I think one of the major challenges not only for someone with bipolar disorder but anyone in life is the fact that we judge ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts and our own opinions. It’s hard to be comfortable with who you are, even in the mess of life. To accept yourself is the ultimate self-care. To love yourself unconditionally. When you do others opinions no longer hold weight. As if you loved someone very much and cherished them if another person came along and called them garbage you wouldn’t believe it for a second, at least not based on their sole opinion. So why do we believe it when others say harsh things to us or challenge us?
We aren’t secure in ourselves. This is achievable though. It takes time and energy to cultivate self-love, like with any relationship, the one with yourself takes work. How to do it? It’s different for everyone. I personally indulge myself with the things that make me happy, these things are not usually things. I enjoy strolling through the parks or shops where I live, hiking, art, movies, baths, facial care, writing, ect. The small things that give you a lift, amplify it. Another thing I practice is positive self-talk. There is a judgmental voice in all of us, for some louder than others that asks, “why did you do that, why do you think that you are “insert mean adjective here” for being this way.” But I started consciously responding to that voice and reasoning with it, telling it why reaffirming my own decisions and simply telling myself every day multiple times a day that I am enough. I am smart enough, I am strong enough, I am brave enough, I am beautiful. It starts consciously it has to, then it becomes a habit, then it becomes real to you. You believe it. You believe the thoughts you consistently tell yourself. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to have self-love, to not have to be filled by another person because you are already full and can give the best of yourself.
I’m currently working on being able to speak my truths, my opinions, my thoughts, my feelings. It’s hard to be challenged by others to be asked why you believe what you do and feel uneasy about how to explain it. There is a fear there. I’m working to overcome this fear to live more openly. No pain no gain as they say. It is hard but it is worth it to grow as a person. Thank you for reading.