The Black Dog Tribe have recently published an article, “15 Ways To Live And Not Merely Exist”. Some of these things you will have heard before, but I thought I’d take the time to pull out a couple of my favourites and talk about them for a bit.
Appreciate the great people and things in your life. – Sometimes we don’t notice the things others do for us until they stop doing them. Don’t be like that. Be grateful for what you have, who loves you, and who cares for you. You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they’re no longer beside you.
I’ve seen too many people disappear from the lives of others this year, either through death or other circumstances, to not really take this one to heart.
We often find it difficult to be truly mindful, to enjoy the moment and not astrally project our minds back into the past or ahead to next week, yet when it comes to the people in our lives we can very easily sit on autopilot. We take them for granted, because they’re just there.
Don’t need to catch up for that coffee this week, they’ll be around next weekend. Haven’t got time to phone tonight, I’d rather watch My Kitchen Rules. I could send that personal message on Facebook, but I’m busy having a futile argument about politics on another thread with a complete stranger.
I have been guilty of all of the above. Do things as they occur to you. In twenty years time, the memory of a great friendship, conversation and fun times shared will be more rewarding than that time you shared that LOLCATS meme.
Embrace change and enjoy your life as it unfolds. – The hardest part about growing is letting go of what you were used to, and moving on with something you’re not. Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting, and have faith that things will work out. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds.
Ooh, faith. The only faith I believe in is the George Michael record. But then again, look what happened to him.
One of the things about bipolar is that in a manic state you can embrace change too quickly. Your head can be filled with “brilliant” ideas that simply must be done now. You will indeed be laughing, not with confusion, but with the joy of your own genius. Then the balloon goes up and you wonder why you bought all those pianos.
How do you know when it is time to embrace change? Look to the patterns of depression. We are told that depression is more than “a bad day”. If you’re feeling consistently crap for two weeks or more, it’s time to start thinking about why.
It’s the same with change. If there’s something going on in your life – a job, a relationship, a project, a friendship – that’s causing you anxiety for more than a couple of weeks, then reflect. What do you need to change?
Of course, sometimes change is forced upon us. Job loss, a relationship break-up, the death of someone close to us. You’re going to grieve for your loss, and a big part of that is “what you were used to”.
Your life does not have to stop while you’re going through this. See where the days take you as the pain works its way through your system. You may be surprised at where it takes you.
Choose your relationships wisely. – The best relationships are not just about the good times you share, they’re also about the obstacles you go through together, and the fact that you still say “I love you” in the end. And loving someone isn’t just about saying it every day, it’s showing it every day in every way. Relationships must be chosen wisely. Don’t rush love. Wait until you truly find it. Don’t let loneliness drive you back into the arms of someone you know you don’t belong with. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. A great relationship is worth waiting for.
This is sage relationship advice, but it is also good advice when it comes to making friends.
I’ve been burnt many times over the years, but in spite of that I find that a reset button gets hit in my head and I will sometimes blindly trust new people I meet. It’s frustrating, a bit like Little Red Riding Hood. Couldn’t the stupid little bitch tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother? How ugly was this woman?
It has sometimes been said that you can’t “break up” with a friend in the same way that you end a relationship. That isn’t true.
Some people do not have your best interests at heart, and you don’t get back as much as you give. It can sometimes take you a long while to realise this, and the value of Friendship (note the capital F) drives you back to the person without you actually assessing the relationship.
Do yourself a favour. Be as frugal with your trust as you are with your money. By all means, be a good person and give your time and love to others. But don’t act like a broken ATM, dispensing your currency without care.
The people you can truly count on in your life will become apparent through their own spontaneous actions. If you open your eyes and look around, you will know who these people are.