Review, Reset, Return
Picking Up the Pieces
Continued from my last blog (posted March 3, 2015), we move from review to reset. You have taken the time to review your situation and the recent events that landed you into the shattered state of chaos. Much like reviewing a dream and remembering the details so that you can make sense of it. Now it is time to reset. This means gathering your thoughts, gathering your emotions, gathering your information, and getting your bearings. It means breathing, crying, and taking a rest. We need to reset our body rhythm, our emotions, our thoughts, our clarity, and our spirit. It is time to pick up the pieces so that you can move toward putting them back to gather as you return to balance.
Ten important practices during your reset stage:
1. Turn Off Your Phone: Or turn it on vibrate and only answer the calls of people you know care about you, don’t need anything from you right at this moment, and will not add any stress. Call those people whom provide comfort and support and can help you move through your situation. Take time off from everything else.
2. Journal: Many people find that journaling their thoughts feelings and emotions, and writing about the events that occurred that led to crisis is both cathartic and healing.
3. Reset Your Routine: Slowly inch back into a spiritual practice for the next couple of days. If you cannot sleep, go to bed at your bedtime anyway. The body is resting and resetting even if you are not sleeping. It is ok to read a book if you cannot sleep- better yet, journal until you fall asleep. Get up at your normal waking time. Even if you are very sleepy due to not sleeping well during the night. It might take a few days to reset your body clock.
4. Engage in Spiritual Practice: If all you can do is read a verse from your favorite book of inspirational quotes for 2 minutes; do this with reverence. Perhaps just light a candle and say “Thank you G-d”. Or playing your favorite healing music and getting into your favorite yoga pose. The idea is to reset your spiritual self. By just doing a little, you will feel better, and that will likely lead into more practice. Taking on too much at once is not advised as that might have the opposite effect. So, do what is comfortable and that should make you feel good; which in turn will lead to a deeper spiritual practice, which, over time will likely increase.
5. Medication Reset: Make an appointment with your medical doctor/psychiatrist if you have one. Review and revise your medication regime if you have one.
6. Work it Through: Make an appointment with your Psychologist or Psychotherapist if you have one. Review and revise your Prevention Plan, process your current situation, and work through the issues that were brought up. Often, when the “crisis” erupts, it brings to light underlying personal issues and unresolved inner conflicts that, if addressed will bring you to a more stable position. The beauty of this process is that, should you choose to consciously work through this process, the next crash will likely be less severe and therefore, less devastating.
7. Do It: Start your “To Do” List, putting the most pressing issue on the top. Work through the most urgent issue until that problem is manageable. Once it is manageable, revise your “To Do” list putting the next most urgent issue at the top. This prevents overwhelm. Focus on one thing at a time. If there are multiple problems that must be dealt with immediately, break the day into hours, and work on focusing on each problem, taking one or two steps in resolving them at a time; then put that one on the table, and work on the other one for one or two hours. Take a break, then go back to the first one. The idea is to only focus on one problem at a time, and to take a break when you need to.
8. Breath: Now is a good time to remember your coping skills. Breathing and walking are quick and easy tools that you can use to reset our mind, emotions and body all at once- If you do not have a spiritual practice, you can use breathing and walking as your spiritual practice. When you walk, take note of everything you see- and practice your breathing. This practice will quiet your mind, so that when you go back to your “To Do” list, you will be fresh.
9. Be Patient: Be patient and kind to yourself. Remind yourself not to go down the path of shame and blame- it doesn’t help. The people that you love will benefit from your feeling better, not worse. Be a good and kind friend to yourself, and allow yourself the space to grieve, and to heal. As you do,you will become a healthier and stronger person. As you become a healthier a stronger person, you will be more able to prevent another manic episode, or, if you do feel mania coming on, you will be able to recognize it and get help before you crash and burn again. Remind yourself that this is all part of the process. Remind yourself that you are worth being loved and cared for, and therefore, you will love and care for yourself; and you will reach out to those who will love and care for you also.
10: The Cup: The Cup is Half Full… it is at least half full. You are alive. Regardless of how you feel when you hit the bottom, that fact that you are alive is a good thing; you are dancing on this Earth for a reason, you have a purpose, and it is good that you are still here so that you can share yourself with your fellow human beings. We are all connected. Your recovery is the recovery of humanity- There is love in your heart and light in your soul. Your taking the time to take care of you, will empower you to share this love and light with others. The tenth practice is to remember this truth.