There’s a constant buzzing in my head that doesn’t go away. It’s not the steady buzz from cute furry bumble bees, it’s not white noise, and it’s not the usual voices I hear. They’re just conversations between people and myself. For example, I’ll walk by someone with nice shoes and wonder to myself where she got it from, then someone else would respond with a question or comment about it.
That might sound crazy but it’s still the sweet sound of mental freedom to me.
I’m no longer mentally drained from thoughts of worthlessness, which has stemmed from a lifetime of anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. And man… it’s a huge sigh of relief. I’ve never really lived with a sane and peaceful mind, which is probably because I never received all the help that I needed. So as you might imagine, I couldn’t be more thankful to have made it this far.
But mental freedom isn’t just about being released from the symptoms of your mental illness. Mental freedom is also a gateway to allow love and compassion for yourself to flow through your mind and body.
Sadly, I don’t know how to write a recipe for mental freedom because, obviously, I would be makin’ it rain like dolla dolla bills, yo. But these are the few things that I can share with you…
Pretend sleep is your holy almighty being.
Especially when you’re bipolar. Remember all those sleepless nights during (hypo)mania? Sleep regulates your mood and you won’t realize what a difference it makes until you’ve managed to sleep for 8-10 hours for a couple consecutive weeks. I can feel it in my mood even when I get 6 hours of sleep instead of 7 or 8 hours. You can start by setting an alarm clock that will signal you to begin winding down for bed. There’s a phone app called CBT-i Coach that works pretty well. Or there are always medications to help you get a good nights rest.
Take your medications on time or they won’t work effectively.
This sounds obvious… but how many of us actually stick to it? Our minds and lives can end up like scrambled eggs spilling out of a bowl, let alone remembering to take your medications on time! Set some alarm clocks, or put it beside your breakfast, in your bathroom, etc.
Find yourself a good therapist, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist so you can learn some of the fundamental CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy) skills.
Your sleep and medications won’t be enough if you don’t learn how to quiet all the negative and harmful thoughts during the time that you’re awake. I personally recommend checking out the database at PsychologyToday.com because they have a variety of therapists and prices.
That’s a wrap. I hope you can find some sanity in the upcoming colder months with my two cents worth of advice. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? I hear there’s always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… and maybe it’s in the crack between your cheeks. Ha. Ha. Just kidding.
Au revoir until next Friday!