Graduating Outpatient – Letter to my future self

The prompt: It may be difficult to remember all the things you have learned and are feeling right now as you complete the program especially when you find yourself feeling highly anxious/depressed again. Write a supportive note from your current self to your future self who may need a reminder.

What I wrote: Dear BipolarBarbieQ,
We wrote all our coping skills in the journal Jas gave us and you can look at them often. If we keep practicing our skills we’ll dig new neural pathways. I’ve already laid the ground works for you and planted all the seeds. In fact, you can look back and remember this was the day Ashley led Experiential Therapy we read the story of the butterfly and the caterpillar pillar then shredded our papers and made new paper with seeds in it.

Make sure you look at our affirmations often. Find new ones. Decorate everything. I did some but you can do more! We are the observer from the meditation that had us dig through our memories. Life is context but we, the observer remain a mystical force and a representation of a full person which we always will be no matter the circumstances. Though I have struggled with negative core beliefs about myself and unearthed all the roots attached to them I also started trying to catch and challenge these. Add to the living list of positive attributes of us and don’t be shy to read it to remind our-self that we are enough. Even if we are not where we want to be yet, that is okay. Remember to accept reality wholey as it is.

Opposite action and behavioral activation are our sword and shield against avoidance and isolation. Adjust your goals to where you’re at and don’t take on too much at once. It is okay to cry, healing is not linear. We have the power to make wise choices to change our future with the knowledge we’ve gained and that you will gain for me as my future self. We are enough. We are worthy of good things and have an ability not all have – the ability to ask for help if we need it. It may seem like just a tiny thing but think of how beneficial it has been for us.

We can not change the past nor will any good come of tripping over things that are behind you. Don’t live too far in the future either. Remember we are in the moment and want to be there. Wherever “there” is. Ajham Brahm helped us tie together all the mindfulness we took in every day in so many ways. I’m cheering you on to keep practicing everything we’ve learned.

It’s been a long journey without question but I’m proud of you just as you are proud of you at the moment this was written. Write your wins and remember who you are and who you want to be. Believe in yourself a little more and follow your own example. Taking risks takes practice and your future self will thank you for it.

Love you,

Bipolar BBQ

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From Outpatient to The World

Some of you know I’ve been in outpatient therapy for anxiety and depression for about the past month and a half (I had a major depressive episode – I have bipolar disorder type 1), some of you don’t (a couple months prior to that I was in outpatient for a month but I fell back down deep again), but I wanted to flash my pride that I’m graduating from it tomorrow and I’m a more educated, practiced person creating new neural pathways for myself that I vow to keep active and re-train my brain to think better and be more mindful. I may not be where I want to be but I’m way better off.

The globe below is something I’d add progress to every week on a Wednesday. The leaf was in art therapy that looked like I plant I started growing from a cut to metaphoricalize my roots and growth in outpatient. The actual plant has since been repotted from the water glass it grew in and is pictured with another art therapy project from a book that speaks to sitting with emotions being an uncomfortable and new process.

Last pictures are of my vision board  I never thought I’d make one and now I can’t imagine a world had I not made one, I just want to keep adding! Re-reading affirmations REALLY DOES work to make you start to believe them and make them a part of your life energy.

Fighting perfectionism by leaving this post as is is a huge exposure and you’re part of it!