“You’re probably the right person to get good advice from. I feel like I’m running away from a huge nervous breakdown. Since 3 or 4 days already. I don’t know what caused this, sometimes I think it’s because I can’t create as much as I would like to at the moment, sometimes it feels like I deserve so much more and I try to force the good things into my life – achieving the opposite. And tomorrow is my birthday and I have organised NOTHING. Does that sound like a proper self-sabotage idiot? Gonna try see if I can meet a good friend of mine (who was some sort of an affair that ended recently because we can only be good friends…probably also a reason for me freaking out). Usually I would admit myself to hospital at such an intensity of a crisis, but I somehow want to manage this shit myself. Sometimes it feels like we need good friends to protect us from our unfair, self-judging, stupid selves. And then society labels us with bipolar “disorder” or whatever mental “disease” to give us medication and keep us trapped in this ridiculous self-control modus to still function in the matrix. The consequence, at least for me, is that your emotions build up a massive rant against the control system to “unlimit” yourself through self-medication and abuse of all illegal substances available. You refuse all the “obligations” in daily life: no shower anymore, no proper food, and money is just there to be wasted. “Get rid off this horrible money, I kiss its dirty face to say farewell!” It is only through those substances that you can let yourself go. I cannot cry without them. And there is something horribly wrong with that. “

It sounds like you’re being horribly unfair to yourself.

Firstly, you’re experiencing NORMAL HUMAN EMOTIONS. You are sensitive and not a robot, so whether you like it or not difficulties at work or with relationships are going to affect you, emotionally. Allow yourself that. Give yourself permission to just be sad or sore or hurt or frustrated or angry or whatever it is. There is nothing wrong with you, it’s okay to feel this way.

Yes, we all sometimes want more than what we have in the present moment. That’s okay, it helps to motivate us and propel us into the future and into achieving greatness. But that intention should not be made more important than accepting ourselves in the present moment. Try to accept where you are and how things are around you. This too shall pass. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but it is likely that because it is your birthday you will be showered with love and messages from those in your life from all over the world. Appreciate all that you have and recognise that there is no perfect way to do this moment or the next. It is a happening. Sometimes we just have to release control. I am sure that if you are open to it, you will have a great time – something will come up. Be spontaneous!

And if you feel loss or grief, then allow yourself to feel those emotions. You are entitled to feel that way if a relationship has ended or if you feel you are losing something of yourself in the process of growing older. At each stage of our life, as we gain maturity, we are going to have to give up certain things in order to gain others. That is life. We can’t have it all. But if we can appreciate the fluidity of it all, and recognise that its not in our control but that is why it’s so precious, then we will learn to mourn the loss and move on to enjoy the new treats that life has on offer.

I have been in a place where being self destructive felt fair – to myself and the world. But I have found that it is much harder and more rewarding to take care of myself both psychologically and physically. Everyday you have a choice to hurt or heal yourself and I choose healing. Sure there may be days I want to hide away and be lazy but mostly I spend my energy taking care of me and learning about my needs and how I can best meet them. And of course there are times when I would like someone else to take care of me, when I feel exhausted and infantile and I just want the proverbial “bottle” or pacifier or whatever. But then I remember that I am the only person who can truly help me. I have to be the mother and the father to that infantile inner self. I have to know when it is time to intervene and take that toy away or to say ‘Bedtime, Missy!’ I have to be the one that feeds me vegetables and stops me from eating another slice of cake. I have to be the one that warns me away from the wrong crowd. This is not the stuff of Hunter S Thompson Novels. It’s not the stuff of flashy advertising motifs.

So, choose healing. But only if you know that it’s about hard work and sacrifice and you will not get given a glamorous accolade or recognition on Facebook for it.

My second point is that I think for most of us, being alone with our thoughts can be detrimental. I don’t know if you have a therapist but it seems absolutely criminal if you don’t. Bipolar is a disorder of the emotions. It’s about not having the tools to manage the shifts in mood and affect. Therapists are better than drugs at helping you manage your emotions. Please don’t even consider not having a therapist. If you haven’t found one you like then you need to keep shopping around until you get one that fits just right. If you don’t feel like you can walk into his/her office and scream and perform with the deepest anger and then cry with the deepest sorrow then you haven’t found the right one yet. Keep looking, if you choose healing that is.

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