So, as you know if you read my other blog, I am triggered very harshly by the sounds of chewing (even if it's quiet)! My fiancé and I turn on the television when we eat together to drown out the chewing noises so I don't become manic.
Today, the TV paused because the signal was lost. She stopped eating. I feel really bad every time she has to stop eating due to my bipolar disorder so I took a journey into my coping methods and told her "just keep eating please and let me try this". She did and I opened my help for anxiety app – SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management, photo below).
I told her to just keep eating. I read the passage to myself twice like it instructed. Then I opened the first exercise, the breathing step. I didn't let my anxiety turn into mania! I tensed my muscles as I breathed in and relaxed as I breathed out.
I opened the next one which is the peaceful drawing one. This helps me because I feel like I am in control of unveiling a beautiful scene. It gives me strength. I did this until the TV turned back on and didn't ask her to stop once! I waited until I felt comfortable to tackle it and I did!
Now, Alissa knows I live with this disorder and it is chronic which means it will never fully go away. She knows I may fail in the future and I do as well. That's what makes it even better! We both know it's very difficult but I did it!
I encourage all of you who have bipolar disorder to try breathing that way when you start to feel manic. Lashing out might seem like it feels good but it only creates a mess to clean up afterwards and it is a waste of time! By tensing your muscles when you breathe in, you stretch and release energy throughout your body which relieves the feelings of mania. Then, when you breathe out and completely relax, it feels soothing. Please, try it! Thanks everyone for reading and wish me luck on tackling my triggers!