UNFU*K Yourself

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“YOU DON’T WANT TO CHANGE! If you did, you’d be doing it! Call yourself out on this shit” (Bishop 201).

Gary John Bishop puts your shit on blast in his book titled “Unfu*k Yourself” and calls you out for sitting idle and thinking about making change rather than going out there and doing it. He strongly emphasizes actions over thoughts and he says that “You change your life by doing, not by thinking about doing” (Bishop 126). He claims doing is the quickest way to change your thoughts. If you always attack the task at hand, you will think less about how you procrastinate or how you cannot get things done since you’re tackling your shit. You will also have less time to think those negative thoughts that are bringing you down because you are busy being productive and moving forward through action.

Bishop also stresses that you cannot wait around for a good mood or positive thinking to act. Bishop asserts, “Fuck how you feel, ACT!” (Bishop 132). Stop procrastinating your life because you simply do not feel up to it. Seize the moment because you never know when you’ll have another. I am starting to realize for myself and through emphasis in this book that I cannot keep waiting around for the perfect moment since it may very well never come. I have been putting off and putting off applying for jobs because I do not feel confident enough however this needs to end today. I will never feel the confidence I am hoping for through positive thinking or through lack of engagement with the job search process. I may however, gain more confidence through experience with job searching and interviews. In order to get to that point I need to start somewhere. Tomorrow I plan to search for and apply to three job postings regardless of how I am feeling. We shall see if this yields results.

Bishop again states that doing is better than thinking, “If you want your life to be different, you have to make it happen. All of the thinking or meditating or planning or anti-anxiety medication in the world isn’t going to improve your life if you’re not willing to go out and take action and make changes. You can’t sit around waiting  for the right  mood to strike or  for life to play out the way you want it to. Nor can you rely on positive thinking alone to transform things for the better. You have to go out and do” (Bishop 192).

We constantly think “I can’t” or I can once A, B or C is sorted out but in reality we’re just holding on to excuses to avoid starting actually doing something. The ironic thing is actually doing something may help sort those things out or feelings of inadequacies. If I just continue to not apply to jobs I will never quell the thought that I am unemployable because I will continue to be in fact unemployable. I am going to work on this and for now I leave you with a quote from Carl Jung:

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

 

UNFU*K Yourself and Let Go of Expectations

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As You all know I am a self-help book junkie and my latest acquisition is Gary John Bishop’s “Unfu*k Yourself.” I must admit I expected a book with a curse word in the title to have a little more impact and was left wanting more – more substance that is. However, he does raise some good points in his book and one of them being on the topic of expectations.

Bishop states in his book, “I contend that the upsets strewn throughout your life are a product of thousands of unspoken or unrecognized expectations that cast a giant shadow across your life experience, causing great stress when you’re trying to make life fit with your expectations and great disappointment when life doesn’t match up to them” (Bishop 171).

A great example of when I tried to make life fit with my expectations and it resulting in the greatest disappointment of my life when it didn’t match up was my education. I expected that I would excel at four years of an undergraduate and graduate on time but life threw me a curve ball known as bipolar disorder. When entering my fourth and final year I experienced a psychotic break with reality and was diagnosed with Bipolar. I was left with an inability to focus or retain information due to copious amounts of lithium and olzanpine coursing through my system. This is a huge no-no for anyone trying to study a memory intensive subject like I was of Art History. I returned home defeated and slumped into the biggest depression of my life where I did not leave my bed for months on end and could not keep up with simple hygiene like showering and brushing my teeth.

This upset was definitely due to an incongruence between what I expected of my life and what reality was. I could not get my life to match with my expectations and as a result was left completely devastated. It would take me years to recover from this defeat and realize that maybe life had something else in store for me and to accept the unpredictability of life and be thankful for it.  For example, my experience with mental illness left me more aware of its commonality in the community and left me with more insight into the nature of bipolar disorder and how to manage it properly. I can now share my experiences through this blog to hopefully reach out to somebody and maybe help them understand their situation a little better. I have the ability to let people know they are not alone and that is truly a beautiful thing.

Bishop also asserts in his book that, “It’s much more powerful to come to terms with life’s unpredictability and to engage with your circumstances for what they actually are then get bogged down by your refusal to let go of unnecessary  or unproductive expectations” (Bishop 175).

It was a hard pill to swallow but I needed to learn through my experience with bipolar that life does not always go according to plan as I was under the illusion that if you prepared enough you could always end up where you inevitably wanted to go. I felt like I was slapped in the face hard with this reality check but it was a realization I needed to have in order to be able to cope with the changes that occur in life and the upsets. When I let go of this notion that I would have a bachelor’s degree by 22, I opened up many more doors that were more productive and cohesive with my life. I realized I could be a spokesperson for bipolar disorder not only through my blog but through the novel I am working on and hope to have published in the future.

It was also important that I let go of this expectation because it was causing a spiraling depression that I seemed to have no control of until I thought “Ok, maybe that did not play out the way I expected but you know what I may be able to now do something more powerful as a result of my experiences with bipolar like empower others to speak their truths.”

I am going to end this blog post with a quote from Bishop’s Unfu*k Yourself, “On some occasions you have to realize that the game has changed (sometimes dramatically so) and you need to pivot. Deal with your reality” (Bishop 176).

The Pitfalls of Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar Disorder can be a debilitating disease but one unpleasant side effect I have discovered is the havoc it reaped on my teeth. Now I know you’re thinking well how and the hell are those related? A common occurrence with major depressive episodes found in bipolar disorder is a lack of hygiene. My episodes were so bad I could rarely even leave my bed let alone brush my teeth. I was also guzzling coca cola like it was going out of style and devouring large Iced Caps because I thought the sugar rush would make me feel better – if at least temporarily. Combine excessive amounts of sugar with not brushing your teeth and guess what you get – cavities!

I also have an irrational fear of dentists and avoided going to one for about five years until two days ago when I had my first appointment with a new dentist (because my previous dentist was extremely insensitive to my panic attacks). He did an extremely thorough exam which included x-rays. He confirmed what I had already feared that my teeth were in an absolute fucking horrible state. He told me that all four wisdom teeth need to come out and have started to decay already (please comment below your experiences with having your wisdom teeth out cause I am fucking petrified) He also told me I have like a bazillion cavities and that in order to simply clean my teeth he will have to freeze my mouth because my teeth are in such a bad way that it would be too painful to endure.

I hope you guys can learn from my mistake and A. fight your hardest to maintain good hygiene even when it feels impossible because there are some serious real consequences if you do not, my teeth being a prime example and B. to despite your fear of the dentist ensure that you are going often enough to avoid my problem of terrible teeth. I am extremely embarrassed by my teeth and feel as though my past self has let my present self down by not trying hard enough to get out of bed and face life sooner. I am also convinced that getting sober led to my decision to see a dentist despite my irrational fears because I am thinking more clearly now and more about the future and longevity of life.

Bipolar disorder can be extremely difficult at times but it’s important to push through. It’s important to get up each day and show up for yourself even if that that means simply brushing your teeth. Just know it does get better and behind every rainy cloud, there’s a sun waiting to poke through.