“Honesty Leading to Transformation” by Bret Bernhoft

30 Apr
By Bret Bernhoft, from the Being Bipolar blog (beingbipolarpodcast.com):

“One of the hardest parts for me about adapting to this disorder is the continual process ‘being honest’ with myself. But about what and why is it so hard?

For so long I had avoided my illness and managed to do so quite successfully too; or at least I thought so. But, it wasn’t until I was honest with myself and realized what (personal responsibility), why (lack of strength) and how (ignoring) I was avoiding. It was after I reached the point of ‘not being willing to endure any more pain’ that I found my strength. It was after I reached this point that I realized my simple task, ‘To be honest with myself meant accepting my present situation and verbalizing my goal(s).’ That’s it.

I accepted that I was mentally ill and that I was in a great deal of pain. My goal was to rise above that state of being.

This was hard for a number of reasons, but in large part because of the momentum that my previous identity/reality had achieved, both inside and outside of myself. That identity was one of ‘being in control’ and neutrality. But in reality I wasn’t even aware of the chaos inside of myself. That’s why it was hard to be honest with myself about these kinds of things, because of the amount of energy that I expected to be required to transform exceeded what I thought was possible.

But, I found that the benefits of honesty and of transformation also exceeded my understanding of what was possible; a more permanent clarity.”

http://www.beingbipolarpodcast.com/honesty-leading-to-transformation/

Incidentally: this is the absolute best thing I could possibly have stumbled upon on this particular day. Not being honest has been a fundamental obstacle in my recovery, and I am only now beginning to appreciate the need to address it. Thank you Mr. Bernhoft.
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