stageCan I be honest? Every once in a while, especially after a session with Dr. C.  I can’t stop thinking about myself… lol.. ok, that sounds odd. But I mean it in the context of who I am and how much about myself that people around me seem to want me to change. I completely agree that because of my mental illness there are things I need to work on changing. Things I need to learn how to do better.. namely regulating my emotions and thinking in a more realistic view…controlling impulsiveness, act not react…. But how much of myself am I going to lose in this process? Sometimes it feels like by the time I am done “fixing” myself, there will be nothing of me left.

Dr. C has tried to help me see that who I am is not my thoughts and emotions; who I am is not dependent upon what I do or what I feel.  That “I” am separate from those things… but in my mind that doesn’t make sense to me. They are me, and I am them. I am my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, my experiences.. all these things have built up over a lifetime and have created “me“…. that is how I see it anyways. But his explanation to me is more like this:  My emotions, thoughts, experiences are a part of my life and effect me… So just because I am changing the way I may react to a certain situation, or say/ not say things that would be my normal response… I am still being true to me.

I am the person who likes art. I am the person who gives money to the people on the side of the roads because I feel so bad for them. I am the the person who struggles with the highs and lows of intense emotions. I am the person who loves to laugh and throws sarcasm around every other comment.

You are the person who is stubborn enough to not let depression beat you… you are not the judgmental harsh feelings that you feel during a depression or the negative thoughts that you think while depressed, or even desperate things you may do when depressed...

(ok, I will admit, this last one made me stop and think, maybe he is on to something.)

I feel like who I am is conditional on what I feel and what I do. Not only that but other people’s love toward me is always dependent on who I am or what I do. Constancy does not exist and love is not unconditional, at least in my mind.

So here is my old friend trust showing up again in my life. I am trusting that through this process of learning how to manage my Bipolar and Borderline, I will not be losing who I am… that maybe it will even help the real me be able to be revealed a little more easily. Being able to part the curtain in a way… putting the effects of the mental illness to the side and letting me take center stage.


6 thoughts on “center stage

  1. I can truly relate to what you’re saying here. I’ve lived with depression and bipolar all of my life, so it really is a part of me, or at least a large chunk of who I am. I never know where the bipolar drops off and I begin. It often feels like I have to analyze every thought and feeling before reacting to anything. If it’s ok to ask, how old are you? I didn’t really start to figure out who I was until my early 30’s. That was right around the time I stopped caring so much about what others thought. It simplified life greatly.

  2. I completely understand what you are saying, it is confusing sometimes, isn’t it?! i think what I am really trying to change is the things I do that can hurt others, and learn how to do some things, that will improve my own quality of life. I guess I do care what others think about me still… sure will be a lot easier, like you say, if I can learn not to 😉

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I still am mindful of other people’s feelings, but somewhere along the line I finally learned the word “no.” You’re thinking about it, and you seem motivated, so I think you’ll be just fine in being who you want to be. 🙂

  3. This post correlates with my thoughts almost perfectly! I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and experience the mood swings and unregulated emotions. Often times I am told that my perception of things is misguided, which I know is true to a certain extent but in some scenarios I wonder “Aren’t I allowed to view things differently?” I have found that I sometimes I get uncertain when contemplating what is really me and what is my illness. Your doctors explanation does make me think a bit differently though. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I think exactly the same thing at times.. and sometimes it easy for people around me to just say..oh this isn’t you..its your illness..when in reality i this is me! It is so complex to have to figure out in your mind… which sometimes isn’t working right anyways…lol! I have been working with my doc for over a year, and i am getting better at understanding.. but it still is difficult.

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