My goodness, I am SAVED!!
Allow me to share with you how PEACE saved my LIFE!!
If you have read my first previous blog posts, you are aware that I was a very mentally frustrated person. If you haven’t read them, let me explain what I’m talking about.
As a child, I was almost always frustrated. Yeah, my father was an active drug abuser, and my mother was a struggling single parent. However, those two reasons only contributed to my frustration. The real reason was that I didn’t know what peace was and I was battling not one, but three mental illnesses.
Two of those illnesses was apparent BUT because of the society we live in, was not addressed (I’ll explain that in a bit). As a teenager I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which helped but also angered me when I received the news. It angered me because for many years my behavior was erratic, and I felt, if I had known earlier what the cause of my behavior was it would’ve saved me from a lot of embarrassment. It helped, because I was able to now know and understand why I behaved the way I did.
…it didn’t stop the erratic behavior. I began using drugs which contributed to the erratic behavior as well.
One day, I decided I wanted help because I didn’t want to use anymore, so I began seeing a psychiatrist. He told me my mental condition was chemically dependent. Meaning, if I stopped using drugs, I would no longer have the condition. Now, I have two mental disorders, bipolar disorder, and drug addiction… So, I checked myself into a treatment facility, but….
I relapsed after completing the program.
I struggled for several more months before becoming impregnated. That’s when I decided I had to stop. See, the thing about drug addiction is, you must have the desire and the will to want to stop using. Without the desire and the will, drug treatment programs will not work. My baby gave me the desire to want to be a mom and be there for him! So I stopped… COLD TURKEY!!
Guess what though??? My mental disorder was not chemically dependent. I was clean and free of drugs, but still struggled with my behavior and thoughts. It actually took years after having my son, that I decided to begin therapy again, and was then diagnosed with anxiety.
Soooo that’s the reason why, my chest starts to hurt when I’m going through something???
I had no idea! I thought I had a medical condition. Nevertheless, I’m glad I made the choice to seek therapy again.
It was a hard decision to make because.. didn’t I say earlier I was going to discuss why society doesn’t want to address mental illnesses??? Well here you go…
I was embarrassed to seek therapy. I thought that seeking therapy meant that I was crazy and that I was sick. I didn’t want people to look at me like there was something wrong with me. It took many, many years before I decided that society and people didn’t live my life, and that their thoughts of me didn’t matter. Their thoughts of me didn’t keep me alive and/or happy. So, I took the leap and decided to own my inner peace!!
And here are the steps I took to do so…
1. Acknowledging what inner peace was – I had to sit down and determine what my thoughts were and why I was having them. There was only one answer… I didn’t have inner peace. So, I began researching what inner peace was and decided it was something I desperately needed in my life. I also began to journal my thoughts and feelings.
2. Understanding it takes time to master this lifestyle – honey let me tell you that I’m still working on this. Although I’m not where I used to be mentally, I still have work to do. Wanting to conquer your inner peace overnight is not an attainable goal. As a matter of fact, it’s a distraction and contributes to disturbing your inner peace. TAKE YOUR TIME!!! One step I learned during drug treatment and I keep with me until this very day is… YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME!
3. Letting go of my past traumas – this step was extremely rough to endure. I literally had to recognize what my past traumas were and doing so opened fresh wounds. In drug treatment they had me write letters to my loved ones to either apologize for the things I’d done to them during my active addiction or express to them the hurt and/or pain I’d endured from them. It was a difficult task, but I got it done, and boy did I feel free afterwards.
4. Setting Boundaries – Everyone is not meant to join you on this journey!! You will have to set boundaries for those who do not respect what you are trying to do with your life! You will have to set boundaries for those who disturb your mental peace. It’s going to be hard because one thing for sure and two things for certain, there are people in your life that disturb your inner peace and you can’t fully eliminate them… did you hear that?? Some people you can’t let go. But we’ll talk about that in another blog. That’s a topic all on its own!
5. Not magnifying microscopic situations – we tend to make small problems more than they need to be. Especially when you have yet to create your inner peace. Sometimes we wallow in our own pity and not even realize it. Learning the Serenity prayer surely helped with this one. I was able to look at situations and incidents a lot differently and let go of the things I had no control over. The things I could control, I acted and tried my very best to make it what I wanted to be and bring the positivity out of every situation.
6. Slowing Down and learning how to be mindful – as adults we are always busy MENTALLY!! This magnifies when you are a mother, wife, care giver, etc. I’m currently taking care of 6 children and I have a husband. I’m also an accountant at a very demanding organization, and business owner. I literally always have something on my mind. When I’m off work, I tend to think about the next report I need to turn in. When I’m at work, I tend to think about doctors appointments and ways to grow my business. Constantly thinking can cause you to have scatter brains and can disturb your inner peace. It’s important to slow down and take a minute to focus on the moment. Meditation throughout the day and educating myself on ways to be mindful has helped me in this area. Some tips I can share on how to be mindful are to stop what you’re doing, write down what you need or want to focus on at that moment and give yourself a time limit to only focus on that tasks.
7. Decluttering my surroundings – I don’t know about you, but I cannot focus when my surroundings are unorganized and/or chaotic. I must ensure that everything is clean and organized or I will feel overwhelmed. So when I’m ready to zone in I have to clean first. Creating a cleaning schedule has helped me a lot in this area. And you know what else I did… I created a chore chart for the kids. My motto is, “You helped create the mess, you can help clean it.” 😊
8. Escaping my responsibilities – I know that sounds bad.. but it really isn’t. It’s called SELF CARE!! You have to take care of yourself and give yourself a break. Take some time away from your children if you can help it. Take some time away from your spouse if you can help it. Intentionally, schedule a day where you will not do anything but relax. I’m telling you; I schedule lazy days all the time, and it helps to rejuvenate my mind and body.
9. Affirming, encouraging, and motivating myself – I suffer from bipolar depression and anxiety so at any unexpected moment, I can feel down or overwhelmed and not really have a reason to feel this way. I’ve learned that I must keep myself motivated and remind myself of how great I am. I try to affirm myself daily. I always try to incorporate positivity and motivation in my work. It makes a big difference in the way I feel. It helps me shake myself out of that dead zone of negativity.
10. Learning and practicing Self-Discipline – I am a big procrastinator… I hate to say. But knowing this about myself helped me to start finding ways to get things done. Not focusing on the goal at hand makes me depressed because I feel like I could be further in life. So, what I had to do was create a vision board so that I can see the goals I want to accomplish. Then, I had to create a plan on how I was going to accomplish those goals and stick to it. I gave myself deadlines and timelines to follow and set alarms and reminders for the times I wanted to work on the goals. I’ve been able to get so much done since I’ve started this.
You see, once I was able to practice these steps, I soon realized, that creating and maintaining my inner peace literally SAVED MY LIFE!!
I could’ve still been actively using drugs. I could’ve still been depressed and overly anxious which could’ve caused me to make decisions that are not for my better good.
At this point of my life, I honestly believe that I can endure anything and still make it through! I believe that no matter the situation, I am mentally strong enough to get through any of life’s obstacles. I don’t want to sound obnoxious or arrogant, but I truly believe that I was brought this longgggg way and I am destined for more!! The only way I will get there is by owning my inner peace!! And I pray you can own yours!!! Talk to you soon 😊