A Different Type of Healing
Last week I attended a class that taught me how to find patience in myself, “Healing with Hypnosis.” Normally, I wouldn’t have attended such a class. Not because I’m a nonbeliever but because I will make any excuse to stay curled up, in a ball, mind in my house to avoid the world around me. Also, this particular class was about how patients can increase our happiness and health. I figured, happy and healthy aren’t a bad combo and let’s face it, with school out for the summer and the kids home more often than not, I needed all of the patience I could get.
Embracing the Unexpected
I really had no idea what to expect. Who really ever does? Was Rebecca(the healer) really going to hypnotize a whole class of students? Was there going to be a large group of people that I would have to get “woo woo” with? What if there are only a couple of us there, and I had to get deep and in touch with my inner self,(holy shit, now that’s scary!) Luckily this particular class ended up being just enough people to hide behind but not too many to become overwhelmed by the crowd. Despite my insecurities, I walked in with an open of mind, at least as open as I could be before an anxiety attack set in.
There were about eight women, and we all settled in and got comfortable in the low lit room filled with the sound of singing birds. I laid on a blanket on the floor, my head on a pillow and tried to relax. Rebecca began, her voice soothing, melting the tension away. She took us on a journey with her calming voice, I started to feel a deeper sense of comfort, my body was getting heavy. It was a deeper place of rest. As she continued I tried to relax, even more, my body became heavier and heavier as I allowed myself to follow her directions of deep breathing and connecting to the heat of the sun.
After some time had paced and we were fully immersed in the exercise, I found myself starting to get distracted, and my mind was racing with thoughts of so many other things. It wasn’t a manic episode, but it is something that I struggle with on a regular basis, and I know that many others with bipolar disorder do as well.
How Hypnosis is Affected by Bipolar Disorder
Individuals with bipolar disorder can find it very difficult to concentrate on one thing at a time. Because of our brains chemistry, we subconsciously try and process loads of information at the same time, some relative to that moment, sometimes not.
I started to get frustrated with myself, why couldn’t I focus on being patient? I continued to fall in and out of actively listening, arguing with myself. Focus, focus, focus! I just wasn’t feeling the healing powers of patience. This was when I became very, well honestly, pissed with myself. I couldn’t even lay in a room and relax for 30 minutes. Seriously? Then it happened, in the middle of my self-destruction, it happened. My mind cleared of everything except my internal voice. It was all starting to make sense.
All of those times when I was having a manic episode or those of deep depression, I would become my own worst enemy. In the stages of depression, I would mentally beat myself up with disgusting and vulgar talk, in which I would make myself feel worthless for even being alive and sometimes just wanting to be flat out dead.
When I was manic, I would get angry at myself and everyone else for not understanding that I really, kind of liked the manic episodes. I was full of energy; I didn’t sleep very much so I got tons of stuff done too. But the people closest to me, those who usually experienced both of my ups and downs would then tell me I needed to relax. I later realized that this translated to, I was annoying them, and they didn’t want to deal with me.
This entire time I wasn’t allowing myself to be patient with the one person who knew everything about my bipolar fairies and the ins and outs of my disease; ME. I continued to let my thoughts unfold. All of those times I made myself feel worthless, useless and every other self-degrading word I could think, what I really needed was patience. Patience with myself and patience with others. Patience to ride out the storm and understand that there are only so many things I can control, my medication being one of them. Everything else was out of my hands. Including how people reacted to my bipolar mood changes.
After all, if I couldn’t find a way to have patience with myself how could I expect others too? So I decided, there, while lying on the carpeted floor, I would practice having more patience with others and more patience with myself.
I realized that I had gotten exactly what I was there for, a revelation. There are many things that I cannot control; my mind racing, the frustration that comes from a lack of control and how other react to my illness, but I can make adjustments to make the best of each situation. I can be patient with myself and patient with others as we take this journey of understanding mental health. And that is how I found healing within hypnosis.