Bipolar with Psychosis

A Guide for navigating mental illness

By - billV

Empathy

 

What is empathy?

Having empathy is simply being aware of other people’s emotions. Being empathic is being able to experience other people’s emotions. Being empathic is a bit of a double edged sword. Sometimes I can choose whether or not I want to experience certain  emotions from certain people. Other times I have no choice, and I get hit with waves of emotion that I didn’t expect. When it happens, I typically end up crying because I’m overcome too quickly to avoid it. So as you can imagine, for everyone around me, I look like a weirdo from time to time because I get emotional for no apparent reason.

Understanding other people’s feelings

This is a difficult subject for me to talk about. Not because understanding people’s feelings is a difficult task to accomplish, but because having enough love in your heart to hold the light for another human being can be a daunting task for anyone. The only requirement is that you have love for people you don’t know, which most times can be a more difficult task than we expected.
Most of us are caught  up in our own troubles and problems. When someone walks by in need of a little kindness, we don’t even notice. Or if we do notice, we assume that we should mind our own business, so we don’t reach out at all. Not even with a simple kind word. What this leads to is a world full of people who ignore their own feelings. The fact is, we’re all scared of what others think, and it affects our day to day reality.

Who do you want to be?

It’s difficult to figure out who you want to be if you’re not sure who you are. You’ll have to be honest with yourself and accept parts of yourself you’ve tried to hide your entire life. It may be difficult to admit some things to yourself or to others, but the parts of you which are hidden, must be revealed. Only then will you be able to either release them into the past or include them in your new identity. The identity of your true self. The future you. The complete you. The happy you.
I had to understand how I’d turned myself into a hermit, and how I’ve been the one sabotaging my entire life whenever I was about to be happy. It was only after I was able to be honest with myself and my wife that I was able to move past my internal fears, and it made my relationship with her even closer. It was at that point that I was finally able to begin making a plan to live the life I wanted and we were both able to plan for the life we wanted to live together. Whatever you fear, I promise you it doesn’t exist and no one will care about the skeletons in your closet. It’ll always be ok to say anything you feel the need to say to the people you love and the people who love you. They’ll always have your back.

Making a plan to be you

After you begin to shed some of the old you, inevitably the real you will start to bleed through into your current reality. It’ll slowly begin to show you who you are. If you don’t like or don’t agree with who you are becoming, you’ll need to keep peeling back layers until all the shit is cleared from your consciousness. Once the shit is gone, you’ll be left with you. And I promise who you find at the end of it all is a beautiful person, full of potential.
Now that the shit has been cleared from your consciousness, it’s time to start finding what you like, are interested in, or simply let your passion in life take over and lead the way. For me, that was three things I started with. The first was writing and helping people. 
That’s how it will work out for you as well. When you remove the parts of your life that are someone else’s creation, all you’re left with are the things you love and the things you love to do.
 

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