Mental Health Friday #14

Mental Health Friday #14

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Today’s MHF is a continuation of Trae’s journey with Bipolar disorder. Up until now, we’ve seen her deal with her mother passing away, the negative effects of anti-psychotics and her relapse with addiction. We ended last time with Trae getting back her life, following her entry into an Alcoholics Anonymous group.

I left off in my story at a time when we had just moved into an apartment in a new town. I had started to go to A.A. meetings and met my new sponsor. At the same time, as soon as we moved into that apartment I started to talk to my ex-husband about my leaving. We had gone for coffee every week or so to talk outside of the house and we argued a lot over this. I told him my reasons for leaving many times over and I also told him I didn’t believe things would change. I told him I believed the only reason he was being so nice to me was because he had nothing and no one else at that moment, but as soon as he picked himself up again, which he would, he would forget I existed the way he always did. My ex-husband did put in effort, but as I told him, I did not believe things would really change.

At the same time, I was going to meetings and on commitments with my sponsor. I met the other active members of the group, one of which was John. I did not know him very well, but when he spoke at commitments and meetings, I listened. My respect and admiration for him grew.

During the winter of 2011-2012, I spent my spare time working very intensely on my fourth step. (Step Four, Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.) I do believe what that did for me was far beyond it’s intended purpose of helping me to see what my characters defects are, why I do the things I do and how to change them. It also helped me to see that I was not so bad as I was made out to be. I listed everything I had done wrong to hurt another person in my life and what I saw was that I was not such a bad person, as a matter of fact I was a pretty good person. The fact that I have bi-polar disorder, ADHD and PTSD had nothing to do with what kind of person I was. This of course caused me to look harder at the people that had treated me as though I were some kind of problem. Clearly, I was not their problem. Clearly, I did not deserve to be hurt anymore.

It was in the spring that I did my fifth step, outside on a cool day with my sponsor. (Step Five. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.) We sat together and went over everything. She then brought me to her house and left me to sit alone and do steps Six and Seven. (Step Six, Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” Step Seven, Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.

That day I felt a freedom that I have never known. All of the fears I had fell away. I knew I was ready to begin my life again and I was so happy I went home and told my ex-husband in a card that I was ready to move on. The problem seemed to be that the next morning when I woke up, I realized that yes, I was ready to move on, but not there. Read more