I am in recovery from my first ever manic episode. I have asked myself what was real and what wasn’t. The truth is, I may not know for some time and I can’t rush it. My gut tells me that some of the stuff was 100% and that a lot of it was my lying and racing mind. I explain more in the video below and of course in detail in this weeks podcast here.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted me to explain you have felt the same and experienced a similar rocky, bumpy, high, super high, low and confusing ride.
I was a very self aware person before I took ill. I meditated (once for 8 hours a day with the odd break) and prayed lots. I took time out to get clarity, because I know that answers can’t come from a racing mind. Ironically, before I went into hospital, I did a lot of the right stuff. I did incredible yoga classes via my podcast sponsor, Calm on Canning Street. I took Bonnie to one of them, and we shared an incredible night together and bonded so much. We did yoga moves, meditation, creative writing and heart space work. I felt connected with my heart and not my mind during this session. Bonnie and I wrote some amazing stuff that I have kept. Stuff that we REALLY felt and meant. Nothing based on lies from the mind. I wish we had attended more of these sessions before lock-down hit but I am ensuring we do this at home. She did some creative writing this morning all alone in her room with no help and she blew me away when she read it out over lunch. You can have a listen here.
I’ll pull out another quote from Dirty Dancing (I used the taking a break one from the gorgeous Patrick Swayze aka Jonny recently):
‘I think she get’s it from me’ haha.
I recorded a heart space session below, a while back. I was hypo manic during this period, but listening back the words ring true. I am often dubbed a free spirit and part of the work I do is to get people showing more of themselves, not less. This could be on stage, in general life, in the workplace, with relationships and many more scenarios.
I know what makes me happy, what makes me sad. I know what makes me feel alive. I know who makes me feel good and who builds me up and accepts me. I know who feels light to be around. Nobody likes to be around those who judge easily, even if the judgement comes out of ‘love’. We all have different ways that we love. I was looking into the love languages and I did a test to see ‘what my love language is’. The result said:
You respond to encouraging words
Kind words, compliments, positive feedback – this is what makes you feel loved. You are very sensitive to the power of words that do good. Tender words about your looks, clothes, human qualities, professional skills… are all highly motivating for you. You feel like you are really living and that your partner appreciates you. It’s no surprise that nothing is more hurtful to you than harsh ultimata, sarcasm or cruel words. To you words have the power to elevate, motivate or destroy. You are equally receptive to words of encouragement: those that urge you to go forward with something you were hesitating about, perhaps because you were doubting yourself. Such words proved that your partner believes in you and help you understand that your relationship is based on trust. Some advice: If your partner were to change some of their behaviours, it could help further harmonise your couple. Nothing better than for them to read the results of your test! Some people aren’t used to putting their appreciation into words, while others can be stingy with their compliments. It’s all a question of education, some wrongly thing that you can read their thoughts, so no need of saying anything. Encourage your partner to verbalise their thoughts. Teach then to tone down a little: rather than exigent demands or warnings (You didn’t do this… you must do that…) ask them to use a more requesting type language (I’d really like it if you would… it would be a help to me if you could…) As you are sensitive to compliments you would particularly appreciate it if your partner praised you, and not just when you two are along… when they get some public praise, you would be touched and flattered if they publicly associated you with their success.
Back to my own thoughts and not the labels and ideas from others –
I agree with a lot of this. In my relationships, I thrive off compliments and kind words and I would like to think I give out a lot of these to others. I also appreciate a lot of the other love languages eg thoughtful gifts and surprise spa trips – who wouldn’t? We don’t have to pigeonhole people as only holding one language. But, thinking back over perhaps why I got ill, could words have played a part? Words from others that triggered me? Perhaps I wasn’t as strong as I thought. Words are powerful. Why is why tools like daily meditation can help us to be kinder and more compassionate to others and ourselves.
Sending you lots of good vibes today. Focus on the good words and the helpers and cheerleaders. Your mind will try to cling to all the negative but as Bonnie said in the video enough, get into your heart space.