weekend.   I would go get some exercise at a gym but TV watching was my primary hobby.   I loved ghost hunting shows.   I didn’t know if it was real or not – it was entertaining.   I saw a tweet from a Ghost Hunter for an upcoming hunt in the city at a paranormal location.   I was tired of MS limiting me so I decided to sign up and attend for an hour, going for the whole event wouldn’t have been possible.  For an hour I could push myself through it.

I researched the location and found the most active “hot” spot for paranormal activity.    I will see for myself it is real or fake.   At the event, I joined up with a group going to this location.  I saw something I could not explain – flashlights turning on and off by themselves as requested from the group.

This is real!

I had to learn more about what I saw.  For the first time ever I read book on spirituality.   I stumbled upon a book that mentioned meditation.   One benefit of meditation got my attention — inner peace.  The bipolar mind was not peaceful.   I really wanted inner peace.

I started to meditate,   it was hard.   The mind was non-stop with “you’re wasting your time.”

I pushed onward with a small 5 minute practice daily – doing my best to ignore the negative mind chatter.   As time went on it became a little easier and I was able to slowly increase the amount of time I was able to sit.   The mind was growing quieter.

As the mind grew quieter I was able to examine the thoughts.  I saw all the fake crap and drama that the thoughts produced.  I saw that the mind was not keeping me in this moment.   The thoughts were pulling me into the past or creating a future that doesn’t exist.  While in meditation I was in this moment,   watching these thoughts drift by.   The real work began when I tried to stay in the moment while not in meditation.   I saw the mind had a story for everything it saw.   In time, I mastered staying in this moment.

It was funny — I was able to detect the bullshit from other people – their lies.   However, I failed to see the bullshit coming from my own mind.   I saw that that I was one with my thoughts (no separation) —   I was waste deep in shit but couldn’t see it since I was too close.  Some thoughts are useful but most thoughts are crap.  I am now able to spot the lies from the mind clearly.   Only took 40 odd years to figure it out.

Once I had clarity with my thoughts,   fear dropped away.   Fear keeps us safe when there is a real danger,   however most fear comes from the mind which is creating a false scenario (crap).   Without fear and not believing the nonsense from the mind I no longer suffer.

I began to wonder why my doctors did not talk about holistic approaches to health for myself.  They were more than willing to give me a pill,  but never once mentioned meditation.   I saw from meditation even a bipolar mind can be tamed.   Mediation is considered spirituality and folks shy away from that term.   People are moving away from spirituality and into the scientific community.

This scientific community is more than scientists and doctors.   It is the media, other organizations, and the government that promotes an agenda usually based in fear.   They know that most people live in fear and they capitalize on this fear.    They have the money to saturate the airwaves and internet with their agenda.

When I look at the world today, I see folks that have become too dependent on the “knowledgeable” people (the scientific community) and in the process they have inadvertently given up responsibility for their own health.    I urge people to stop giving all their attention to this community and go find out what is true for them.

Find a holistic approach that allows you to find your own truth – our own unique path to the truth.   No one will have the same exact path, and no one can give it to you — they can only help point the way.   When you are aware of the truth it is easier to see the real needs of the body/mind.   For some that is medications and therapy for me it was meditation and yoga.

Without the bullshit from the mind —   Are your fears real? Have you given up responsibility for your health?   What does the body really need?

Go inside and explore the mind!

 

Advice for Those Diagnosed With Any Ailment

diagnosedI have been diagnosed with bipolar, multiple sclerosis (MS), migraines, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. Suffering was a way of life.

When I was diagnosed with MS I was terrified, I knew nothing about it. I was in the hospital with a lot of symptoms (unable to walk, vision issues, half of the body was numb) but no diagnosis for a few weeks. The doctors at the hospital weren’t too helpful with providing information. Although I was suffering a lot of mental anguish with this diagnosis — nothing they could say would have reassured me at the time. Later, I was transferred to a rehab center.

At the rehab center they gave me some outdated information — I didn’t know at this time. This information was way too much for me to handle and caused my bipolar brain to become unstable. The item that struck me the most was the mention of a wheelchair for 80 percent of those diagnosed after ten years. I was 37 at the time and I had a lot of fear about being in a wheelchair by the time I was 50.

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