I bought a new date book for 2010; and along with enough space to keep my daily food tracking, it has little snippets of inspiration at the top of the page. This is this week's snippet:
"To visualize time as a clock can make us feel that life too is ticking itself away. Regain a sense of control by imagining instead that time is an hourglass that you can turn over whenever you choose, to start afresh. Don't be constrained by the choices of the past: make changes in the present and live the life you desire."
I've bolded the last sentence because this is really what is pertinent to me right now. Insert self talk: Don't be constrained by the past. Don't let yourself be contained by past memories, past wrongs, or past hurts. Let it go. Remember that you cannot change what has already happened, and you cannot change anybody else but yourself. Those hurtful things did happen to you in the past, but they do not define you right now. It is ok to remember those things and think about those things from time to time, but don't dwell. And remember, it's ok to have bad days. We all do, but don't have eight bad days in a row.
As for making changes, I have been making changes (with a lot of help) for the better, and I think I am beginning to show progress. Insert self talk here: It is ok to take the babiest of baby steps. It is all a process, and not everything is going to happen right now. Your bipolar is characterized by sudden, often paralyzing fits of depression, but try to keep in mind that it will pass. Hold on to that thought: It will pass. If you need someone to tell you to get out of bed, try to be that person once in a while and tell yourself to get out of bed. If you need help, remember to ask for it. Don't seek out negativity because you will be sucked in; it is easy for you to get stuck in your head with all of the what ifs, and you don't need that. If you need affection, remember that you can give that to yourself as well. You can be the caretaker you need, too. Start slow. Take it easy. And remember, it's ok to have bad days. Everybody does, but don't have eight bad days in a row.
Insert more self talk here: Live the life you want. Don't live the life you think you should be living. You are not defined by what has happened to you in the past, what is happening to you now, or what will happen to you in the future. Only you can define yourself. Make choices that make you happy. Do things that make you happy. Ask for things that make you happy. Ask for things that meet your needs. Do things for yourself that meet your needs, and don't judge yourself for having needs that are different. Do things that feel good even if other people think you are weird. You don't have to be labeled by someone else's standards. You don't have to be labeled at all. You can just be you, no matter how long it takes to get there.
Don't forget, it is all a process. Let it happen.