Sunday, October 21, 2018

Those Sneaky Little Thoughts

 Currently, I'm still riding the high from the outpouring of support my husband and I received after sharing our story. Hearing people's kind words and testimonies was so incredibly powerful and I am so grateful we had the platform to share what we've been through and help a few people along the way.

But the illness is still there.

It likes to sneak in between thoughts, especially when ruminating over something that's embarrassing or upsetting to you. For example - Here I am, laying in bed dealing with endometriosis pain. Pain that two days ago had been so unbearable that I made a doctor appointment for Friday and then cancelled the morning of because I was feeling a bit better and didn't want to waste their time. Pain that has now returned when it may not have had I just gone to the appointment.

"Just slit your throat"

And there it is. The sneaky little thought that worms its way in when you are vulnerable. Do I really want to harm myself? No. Have there been times when enough of those thoughts clustered together to create a fireball of ideation big enough to make me seriously think about it? Yeah.

Those intrusive thoughts can come at any time and, as someone who suffers with mental illness, my guard always has to be up. I have to stay in my Wise Mind (see image)
enough that I acknowledge that the thought is there then immediately dismiss it, almost as if it's a bad joke.

This, for me, has to be one of the hardest parts of the struggle. Sometimes, when I'm really truly in my Wise Mind it's easy to flippantly throw those thoughts to the side. But as someone who suffers from Bipolar, staying there can be rough sometimes. It's so easy to let those sneaky little thoughts stay there and fester, building up more and more until it's not even ideation anymore, it's active self-harm or suicidal thinking. That's why learning what coping skills work for you is essential to staying healthy.

I wish I could say that these sneaky little thoughts would eventually disappear, but they don't. You just have to put in daily work to stay in your Wise Mind the very best you can, because all of those negative intrusive thoughts are lies. And the more you work on coping skills and loving yourself, the easier it will be to let them go just as fast as they entered.
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