Bipolar Wake Up Meditation

When I got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, my parents bought me a cool book called "An Unquiet Mind." I immediately recognized my own jumbled thoughts and emotions. I felt an instant affinity for the author. I've since learned that 70% of alcoholics are bipolar. Makes perfect sense to me. When your moods are in constant flux, and your brain is run by a raucous, unruly committee, you'll do anything possible to impose some semblance of order. Even if the quiet is short-lived, alcohol does drown out the thoughts -- temporarily.

That is, until the day it stops working, turns on you, and leaves you more moody and miserable than ever.

Now Dry, Still Bi

That's how it happened for me. Self-medicating no longer made me well. It made me sicker. So I quit.

At about a year sober I asked my psychiatrist to retest me. I thought taking alcohol out of the equation might change my diagnosis. It did not.

During the ensuing years I've learned to recognize and work within (for the most part) my up/down cycles. I still struggle with an overactive brain. But considering the alternative, this isn't such a bad thing!

At the same time, I work a program of recovery. With its goal of peace and serenity, recovery is a godsend to a bipolar like me.

 

Meditation, Everyone?

Being bipolar does pose some challenges (minor, and kinda funny) to one of the main components of recovery: morning meditation.

I wrote the following poem to show the humorous difficulties I encounter when trying to work the 11th Step (sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we undertood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out).

I know people in AA who regularly attend 1/2 hour meditation meetings. Others say meditation is one of the easiest parts of the program for them.

Not for me! I've got a ways to go in my spiritual growth. But I'm fortunate to have a God who forgives my short attention span and guides my decisions with a loving hand anyway.

As we say in AA, it's progress, not perfection!

A Bipolar Meditates -- Or Tries To

Morning Mind Minute

  1. I levitate awake
  2. Defying sleep's deep gravity
  3. Brain shifts to first
  4. To third
  5. To overdrive
  6. What day is this?
  7. Start my day with prayer
  8. Our Father who art in Heaven
  9. Remember that hellish dream
  10. Three striped kittens
  11. Lost in the house
  12. With 13 bathrooms
  13. Two hours till the meeting
  14. Time to check emails
  15. Damn I hate my sister-in-law
  16. Sorry God
  17. Grant me the serenity
  18. To accept the things
  19. I cannot change
  20. Or charge
  21. Did I pay that Am Ex bill?
  22. Shit, not again
  23. Meditate, dammit
  24. Pray
  25. Thy will be done
  26. Hail Mary
  27. No, not hail
  28. It’s raining out
  29. Yay!
  30. And lead us not into temptation
  31. Traffic will be brutal
  32. Good morning Gremmie
  33. How’s my little man?
  34. I know, I know
  35. You want your breakfast
  36. Almost finished here
  37. Where was I?
  38. So needing coffee
  39. God, grant me the serenity
  40. To accept the things
  41. That let me focus
  42. Forgive us our trespasses
  43. As we forgive those who trespass
  44. That’s right, you random thoughts
  45. Stay out!
  46. And the wisdom to know
  47. I am soooo sick of this
  48. God damn her anyway, the bitch
  49. Ah shit
  50. Gratitude, gratitude
  51. Change your attitude
  52. Silence the voices
  53. Thoughts tied in knots
  54. Relieve me of the bondage of self
  55. That I might better do Thy will
  56. God, are you hearing this?
  57. Fuck, I give up
  58. Getting up now
  59. Forever and ever
  60. Amen

© 2010 Mighty Mom. All rights resered.

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Comments 49 comments

wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 6 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

I don't care if you're bi-polar and I don't think you need AA either. Still, it's your life so do what you think you need to do. just know there are people out there who barely know you and they (we) like you.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Aw shucks.Being bipolar just means I'm "special."

Most people would blame it on PMS, but I just call a spade a spade!

How are ya, Billy, my man?


jiberish profile image

jiberish 6 years ago from florida

Mighty Mom, thank you for sharing. Many people don't have a clue what it's like to live with someone who sufferes like this.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hey there Jiberish. There's a lot of literature and resources for bipolar out there. It can be controlled or managed, but it's always a challenge! Thx for reading!! MM


wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 6 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

I'm fine and wrote a political hub just for you.


Michellcat profile image

Michellcat 6 years ago

Did you write that poem? That was absolutely wonderful! I wish I had written it. It reads like one of my mornings.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Mighty Mom. It's great you wrote this hub and it sounds like you have come a long way. I am glad you are in AA as the 12 program gives you a method to work through any problem and it is good to be around to support you. The poem was great. Best of luck in the future.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Love your hub...so open and honest and the poem is amazing. But why did you number the lines?


lyricsingray 6 years ago

MM I so needed to read this this morning. Being bi polar you helped me a great deal as usual. Thank you for your continual inspiration. xo Kimberly


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Your morning mind sounds much like mine is all day long -- busy, busy, busy. I thought everyone was like this -- you mean they aren't? I've never been tested, never been treated, and have learned, long ago to live with this busy mind -- in fact have come to treasure it as a gift. I don't think I'm bi-polar as I rarely deal with depression, just a mind that won't ever shut up (or stick to the task at hand.) Bless you for all the work and struggle you've undertaken to improve your self and your life. And my hearfelt congratulations. Sincerely, Lynda


raven1967 profile image

raven1967 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Mighty Mom your poem was absolutely awesome!!! lol...I've been diagnosed bipolar too. But the diagnosis is so wishy washy...So many varying degrees of symptoms, it's hard to know what to believe. Are they just peddling their prescription drugs or what? lol...Your thoughts sound very familiar to me, like looking into a mirror. I think I will give the meditation another try...so difficult to still the mind. Anyway, great hub...Later


wyanjen profile image

wyanjen 6 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

Good morning, pal.

This was the best morning meditation I've ever read. I did wander off a couple times... made a pot of coffee, flipped through CNN for a bit... But I made it all the way to the end.

Did I ever mention that I'm BP too? Yep, it's true. I first started noticing when... hey, y'know I can't stand my sister-in-law either.

Being bi-polar can be challenging for sure. (Sorry, I just wandered off there for a minute to find some warmer socks.)

I had a dream that my ex hid the staircase so I couldn't get to the basement and I wandered around all night swearing at him for it. When I woke up I remembered that my new place only has one floor. I was kinda embarrassed but I swore at him for awhile longer anyway. The nerve!!!

Well I better let you go - I gotta go figure out what I forgot I was doing in my other web browser.

I don't think the problem is a short attention span. There's just too many other damn things I'd rather be thinking about.

Wait. What?


i scribble 6 years ago

I am always touched and impressed when people share about their personal struggles so candidly on the web. I would think it takes a lot of courage. And I think it helps to educate and enlighten the general public about mental disorders, family dysfunction, and a variety of important psychosocial issues. I like your poem, but I don't think people should overinterpret your portrayal of a wandering mind. I certain amount of that is "normal" and other symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. An overactive, wandering mind is also the hallmark of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I would caution people not to attempt to diagnose themselves, but to get a professional evaluation if you think you may have a problem. I can't seem to keep my mind focused when I drive; it always kicks into autopilot causing me to miss turns, forget to keep track of milage, etc. This is a nuisance, but other symptoms of ADHD or BD are mostly absent. Anyway, I like this hub. Thanks for sharing, Mighty Mom.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Wow. I'm quite amazed at the collective BP/substance abusing nerve I seem to have hit with this poem. Of course it was meant lightly. Not tongue-in-cheek, exactly. But I do find my feeble attempts at mind focusing to be humorous.

Should have guessed that many of my HP buddies would relate. I mean come on. When you are as awesomely creative as we are (back pats all around), it is hard to get those fab ideas out fast enough. LOL.

Why did I number the lines? The inspiration for that was an old song "88 lines about 44 women." I will try to put the video in. The lines are supposed to be 1 second of thought each, so it's exactly 1 minute of my erstwhile meditation.

Thanks, friends, for reading and for the feedback. Stay mentally healthy! MM


Cosmocat profile image

Cosmocat 6 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

Kay Redfield Jamison's book 'an unquiet mind' changed my life. It was the first experience of READING a description of how it felt to be me. I copied some of the pages and gave them to family members so that they had a point of reference for my behaviours.

You and i could be twin sisters of different mothers...thanks for allowing me to reflect on some of the five most important words in recovery : "I know how you feel."


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

"Now Dry, Still Bi!" Perfect-me too, MM. And that poem is fantastic-it's me, too. I was diagnosed last year, and boy does it explain alot. I must admit that I miss the mania, but my brain does flips all the time even on meds! It's ok, I don't have a problem with any of it-until I start talking out loud. People that love me know this stuff, we all call them "Laurelisms," but strangers? Who cares...but it can get pretty funny.

Thanks for brightening my morning, MM-fabulous Hub!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Looks like there's even more of "us" coming out of the BP closet. Maybe we should have a "Bipolars-Only" Forum, LOL.Sorry, don't mean to make light.

Cosmocat-- ain't that the truth. FINALLY someone DOES know how I feel. And I know how they feel!

Lorlie -- you are a treasure. I would love to read some ofyour "Laurelisms" I bet they are a hoot. I wonder if Yogi Berra was bipolar too???


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 6 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Mighty Mom, I love your openness and honesty - you are among my top fav writers and this peice makes you even more endearing! You always tell it like you see it with humour and skill - I love your meditation poem, go girl!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Mighty Mom, I loved the poem. I have to agree with lmmartin, I thought everyone was like this. Could explain a lot!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

It is a very difficult conditon to manage. You keep strong girlie, you can do it!x


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Ah, ladies, I feel honored to be in such company. Perhaps this IS how writers think when their minds are unfiltered! Anyway, so glad you could relate/enjoy! Thank you!!! MM


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

Mighty mom,

I was so glad to see your article. I am bipolar also and know what you are going through. I recently wrote a hub called "An Unquiet mind" named on the title of the book you mentioned. It is one of my favorites. my i reccommend two by a very excellent author who is also a best friend and mentor. She is also Bipolar. her name is Lana castle the books are called "Bipolar Disorder Dymstified" and "Finding your Bipolar Muse" they were and are excellent help in living with what i refer to as my monster. her email is

castlecommunications.com and has tons of reference and help materials. She is also the president of the state chapter of Nami Austin. Hope this helps.

Warmest regards

Chris


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 6 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Oh, and MM, I forgot to mention, some of my best friends are bipolar!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I really enjoyed the stream of consciousness of your poem, MM. You are indeed a great writer, no matter your condition :D I enjoy reading your work as always.

A couple of people I've known throughout the years are only now coming out of the closet of the Bipolarity (?). Without a doubt, there is strength in you, but you don't need me to tell you that.

Warmest Regards,

Dohn


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Kartika and Dohn,

Friends like you are rare gems that become more polished with time. I am grateful to have both of you in my HP life. Thank you for the kind comments.

MM


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I'm personally thankful that you're functionally Bi-polar...for now.


Pryncyss profile image

Pryncyss 6 years ago from South Central USA

haha! loved the poem...my days are sometimes like tho so its true and funny LOL


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks fellow rollercoaster riders for visiting! MM


RecoverToday profile image

RecoverToday 6 years ago from United States

Sounds to me like you have a good understanding and acceptance of the disorder. You have a great attitude, that is why you are doing well in your recovery. Keep it up!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you RecoverToday. There is a huge crossover between mental illness (bipolar and depression especially) and substance abuse. But yes, thanks for the comment. My recovery is important. Without it, I can't manage my bipolar!!!


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Mighty Mom, your poem rocks! On some of my bad days, my thought process is as shown in your poem. Heck, some of my hubs are a little like your poem... j/k. Hang in there. You're "upped" for sure, and "awesome-ed"


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks so much, mb! Sorry to hear you have thoughts like this on your bad days. Could be worse, tho. Could be your GOOD DAYS! LOL.Thanks for the comment!!MM


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I have a sister who was diagnois with Bi-polar and she was an alcoholic. Praise God she hasn't had a drink in 4 years! I have been praying for her and taking care of her. I have done alot of studying on Bi-polar. I love your Bi-polar meditation! I will share this with my sister!!! Blessings to you and your always my friend and much love!!!!!!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi drpastorcarlotta. Thanks for visiting. I am glad your sister got her mood swings under control by being abstinent from alcohol. There is a HUGE crossover between bipolar and alcoholism -- sometimes hard to tell them apart!

FYI, I went back to my psychiatrist at 1 year sober and asked to be rediagnosed. I thought perhaps I was "just" alcoholic as well. Happy to say I am both sober (6+ years) AND on bipolar meds still.

Hope your sister is managing her life well. And thanks again for the comment. MM


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

As all the other commentors have said, I appreciate your openness. I really do like your writing style and that poem was just so honest and so realistic. I enjoyed reading this Hub. You seem to have a great sense of humour. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely be back to read more of your works.


animal-backpacks profile image

animal-backpacks 6 years ago from Brighton

My goodness it's like being inside my mind! How strange. The active brain that never lets you sleep or switch off.

Well done for quiting the drinking. That takes incredible will power. And thank-you for sharing such an excellent hub.

Best wishes for the future.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi animal-packpacks. I've found once you put the subject out there many others will recognize themselves. I'm chuckling as it happened again just this morning. Trying to say my prayers but my mind just wanders in its own directions -- and I do mean directions plural!

Glad you visited and appreciate the comment. MM


SONNY SIROIS profile image

SONNY SIROIS 6 years ago from Fort Fairfield, Maine

Bi-polar, manic-depressive... There are a few people close to me who suffer this condition, whatever it's called. It's tough finding a happy place, trying to balance life, people, and personal battles. Humor can certainly help! Understanding from others is wonderful too. Thanks for the Hub MM!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you, Sonny! Humor is the best therapy I know of - and it's FREE!


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

Funny you mention the talented minds and raging thoughts!! You might have a big idea of the real challenge it presents for people like us to be able to focus all those talents into something people can def relate to. I loved your poem and it made me feel so good that there are other people with an overactive mind like me out there...Love your work!! Thanks for sharing you inner sanctum with us and making yourself known as you really are...A Wonder Woman!!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi JinnyMarte, so glad you found my hub. There are quite a few hubbers "like us." Focus is a challenge, yes. But you gotta admit, we are never at a loss for IDEAS!

Happy hubbing and stay centered, dear lady! MM


beginners meditation 5 years ago

Hi Mighty Mom,

Really interesting article... It just came to me... have you ever tried speaking to all the members on the unruly council and asked them to cooperate? Would that help do you think?

Thanks for your sharing.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello beginners meditation. That is a very solid idea, but so far has not worked. You see, only some members of the committee have ears. They can all speak -- and it seems to be an amusing contest for them to get the firs

t, the last, and the loudest word in. They live in constant competition.

That is the whole concept behind meditation -- to create quiet by blocking those (evil bastards*) out.

I continue to try. Maybe one day it will work!

*I dare not say it aloud for fear they will take revenge:-). Thanks for your post.


Sunnyglitter profile image

Sunnyglitter 5 years ago from Cyberspace

I laughed so hard when I read your Bipolar meditation attempt. I'm glad I'm not the only Bipolar person who can't stay focused. :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Aw SG, we both know focus is waaayyyy overrated:-).

Thanks for sharing. MM


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

Great hub, with bi-polar manic depression running wild in my family. I myself diagnosed now with some depressions and anxieties. I know all to well how it is living with and managing this constant thing that will not go away. Yet, does have it's good days under therapy and the right medications. Thank you so very much for sharing, and keep fighting the good fight here, I know I will for myself and my loved one's both.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

I struggle with ADHD and share some of your issues with focus. Self medication as you mentioned is a real problem, I used to self medicate with sugar and caffeine until that became a problem. I'm curious that when you try to meditate, do you attempt to empty your mind or focus on God? I try to put on soft spiritual music or instrumental music and lie down and try to keep my focus on the goodness of God.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

I have a brother who is bipolar, and yes he will totally agree with you about how the thoughts just run and run, getting jumbled driving him mad, maybe he should take up meditation? thanks, I will see what he says, nell


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 2 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Nell,

I would not suggest meditation as a substitute for medication.

Proper medication to manage the mood swings is essential.

Once the cycling of mania/depression is managed, then the thoughts quiet some and meditation can expand on that quietness.

Then again, there must be holistic bipolars out there who refuse to take meds. Maybe the focus of meditation works well for them.

Good luck to your brother.

MM

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