EPI 36: Bipolar: I’m Pretty Sure That I Am My Biggest Problem
Nobody gets in our way as well as our own selves.
Regardless of how much of an asshole your coworker is, or how screwed your situation is in any other area, it’s all on YOU to do something about it.
This means taking full responsibility for your on life. That equates to total power and control of your own destiny, once mastered.
Things are always going to suck somehow. Assholes and potholes will always be present. Your health and wellness will sometimes slide.
The only power you have is in how you respond to these things, thereby giving you total control!
Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence Podcast. I’m your host, Ken Jensen. I’m someone who overcame bipolar disorder in an organic fashion back in 2004.
That process taught me a couple of things about bipolar. I was living life so incorrectly, in relation to what the better part of me wanted and needed me to do, that it took bipolar disorder to shock me into seeing I should go another way.
The fact that it was bipolar that was the change agent meant I’m more creative than most. I have a certain, slightly higher amount of intelligence than the average bear.
And I have a way of seeing life and expressing myself that most around me do not, in such a way that I can have great impact on those who need me most.
You might be the same. I want to help you understand this about yourself and I want to help unlock your greatness. And then unleash it on the world in the best and coolest way possible.
Hello, bipolar prone folk! Welcome to Episode 36: I’m Pretty Sure That I Am My Biggest. Problem. Look up Episode 36 on bipolarexcellence.com for the show notes and the links I might’ve added. Any shit I forgot to talk about and all kinds of other interesting things that are inaccessible here on a podcast.
Pretty sure you’re you’re you are your own biggest problem. Yes, you are. We all are bipolar prone or not. We’re all our biggest problem. The good news in that is you are completely in control of your life. It might not look like that or feel like that, but you are. Every decision you’ve ever made up to this point has led to this moment.
It has also led to the reality that you currently inhabit. The reality you incur you currently inhabit is also a mirror of your mind, your thoughts, your beliefs. You see the world as you’ve created it. You might not be aware of that right now. This could be news to you. But again, in time, if you learn to accept this truth, you will realize how empowering it is.
Everything about your life is your fault, meaning that you brought yourself to here, but it’s also a hundred percent within your power to do something about it. Now there’s going to be certain things in your life that… let’s just look at bipolar itself, right? Who to hell would pick anything that brought that into being? But to a certain degree you have. And even if it’s genetic and it’s just…
Like with myself, it was triggered, you know, nobody would, would, would choose anything that would bring this into place, so you’re unaware of what even might, that might be. Or again, it could be completely organic. And it’s out of your hands. The choice now comes into play in how do you choose to respond to that reality?
So there’s a little long-winded disclaimer. You’re completely in control of your life. Even if it feels completely out of control .Your response to anything in your world, is the only thing you have full control over. Everything else is a crapshoot. Toss of the coin. So the sooner you learn that it’s the flip side of being, you being your biggest problem.
You’re also your biggest champion. Too many people walk around this world with their finger pointing at all the problems around them. I do it to this day. The only difference is, I catch myself pretty quickly. I’m like, all right. Because I say shit like what I just opened the show with, you know Mr. Hypocrite how did I get me here? How is this my fault?
I, I’m pretty quick to go that route in my thinking, because I know everything’s on me to do something about whatever’s happening to me. This does not mean you’re going to solve anything quickly or even well for a long time, but it does mean that once you’re aware of it, you have to start trying. You have to start trying.
There comes a point when you got to stop kidding yourself and realize you have it within you to take charge of something in your life. Even if it’s one tiny thing, it’s better than NOT taking charge of that one tiny thing. One tiny thing, solved, followed by the next tiny thing, solved is how you solve the much larger things, which hopefully is why you’re even listening to this.
So, yeah, you’re your biggest problem, but you’re your biggest champion. I struggled with this for so many years till I read about it somewhere. I don’t know where. I know one part of it came from Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning. He was in one of the concentration camps in World War II.
And, you know, there’s very few things in life that could get more worse than that. And. He decided in the midst of that hellish nightmare, that the only thing the Nazis couldn’t take from him was how he chose to react to anything that was happening to him. And in the middle of that unimaginable pain and suffering, he found peace and happiness.
I don’t know his whole story. I don’t remember the book anymore, I read it some years ago. But that, that blew me away. It’s like, man, I don’t really have an excuse now do I? That was one of the first things I read a long time ago that got me thinking down this line of thought and trying to prove it to myself, trying to make use of it because I knew it when I read it.
I knew the guy wasn’t lying. The book’s famous. It just whatever, once you’re old enough, you know what I just said about all of this is true. You know, it, even if it’s only a feeling. So the biggest thing I’d like to say here is get yourself out of victim mode as quickly as possible.
You’re going to have to probably, if you’re in it, you’re going to have to chip away at it. But the sooner that you can take ownership for every thing in your life, the sooner your life will get better. Is my life where I want it to be in totality? Hell no. In many respects, it’s not any close.
It’s not even close. It’s not any closer to where I wanted it to be when I started things of this sort 30 years ago. It’s really not. Tangibly, spiritually. Health-wise, economically? I am doing much better, particularly spiritually, mentally, and health wise. And as some of you with bipolar to whatever degree will understand, just achieving better health is the impossible win.
If you’re my people, you’ve done it to some degree. So you know exactly what I’m talking about. There was a time in your life when just to not be bipolar at all or so strongly bipolar, if you’ve got a piece of it lingering within you, that was the dream. And it seemed impossible. Cause bipolar is so complex and so huge and so powerful.
It really did seem impossible. Probably seemed impossible for you that you pulled off what you did. And it did for me. So let me, let me take it back to that, that moment when I decided that my life was mine to do something about.
There was a time back in, I don’t know what year it was, early 2000. I think it was 2004. Yeah. It was 2004. And that’s when I got my felony DWI in New York State. Drunk. But also bipolar right out of my head. I’ll spare the details. It was a spirited evening. All the cops showed up. A lot of fun to be had by all.
Anyway, off the back of that, I saw my doctor one final time and he gave me my death sentence. He said, out of all his hundreds of patients, cause he was the top doc of all docs at the veterans facility I went to, he said he hated my situation for me. He hated it worse than anybody else that he dealt with. Because I was aware.
I was aware like nobody else he dealt with of how completely fucked I was.
There was no help for me in the medical industry as he, and I understood it at that time. When I asked him, you know, he’s and he told me, he said… I’m bouncing around. I haven’t told this story in a minute, but he told me, he said, As a medical doctor, as a scientist, as a psychiatrist, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no help for you inside psychiatry.
We have tried every medicine under the sun and you and I both know we tried some that weren’t even worth trying. We just did it out of desperation. And he said, you need to find something else. Because this illness is going to kill you. You’re going to die by cop, in about six months. I said, why by cop? We just, we used to just talk didn’t didn’t matter how intense it got.
He just kinda, he just kinda smirked. And he was like, come on. You’re that guy. Every time you blow up with one of these rage outbursts, It’s taking more and more cops to shut you down. He goes, there’s going to come a point when you’re just flat out so damn dangerous, they’re going to put you down to protect themselves.
He goes, it’s comin’. And I sat with that a second. And I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re right. I realized not everyone bipolar gets this way. I just, I did. The Marine in me would come out. All kinds of madness would come out of me and a lot of violence. But the point was the point, in reference in this episode, that was the day I took responsibility.
And, you know, you know, what’s interesting? Back it up a hair more. The rest of that conversation was the reason why he felt so much worse for me than everyone else? Was because everyone else, including me, came and got the pills. We wanted the pills. We were desperate.
We were in pain. We wanted the pills. I was the same as everyone else that way. But I was the only one who came back the following appointment with questions. I wanted to know why that pill. I wanted to know why that dose. I wanted to know what it was doing with the other pills present in my system. I wanted to know his thinking on why he thought it might work.
I would pick, I would pick it apart. I would pick his choice apart, even though I would just take the bill, like he said. I would pick apart his choice. I wanted to know. And he told me nobody else did that. I was like, what? He goes, yeah, nobody else asks me why I ever give them the pill. They just take the pill. That’s it.
I said, that’s fucking insane. They just eat this shit and don’t ask you what it’s doing or why or a long-term effects or nothing? He goes nothing. Not one single other patient. You’re the only one that not wants to know why anything with any of this. And he said, because of that, you know just how screwed you are.
There’s no hope for you. Because of your awareness there’s no hope. He goes, I wish you didn’t know anything that you knew because then you’d be spared. You’d at least be able to die in ignorance. And he goes, it’d be less terrifying.
And you know, he was right. So I was already taking responsibility. I was already taking charge of my life just by asking why. I wasn’t getting anywhere.
Again, tangibly the illness was getting stronger and stronger. I was going crazier and crazier. Getting more and more violent, destroying my world faster almost by the day. I was trying to take responsibility. And then after he gave me that death sentence, I doubled down.
With a brain that didn’t even work. I had no concept of time. I wasn’t fully clear on what was real and what wasn’t. Not full psychotic, but there was a lack of depth of my understanding of anything.
The only example I could remember clearly was standing in my living room one day, looking at the floor and I knew it was the floor. And that’s as far as I could go. Didn’t know what the floor’s job was. Didn’t know why I was standing on it. Didn’t know anything about the floor other than that’s what you called the thing I was standing on.
Stuff like that was what was going on in my head when I had to do even more intense research, more carefully, more in depth, and I had to do it more intelligently. Now I believe a lot of you bipolar prone types will will get this.
A lot of us, it’s not all bipolar people, but a very high percentage of bipolar people are very intelligent. We’re, there’s, there’s a higher percentage, a higher percentage of us carrying around a higher degree of intelligence than the non bipolar world. And then even within bipolar, it’s a very high percentage of bipolar people that are more highly intelligent than the rest of the other bipolar people.
We’re smart enough to fix things nobody else can, but the illness sidetracks our efforts to do so, including fighting the illness itself. I did it. Thank God I won. And if you want to know how I did it I sell a course in my website, bipolarexcellence.com. I’ll lay it out, ad nauseum, great detail, videos, written material, action steps, other people to call, very clearly laid out. Go check it out, go look at the courses tab on that site, if you need it.
But then there you go. That website, that, that course and other ones like it? That’s what I turned all of this into. So I’m still my biggest problem. I’m still not where I wish to be in life. Almost at all, beyond my wellness, which I cherish each and every day and remains constantly on my mind, even now, almost 20 years after the fact. I never take my health for granted, but there’s more, there’s more I want in life.
I want to do better in certain areas. They’re not here yet. But I have faith that they will be because I’ve already solved bigger problems. I’ve already solved problems that were more unreal. I just have problems like regular people have problems now with trying to build out a dream. But just like before, even thpugh when I was doing my research, not quite in my right mind, I still was winning. I just couldn’t feel it at the time.
You won’t either, as you do these different things with your passion project and trying to keep control of your mind, and your health and everything else that hits everybody in life. You’re not going to feel the win. It creeps up on you and just like myself, you’re going to have to remind yourself every now and then. You get down.
You get just wondering, I’m trying and tryin’ and tryin’, and it’s not here yet. Remember where you came from and how that felt like as it was happening. Probably didn’t feel like you were winning then either.
All right, guys, I’m going to leave it at that. I’m having trouble ending this, cause there was something I wanted to say. There’s Al there’s a new, there’s a new direction I wanted to go with this.
It’s not coming to me, but I’m sitting here banging out a bunch of these episodes. And I’ll have it ready probably by the next one. Again, little mini reminder: just keep moving. Just keep moving. And you are winning. See you guys. .