Vigilant of total disconnect

Falling

How painful it is when I am with other people but feel totally alone. My mind is scrambled with buzzing images, thoughts that I perceive are voices. And my feelings are everywhere… spiralling out of control. I need help and fast.

I ponder a totally disordered mind; the things I normally take for granted are not working properly. The inner critic is like the owner of a vicious dog who ties him up, starves him and beats him. This evil wants me to be unbalanced so that I can be dominated by mindless attachments. How can I slow down and connect? My heart is stuck in a coma of numbness. I tell myself it is better this way than having to listen to my feelings which appear so complicated. I tell people that I’m in top form, yet I am crumbling inside. How am I supposed to find peace in this chaos of being? How can I step back and see the big picture? How can I listen to the sound of sheer silence? Continue reading

Vigilant of the ultimate gloom

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Oh, the heaviness, the despair, the sad, sad feeling of dread, of defeat. I feel like a dead body washed up on the beach, no good to anyone, no more living. And I feel as though it is all my fault, that I deserve to be dead.

I ponder the destructive state of dread. In terms of the inner critic, the pointed finger is replaced by a vicious dog foaming at the mouth. There is no more momentum. Just looking to my sinfulness and woefulness. My mind is in chaos: spiralling in negativity and fixed on the mud and darkness of the world. How can I be vigilant? My heart is also bruised and battered. It was once alive and well with the optimism of my dreams, but that has now receded leaving me to dwell on my uselessness and lack of productivity. I have no sense of gratitude and I feel far away from ‘God’ who desires to spur me to fullness of life. How can I get back my peace and serenity? Continue reading

Vigilant of the speed limit

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How does it all go so fast? Some people think I’m funny – cracking jokes, laughing aloud. I’m the life of the party. But then again this is usually when people are drinking. I’ll be cackling hysterically at absolutely nothing.

I wonder about this destructive state of delusion. I mean how far am I removed from reality here? What about the inner critic? Perhaps it is convincing me to stay high and hyper. Perhaps it is a silent killer, telling me not to listen to calm and stillness but to hear the “boom boom boom” of the nightclub or social gathering. My sense of the heart is also quite removed. If I was once close to this beating drum, then it is no longer the case. I am unconscious and unaware of the nearness of ‘God’. My back is turned and I am inflicting pain on myself. But, is there a way to consolation again? Is there a way to reorder the mind and reconcile the heart? Continue reading

Vigilant of intolerance

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Where is the heart? For it feels so distant. A numbness is there… something is gnawing on me but I don’t know what to do. Where is the passion – for life, the normal pleasures, the simple satisfactions? How can I channel my time and energy?

I wonder what is preventing me from being OK right now. There is an invitation to be balanced but I find myself reacting to my circumstances. Perhaps I am caught up in the memory of the highs and lows, perhaps the inner critic wants me to remain forever discontent. How can I reorder the glitter of my mind and connect with something real? And then my heart is so far away. I have escaped my life with a gnawing numbness. There is no fire in my belly, just heartless impulses. How can I turn to an inner transformation – to tune into the true light that is already shining? To be dynamically attracted to a bigger purpose, a heartfelt gratitude for life. Continue reading

Vigilant of the shadow

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How quickly it can come. Balance seemed only a moment ago. A wrong turn or without cause, the blame game, plunging into darkness with rain on the way. Rain can turn to hail, and down, down, down I go.

In a curious way, I wonder about the cause of my blame. I ponder that it is my inner critic that is trying to hijack my life. I know I’m a good person, but why am I falling, going from low to lower? Surely I can intervene to stop this plundering. Surely I can be more vigilant and skillfully counteract this destruction. I also wonder about the state of my heart. Is it in turmoil? Is it dead? And I wonder about my sense of peace. Did someone rob it? Did a vicious dog or its owner attack me all of a sudden? Perhaps I can turn back in time. Perhaps I can reconcile what needs to be reconciled. Continue reading

Vigilance of vulnerable moods

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Mood is best understood, I think, when we look to its Old English origin, mod, meaning ‘frame of mind’. It is about perspective, balance, harmony, presence, and so on. Today, I’d like to introduce the topic of vigilance of vulnerable moods, which I believe is an essential matter if we are to live well, with ourselves and with others. Over the coming weeks, I will look to five frames of mind which cover a range of mental health experiences: depression, low mood, dysphoria (intense unease and agitation), hypomania (elation and overactivity) and mania. I will also write about these in creative terms: being vigilant of the ultimate gloom, the shadow, intolerance, the speed limit and total disconnect. Continue reading

10 Downsides of Bipolar!

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Here is a summary of my 10 Downsides of Bipolar, which was published on celebrity Niall Breslin’s A Lust for Life website. I was also interviewed on Dublin City FM

After the exploration of 10 upsides of Bipolar Disorder, I realised that I needed to examine the downsides too. However, this was not a dreary project as my main focus was to provide steps, hopes, and inspirations for the bipolar journey.

1) Depression: A lowness, a sadness, a lack of life crept in and I had to remind myself that this was not my fault. I cried out in depths of despair to dig a bit deeper, to hang on a bit longer and to just feel an ounce of life within me. After a week of raw pain, I felt an inner joy returning like the rising sun and my world became more external again. The late Carrie Fisher believed that soldiers of bipolar should have been issued with medals of bravery.

2) Mania: I chased my random thoughts around: “Go there, do this,” they said. I impulsively gave away my precious belongings and my mind was filled with sexual images. At times, my days consisted of a 10-mile walk; 10 activities; 10 pages of diary entries and more. Other times, I experienced a mixed mood of depression, racing thoughts and ‘voices’. I was treated at a psychiatric hospital with medication and I connected with my world through mindfulness. I have recovered so well and I am now living a very meaningful and fulfilled life. Continue reading