In the book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie shares a story from the movie, Out of Africa:
“If you put them in prison,” one character said, describing this tribe, “they die.”
“Why?” asked another character.
“Because they can’t grasp the idea that they’ll be let out one day. They think it’s permanent, so they die.”
From 1999 to 2014, I was in a similar prison. I was told I had Bi-Polar disorder. I was told by many doctors that I would never heal from this, my lot in life would never improve, but would instead progressively get worse, and I would be required to take heavy-duty mood stabilizers and antidepressants for the rest of my life, so that I wouldn’t be a danger to myself or others. I eventually chose to believe this and couldn’t grasp the idea that I would be let out of this inevitability someday.
During those same years, I was also diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and kept herniating or rupturing discs in my back, rendering me unable to walk or work. Three separate doctors told me I would never work again and I would have to spend the rest of my life on disability. For as long as I chose to believe them, it was true.
In 2014, after 5 suicide attempts and with a plan to end my life yet again, I checked myself into a mental hospital. See my detailed story here.
I couldn’t grasp the idea that I could ever get better. For 15 years, my diagnosis owned me. I used to say, “I AM bi-polar. I AM disabled.” I used it as an excuse. I let it identify who I was. I let it own me. I became hopeless of any opportunities for a brighter, better future.
For 15 years I believed what the doctors had to say. I was introduced to Empower Plus Q96 pills. I got off all of my medications, against my doctors wishes and direct orders. When he had me leave his office, his exact words were: “There is nothing further I can do for you. If you won’t do what I tell you, there is no help for you.” He then yelled at me to get the hell out of his office.
After I started the Q96 pills I started counseling. After getting off of the prescribed, “required” medications, my mind was much clearer. I was able to think much more clearly, which also meant making better decisions. After months of counseling, I got a divorce (my third one). I took my three sons and we started our life over. Again.
A few months later, I watched the documentary, FED UP, and cut sugars and carbohydrates out of my diet entirely. That is when my life really began. That is when I truly began to heal. I felt reborn! I lost 60lbs in the next year and ALL of my physical pain disappeared. The MASSIVE amount of inflammation I had been experiencing for most of my life disappeared when I stopped eating sugars and reduced my carbohydrate intake. A few years later, I learned that studies were being shared that this nutritional issue, along with the inflammation that accompanies a diet high is sugars and carbohydrates, is the number one cause for the symptoms of depression and bi polar disorder.
I’m so grateful to have gotten out of that prison. If you are in a medicated or emotional prison of some kind, or you know someone else who is, please know and remember that you are not alone. Everything is temporary. There is help and hope out there. There are LIMITLESS ways out of our current reality and into another one. There are so many people out there who have been through so much worse pain and suffering, and when we start to make it a habit to look at the fact that others have found tools we can use to begin healing, and also that we could be worse off, we begin to be grateful that it isn’t. Being grateful for just one thing is a great start. What else do we have to be grateful for? Do we have eyes to see with? Legs to stand on and walk with? Moods and emotions we can experience which motivate us to change and improve? What else do we have that we can be grateful for?
Reminder to self:
If you are currently suffering, is it time to find a way out of your prison?
The suffering will stop when you decide to do something about it. The suffering will stop when you decide to acquire the skills and tools to cope properly with it.
In order for things to change, we must change. It is easier than you think.
Keep things simple. Do one thing at a time. Take baby steps. Repeat.
Today I will remember that EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY. I will know I won the day if I can answer, “YES” to the question, “Did I work at BECOMING BETTER today in some way?” I will go easy on myself and take small, incremental, baby steps each day towards becoming the person I deserve to be.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our realities.