“My medicine isn’t kicking in like it should. I am cycling from depression to grandiose ideas. This bipolar stinks! Do you have any ideas?” My friend anxiously asked.
As we talked there were three main ideas that came to my mind:
1. Ponder Pages
2. Prayer by Prayer
3. “Leaf”ing negative feelings behind
Ponder pages: Having a place for ideas/goals/should-dos in a notebook or planner or PDA can be invaluable. When ideas about what you should or want to do come (often in a torrent) write them down, committing yourself to prayerfully think about them in a quiet moment (doing laundry, dishes, driving etc.) I have often found that by the time I ponder on it I no longer have the desire to do it, I realize that it isn’t the right time or I have ideas about how it can become a reality.
Prayer by prayer
This is more fully described in my book My Journey from Darkness to Light. Basically I have learned that when I begin to feel overwhelmed it helps to:
A. Stop what I’m doing
B. Pray for help
C. Tell the Lord what I feel I need to/should be doing (I usually look at my planner and name 4-5 most pressing things)
D. I rub my hands together as if I had sand between my palms and the sand represents the pressures I am feeling. In a sense I let the sand (pressures) fall from my palms into the hands of my Savior leaving me with open hands ready to listen to what my Savior wants me to do.
E. Ask to know what HE wants me to do
F. At this point either (1) I have 2-3 ideas come back to me (often my thoughts include simple things like eat, take my meds and one of my 5 ideas) or (2) I don’t have any specific impressions but I am able to return to my list with less pressure and choose more wisely the things I can do that will bring me the greatest peace and happiness
“Leaf”ing negative feelings behind
I have explained this concept through youtube. It can be found on my website http://www.patriciapotts.com/Vids.html . It is also described in my book My Journey from Darkness to Light. This is a form of cognitive therapy that is quick, easy and efficient.
Negative/Pressure Thoughts Feeling Can I know this is totally true? Talk back
The house is a mess Overwhelmed, guilty, fearful No Maybe it isn’t as clean as I like but it’s not a total mess!
She is not answering her phone. She doesn’t want to talk to me. Sad, hurt, guilty No I am mind-reading. Her phone may be having trouble. I can pray and call a mutual friend.
These simple ideas can be the difference between anxiety and peace. May they bless your life like they have mine.