Ever do something you regret and you play out the scene over and over again in your head? Or perhaps you've got one of those nagging recurring thoughts that race through your head from time to time. When you live with bipolar syndrome, this is a way of life. You do stupid things dependent on your mood and then play it back like a broken record for years to come. It's a nasty habit, with some horrible down falls.
Bipolar syndrome can darken your mind and your mood enough without the addition of guilt, whether real or perceived. When guilt is added to the equation though, it can make things that much worse. How then do you cope with guilt and problems, without having it severely affect your self esteem and self worth?
First step is to know yourself and to be honest with yourself. If you know that it's not a normal behaviour for you, breathe, and let it go. Sometimes we make stupid decisions when we're not at our best. Begrudging yourself for it will do no good. Instead, understand yourself, know your warning signs and take a proactive state.
Which brings us to the next item. Have someone you can trust. If you cannot rely on yourself to watch for those behavioral cues, have someone else give you a nudge when you're heading into that same direction again.
Work out your problems. If there is something you do when you're manic or depressed that you don't like about yourself, change it. For me, when I became manic I used to get really drunk and do stupid things as a result. Because of this, I no longer drink, manic or otherwise. This way, reaching for a bottle is completely out of nature, and therefore not something I even tend to do when I'm not in a normal state of mind.
Make yourself notes, lists and reminders. This can be a big help in ensuring things go smoothly no matter your state of mind. When I am manic I tend to forget appointments. As a result, I now right everything down on the calender, in my mood diary, and I also tell my husband. This way should I got manic, as I recently did, life continues on a semi-normal path.
Put yourself into something. Learn a new thing, give back to your community or simply just get a hobby. Having something to pour yourself into can help with your self-esteem and can also combat those negative guilty thoughts that being bipolar can bring with it.
You're always going to struggle with the guilt of your behaviours and simply with having bipolar syndrome, but it doesn't mean it has to take a strong hold on your self esteem. With a few changes, you can take back control, and work towards being a healthier you.