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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Computer Calamity Creates Confused Countenance

I'd like to share with you a real life potentially problematic problem of powerful proportions that I faced just the other day. It is a modern age problem that, should it happen to you, will create intense feelings of helplessness that suck.

It's when your computer crashes! It happened to me Saturday afternoon. My laptop was attacked by a gang of renegade programs and evil code. They took over and rendered it useless!

Furthermore, this electronic mayhem was starting to activate my bipolar symptoms and mood-states. Not good. Head for the hills!

Mayhem Moods

Before the computer breakdown I was in a normal, yet somewhat low mood. Completely fine by me. I was on the computer doing something, blogging perhaps.

And then it started. The evil code that was causing my computer to malfunction was beginning to stress me out. From that point my bipolar mood symptoms came to join the party.

Anxiety, worry, confusion, and disappointment kicked into gear. Stress and hormonal systems being activated causing whatever it is they do. Frustration, helplessness, and a bunch of other crap.

I was getting irritable and agitated and more manic symptoms were on their way. 

My stress response was working at levels I hadn't remembered for quite some time. It was a strong out-of-control feeling that left me frustrated, worried, and anxious. I had tremendous difficulty thinking clearly with all the thoughts, ideas, and feelings buzzing around me.

Things were occurring as if my mind had already locked them into position, like I had no say in the matter. It wasn't me but a staccato of negative thoughts and reactive symptoms that were having their way with me. Unfavorable outcomes and terrible things were being tossed about in my mind as if they had already occurred.

My negative thoughts were spinning like a record on high volume. I had no plan on what to do!

A Way Out!

My way out of this acute bipolar episode was not forthright or easy. None of them are of course.

The tips, coping mechanisms, and lessons I've learned over the years aren't usually forthcoming or especially effective in such a stressed state. I did take some Ativan to thwart anxiety. Sure picked a bad decade to quit drinking.

At this point I was unsettled, unsure, and without a plan. I needed to calm down and begin thinking clearly. Finally, I began to slow down, sit back and really try to assess the situation while simultaneously trying to ignore the negative thought demons.

One word I focused on was mindfulness. I needed to be mindful of the big picture. I needed to create some other possible outcomes that could give me hope and help me focus. I worked hard to:
  • generate and sustain the idea that things always work themselves out, and
  • remind myself that keeping myself mentally well is my most important job on earth, as far as I know.
After I became more settled I reached out to God. I looked to the sky and recalled helpful Scriptures.

Patience and prayer steadily shifted my mood-state away from feeling self defeated and out-of-control toward feeling more grounded.

I went to sleep with the belief that if I put my trust in the Lord it will be alright. And sure enough, the next morning I got the computer fixed in an hour!

The Take Away

Remember that life throws this stuff at you whether you like it or not. We all get confronted, attacked, and bombarded with difficult life experiences and events.

Being that as it may, the way out of all predicaments rests with you and should become your highest priority. You are in charge of winning your mental battles.

Life: You'll Never Get Out Alive!
At the same time you should stay within your limits. I realize I'm not strong enough to fight the symptoms sometimes and during those times I don't. I'll just go to sleep or something.

I used to drink. It worked well for treating my bipolar depression symptoms, especially with mood improvement. But it has killer side effects and direct effects on me.

Mindfully do what needs to be done as best you can. Use your skills, resources, friends and relatives, health practitioners and especially use your own experiences and lessons learned. If you can fight, then do it. If you can be at peace with it, then practice your patience and ponder all the aspects of the situation.

Try to remember that this will all settle down over time as you work through the situation. All things shall pass.

So, what do you do to make it through challenging situations with activated Bipolar symptoms?

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