I was meeting with a client at the counseling center last week who is coming for treatment of a mood disorder & anxiety.
Some of what we’ve been working on included accepting experiencing bipolar disorder & detaching self from diagnosis.
This meant facing the diagnosis head on rather than fearing it which caused much of their anxiety.
They joined the session & told me how beneficial it’s been for them to identify their mood changes, get familiar with them, & learn to recognize what was abnormal vs more normal for people to experience day to day.
This has helped her to shut down her feelings less, bring more mindfulness to decisions, & apply strengths identified.
This was the first session I felt she detached from the diagnosis.
We started creating this mental image of a little person who sometimes sits on her brain & controls or changes moods & how she is learning to forgive herself in recognition that she wasn’t that person, it was an entity.
In separating herself she started to gain more understanding of impulsivity, falling moods, & what her baseline was so she wouldn’t live in fear of herself.
Reflecting on this session, I remembered when I had so much fear of the depression I experienced.
I feared the suicidal thoughts, dark contemplations of life, & negative emotions beyond “normal” or “explicable”.
It felt like I’d lose control of me, disconnect from my true self, & I never knew when it’d hit.
I contemplated who I’d be if I didn’t have the experience of depression.
When i was 18, a therapist asked me, “if you could get rid of the depression but also have to get rid of all these amazing things you’ve identified about yourself, would you?”
I said no.
I didn’t fully understand it then but the acceptance of my darkness ultimately led me to a life with more light.
I wouldn’t want to give up the true me to rid myself of an entity I felt I could detach my identity from.
I had to face those things which scared me to release their control over me.
It is liberating to live a life with more color now.
I don’t suffer like I once did because I really committed to loving all parts of me & embracing each experience. Face & embrace yourself The peace makes it worth it❤️