Soap Opera Drama – Part One

This weekend has been extremely hard emotionally but I have fought back and not given in to using food as a source of comfort.

On Saturday morning I received some abusive texts – from someone I have never even met. It sent me spiralling out of control, emotionally, because I am not someone who likes to live in a soap opera drama. In fact, I am quite the opposite and, like to live under the radar.

My psychiatrist has told me that I have often adopted the ‘flight or fight’ response to many events in my life.

The Fight or Flight response is a physiological response triggered when we feel a strong emotion like fear and, evolved to enable us to react with appropriate actions: to run away, to fight, or sometimes freeze to be a less visible target.

On several occasions the reaction has been in regard to normal everyday things, which many will do without question, however, for me, those little things can weigh down just as heavily as the big.

My outlook on stress within the world was likened to our ancestors who would often have someone looking out for all problem scenarios, to enable the safety of the villagers. However, the modern world has adapted and, we no longer have the same predators and dangers lurking in the wild.

Bipolar means I get stressed out extremely easily & the OCD side likes to obsess about it. My inborn, anxiety ridden, instinct has been to analyse everything for potential dangers. I assess everything to see if there is a threat. Oh, and if there is no threat I then have to workout potential future threats and hazards to enable me to come up with solutions to get away etc. OCD really likes to keep you on your toes.

Yesterday, I just wanted to get in my car and drive away from the problem – and as such execute the ‘flight’ response, of which I have always chosen because my body feels it cannot handle any confrontation.

And I have lived this way since I was around 15 – I lived so many years thinking it was normal.

It ends now. For good.

I am not saying I will fight with aggression. I hate arguing and confrontation. What I am saying is this; I am going to fight the bipolar induced stresses and the never ending obsessive thoughts that pop up into my head.

I am going to change my responses and view of the world.

So, a different path beckons, and the ideas started to weave their way into my brain yesterday but it was hard.

I tried to implement methods taught to me previously for anxiety and depression in CBT (a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave).

CBT aims to stop negative cycles by breaking down things that make you feel bad, anxious or scared. By making your problems more manageable, CBT can help you change your negative thought patterns and improve the way you feel.*

*NHS.uk

Basically, I have to rewire my brain to learn that danger is not everywhere and, that problems can be diverted to have completely new outcomes.

In my next blog post I will discuss the measures I am taking in order to change my way of thinking.

Read more about Stress and the fight or flight response here.

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