Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

I’ve got this

denial

Dearest Cici, the suicidal woman in denial that I recently posted about, you helped ME with a struggle of my own! So I just want to say THANK YOU CICI and share that I struggle with denial too!

If I am honest, I have always liked to drink since I started in my teens but for the past few years, namely two (2), I have been drinking more than usual. Being an expat and stay at home can be hard and in retrospect I gather I was moderately depressed… always reaching for a glass to cure my daily woes.

Typically, while starting dinner, I’d open a bottle of wine and have just two glasses of wine by dinner’s end. Problem is, that I was doing it whenever humanly possible! My husband was not pleased!! Basically it became the way to end the day, to shut down. Problem is that I would go to bed immediately after putting my son to bed and sadly before spending quality time with my husband?! My poor husband! As if the fact that I don’t shower every day wasn’t enough!

…I learned years ago that his dominant love language is “quality time” and I repeatedly selfishly disregarded it these past few years!? (Reader if you do not know, kindly see http://www.5lovelanguages.com. It has helped my husband and I make sense of one another’s needs over the years.)

Needless to say I thought I am/was fully aware of the potential dangers that Bipolars have with drug/alcohol abuse, I have been dealing with being bipolar for ten (10) years. So I’ve heard the stories, witnessed the struggles… but apparently I didn’t take them to heart, apparently I wasn’t really listening. Apparently I wasn’t ready to hear it. After all, it was often only 2 (two) glasses…

During this time I sought the help of our local AA, Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter; however they tried, they couldn’t help ME as I was unable to accept the severity of my drinking problem because I never hit rock bottom! I couldn’t connect to their stories; their real life nightmares. And I read Chopra’s “Freedom from Addiction”… he has great advice and talks about the great goal but I couldn’t manage to sit twice a day!

To my knowledge, my drinking didn’t impact other aspects of my life; only my marriage?! I gather I took it for granted; feeling very secure. It is dangerous to feel so secure!

I was not completely unaware that I lazily, sheepisly, reached for a glass to relax or cope with the stresses of daily life but I constantly minimized its consequences and was unable to face the addiction aspect of it!

When I married my ‘soul mate’ in 2009, I vowed “with all that I am and all that I am to become”… mind you, I had no intention of becoming an Alcoholic then and I still don’t now! The odds might be against ME but I have been fighting the battle squandering bottle after bottle down the drain! How very wasteful of me!

Today, I can comfortably share this with you because I am on the mend! I have been trying to address these daily 2 glasses since they reared their ugly head! I have learned a lot about myself in the process. Healed even… I am still drinking, now, but I learned that my “drinking problem” and “rock bottom” are relative. Gratefully, I no longer drink to escape but I drink because I like the taste!

It’s taken hard work, it’s been two (2) long years… not days, not weeks, nor months but years! Now I am drinking considerably less and making relative leaps and bounds with other constructive endeavors in my life! But I don’t want to get into all that now… What I want to share today about denial is what’s clearer to ME after working to reach Cici.

I am finally accepting* my denial and have come to the realization that I am no good to anybody if I cannot walk the talk. So thank you Cici. I’ve got this. Now, I’ve got a handle on this!! You made that message click for ME! Now I see that I can’t help anyone else if I can’t help myself. And I so want to do something positive in this world!

Clearer still is that I learned like the image above depicts, denial is a BIG waste of time… if any of you have advice on just how I can ever make up for the last two (2) years, I am all ears! But I trust that it’s not possible. All I can do now is try to make today all the more remarkable to make up for it!

Clearest of all, I love myself! I mean, I am really beginning to prove that love myself and unconditionally at that. i.e. It’s okay that I knew but didn’t KNOW that there was a better way, an easier way to ease release. Fortunately, for ME, I was never held accountable; rather I was repeatedly forgiven. I recognize that I might not be so lucky next time.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my dearest Husband now, at this very moment, for all of his listening and for all of his support. I feel guilty for not thanking him first… Gratefully he let my denial take it’s course, watched it closely, and did not force ME to seek treatment and quit drinking cold turkey. He understands as Gabby Bernstein does that “marriage is a holy relationship in which two people hold space for each other to grow, learn and heal”. I have grown. I have learned. I am healing… I just hope that I haven’t done too much damage in the process.

Many of my role models are recovering alcoholics – Adele, Brene Brown, Gabby (as mentioned above)… I admire their discipline but I cannot seem to wrap my head around a life devoid of alcohol! Pathetic, I agree, but it’s deeply engrained in ME that many a celebration, big & small, like a new job or your child’s first visit from the tooth fairy, go hand in hand with an alcoholic beverage. In my opinion, filet mignon most certainly does. I might not each much steak anymore but when I do I want a big rich cab(ernet) to accompany it…

As for the rest of you, I am grateful for the ability to put myself out there, to be honest and to share this with you today. If you sense that you are in denial about something. Do YOURSELF a favor. Sit quietly for as long as you need, it may be a week – it may be a month, and follow Lee Jampolsky’s advice to “ask yourself what is really important, and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around the answer”.

Sat nam

*Kindly Note: I use the present tense of acceptance. It is, I am, a work in progress and my awareness of this weakness needs to remain present. My hope is that writing this post will help me keep my drinking in check, reinforce that I have any number of other tools to reach for first and that drinking should be a last resort to handle stress. Who knows, the next thing that you may hear is that I have given it up all together… at two (2) in the morning, it seems clear to me that I should take my abstinence a step further & just saving it for special occasions. I do not need to loose any more sleep on just an average dinner. #2glasses

2 responses to “I’ve got this

  1. mckarlie October 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    The temptation to self medicate one’s bipolar can be incredible, i have struggled with various things over the years, drugs alcohol and reckless spending have all been a problem. I’m glad you identified the issue and have taken steps to resolve it, if you’re happy with a smaller consumption then that’s good, only you can judge what you should drink. If you need anything let me know, i’m so sorry i’ve been so bad at replying but i’m always available to chat xo

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