Here’s a reblog from Michelle at The Bipolar Writer about affirmations that I’m just loving for it’s positivity and “sprinkles!” Affirmations can be so difficult to do and can oftentimes feel awkward. I was first introduced to affirmations when I started attending peer support groups after a psychotic break that lead to my first major hospital stay when I was 25. Six years later and I’m just beginning to feel better from another major hospital stay at 30 and I think some affirmations need a revisit as my self-esteem slowly inches back to what will hopefully be a solid baseline for a sustained recovery! I shouldn’t flash forward so abruptly for fear of discouraging anyone — there were a lot of good times and usual highs and lows between hospital stays and my life is far from being completely derailed although it has certainly has felt that way at times. I still have a copy of the first affirmation sheet I ever did, so I’ll list a few I found there and a few I’ve developed over the years to segue into this awesome article! So, me:
You are dynamic.
You are loving.
You are capable…
You are worthy.
You are intelligent.
You are strong.
You can accomplish all that you put your mind towards.
You can do this.
This too shall pass.
Oh, affirmations, those lovely little bugs that are a pain to do, but my oh my they make a difference.
I first was exposed to affirmations when I was a child and all through my childhood. My mother was a Rockstar. She would tell us repeatedly how beautiful we were, that we were intelligent, that we were worthy of God’s love and so forth. I never knew how much those words would be needed until February 2016 arrived.
I suffered a major mental breakdown the first quarter of 2016 and it rocked my world like there was no tomorrow. And at several points, I was not sure if there was going to be a tomorrow. Through the breakdown, I was finally diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder 1 with a mixed episode after 15 or so years of being symptomatic and improperly treated. I suffered immensely for five (5) months before succumbed to attending treatment. Two months later, I learned a bit and met a few amazing people and finally started back at work.
It was in treatment that the importance of affirmations resurfaced. And to be completely honest I thought that they were the most insane things I have ever been asked to do. “You want me to look in the mirror and say what? Yeah, that does not work for me!” It wasn’t until I was forced to say affirmations to myself in front of my whole group that it slowly began to sink it. Through tears I recited something to the effect of, “I am worthy” and that was one of the hardest things that I have ever done.
The next day I sat down with my teenagers and we all filled out cards with affirmations. That night we each drew a card out of the box, read it out loud and each family member spoke back the affirmation to the person who drew the card. I had the card that stated, “I am intelligent” and my family spoke back to me, “Yes Michelle, you are intelligent”. My children loved this exercise and it became part of our routine for an extended amount of time.
I no longer think that affirmations are a waste of time and energy. I think that they are incredible and have helped me through many a day. Today I was telling myself that I can do this, I can persevere, I can tackle this hurdle of what feels like the starts of a depressive episode. I thoroughly feel that a positive mindset is a great partner to have when co-existing with a mental illness. At times, we need to be our own cheerleaders. We need to root ourselves on, tell ourselves that we can do it, that we are worth it, and we make a difference.
In case you were not aware, you are awesome. You are talented and have special talents that make you immensely important. You have a purpose. You are an incredible gift.
Sprinkle Covered Cupcakes and Fairy Dust,