You know, in life in general, there are things over which you have control and things over which you have no control. That’s where the Serenity Prayer came from:
God, grant me the serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.
Many 12-step programs of recovery use this simple prayer because of the concept of having
control and not having control. They use the idea that there are some things you can change, and some things you just cannot change.
We deal with it when it comes to bipolar disorder with the idea that you do not have the power to change your loved one – they have to change themselves:
BUT… You DO have power over some things. Yourself, for instance. You do have power over yourself. You can change yourself – Your decisions, your choices, your behavior… The way you think, the way you perceive things… The way you react to things… The way you live your life… Your goals… Pretty much anything that has to do with you (as long as it isn’t other people), you have the power to change.
To a degree, you have the power to change what affects you. For example, you can affect your surroundings. If you don’t like where you are living, you can move. If you don’t like the way your home is decorated, you can redecorate it until it pleases you. You have the power to do this.
If you don’t like the way you look, you can change it. You can lose weight. You can gain weight.
You can work out at a gym. You can do yoga or another form of exercise. You can run, hike, or walk. You have the power to do this.
If you want to gain knowledge… You can go on the Internet and look up anything you want, researching to your heart’s delight. You can go to the library and look up as many books, research articles, etc. as you want. You can even go (back) to college if you want to and get a degree. You have the power to do this.
If you want to learn a new skill… You can become a volunteer at a place where you can learn that new skill… You can become an apprentice… You can find a mentor… You can get a job in the field… You can go to school for it. You have the power to do this.
The reason I brought all this up is that I get so frustrated when people say that they can’t change their situation – That this is the way it is and this is the way it has to stay, like with bipolar disorder. Too many people give up after they get the diagnosis. They think that now that they are mentally ill, that it is all over for them. But it’s not. You still have the power over your own life. You have the power to change things. And that means the power to get better.
Well, I have to go!