Picture yourself bobbing on the ocean. Sometimes the ocean is calm and sometimes there are storms. Bipolar Disorder is a lot like that. The secret is learning to ride the waves.

It does you no good to fight the storms. The best thing to do is ride them out. Loosen your body and let it flow with the motion of the boat.

You can even lay down in the boat and feel the swells rising and falling.

Say that a friend is coming over and you’re worried that your house is a mess. Pick up the items that can be put in rooms and everything else can go in your “crap I don’t know what to do with this” box. Clean the kitchen; it makes a big difference. This is riding a wave.

Say you have to meet with an accountant, and your heart is pounding while your guts are churning. Take five deep breaths, make sure you have the required paperwork, read some affirmations to raise your confidence, then march right in to the accountant’s office.

What do these stories have in common?

Going wherever life takes you, good or bad.

Instead of fighting the wave you bob gently along with it. If you fight the wave, you’re going to get a lot of water up your nose. And your thrashing will just wear you out.

If we can learn to float with the wave, our path becomes smoother. We can see the problem for what it is. Once we know what the problem is we can fix it.

Just keep bobbing with the waves until you figure out the best way to solve this.

Riding the wave is also good for fighting anxiety. Instead of sputtering in the trough of the wave, you are on top, able to make decisions with all the information that is present.

If riding the wave really relaxes you, lay back and float and let your whole body feel the swells.

This is another way that you can deal with anxiety. I really like water so I based my example on a body of water. But you can do this imagery with just about anything. You can picture yourself walking up a hill.

You may have to ride the waves for a little while during the storm. That’s ok. Just keep your head up and your bravery handy. You can do this.

Please tell me about how you keep your head up during episodes.

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