Bipolar fixations: dont let someone be the star of your show
My young and very clever psychologist stopped me in my tracks this week. I was hatching a plan to get divorced because of my Stepson, and now I am back to being the star in my own show. The young and very clever psychologist turned me around, as if I had been blind-folded, and showed me a completely new and far more digestible view. I am obsessed with my bad bad Stepson. I completed an eight page exercise on the topic (?!), following the templates I used back in counselling with a psychotherapists in 2014.
To explain the method plainly
1. First brainstorm the problem.
2. Take each brainstormed sub-problem statement and expand out all the supporting reasons for the sub-problem. This bit is quite fun – really go to town
with what is wrong with that person/ situation.
3. Then acknowledge alternative assumptions for each supporting reason per sub-problem (this bit is no fun at all).
4. And hey presto, you come up with an alternative belief about the situation. Then you hand over the ugliness of the previous misguided belief to God/ Gods/ Allah/ Spirit and ask for help removing the initial limiting belief.
I loved the process – every page I felt lighter and more in control. Until I got stuck: there was a limiting belief I couldn’t let go of. And the one is: ‘I don’t trust my Stepson with my boys’. It doesn’t matter how I spun it or worded it, as a mother, I could not hand over to Spirit on that one. My Stepson has already exposed them to porn and he suffers maturity issues of his own.
So I ship off all these pages of work to my young and very clever psychologist, and said ‘now what’. I got a pat on the head, of which I am quite proud. And here is a summary of his note:
“Well tried! It is hard to develop alternative thoughts. For now, the best thing you can do is redirect your attention, rather than try and correct your thinking – because the alternatives you have developed are likely only making you feel more powerless. Your thinking is magnifying your Stepson’s power’ and ‘role’ in your life. Don’t fall into a ‘magnifying thinking trap’. In other words, a more helpful way of thinking that you need to nurture right now is “I don’t have to fix [Stepson|, I have other things in my life that are more important than figuring out [Stepson] and focusing on these things makes a difference to me”.
I felt liberated! And during our session this past week, I worked with this young and very clever psychologist to focus on the other things. Because I am bipolar, when I hit a depressed or depressed-manic phase, or even leading up to a depression when I am hypomanic and always right, I will focus on some external source. If I solve this one source, then all my problems are solved. Looking back, I have done this for years. A boss, a subordinate, a husband, an ex-girlfriend of my boyfriend, a promotion, you name it. I would do everything to solve it because that’s who am I am – a solver with plenty of energy.
So now to consider looking in another direction, where I feature as the star of the show, and don’t try to intellectually fix everything around me – which works me into a depression.
For you, I have included the templates I used, if you ever want to test the method yourself. I still think it has merit, as long as you are not ‘feeding the wrong dog’.
To note, I am no psychologist, so you are fully responsible for how you use these tools.
Go well, Cogitator