Bipolar Disorder

Wide Angle Perspective

RWXVvyDA wide-angle lens is used primarily in photography and cinematography.  It refers to a lens whose focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens.  A wide-angle lens allows there to be more scene in the picture.

Although I have dabbled in photography for years and own two DSLR Nikon cameras, I do not own a wide-angle lens.  It’s an expensive investment that I am not quite ready to make.  I have several lenses, some short and some long, and depending on the lens and how much I either zoom in or zoom out, what I capture with my camera can change, at times looking nothing like the other images that were obtained.

With a regular lens, the view is limited, but not as constrictive as when you maximize the zoom.  In the same light, when you zoom out, you capture more of the environment.  With a wide-angle lens, you can capture even more.  It changes the perspective of what you see depending on how you look at it, or with what devices you use.

I became very aware of the wide-angle lens through my therapy sessions.  I tend to be narrow minded and I don’t allow myself to look past what is directly in front of me.  This can be a major problem when you suffer from an illness, either chronic or mental, as I believe that half the battle with chronic conditions is how you conquer each day mentally.

My therapist suggested that I change my lens to a wide-angle lens and increase my perspective.  Instead of looking at the Bipolar diagnosis as the end all of everything, look at it as a medical condition that can be managed with medication and several types of therapy.  When depressed, instead of focusing on how daunting life feels at that given moment, take a few steps back and see that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and acknowledge that the depression is only temporary.

Since I have applied this way of thinking to my life, I have been less overwhelmed with the events that happen each day.  For example, I have very fair skin (I am mostly Irish) and most recently, I had three moles removed and one did come back as precancerous.  When I processed this with a narrow lens, this news was so incredibly frustrating to me.  I jumped right into the “why is there always something wrong with me and why do I have so many health issues?” But, when I use the wide-angle lens, I can focus on the fact that I am being proactive and that the doctor took a large enough sample that I did receive clean margins and I don’t have to have a punch biopsy.

Training our brains to challenge the way it thinks isn’t an easy task.  However, the rewards that are in store for those that can accomplish this are astronomical.  Much like when we take a picture, if we zoom in on the chair that sits in the dining room, that is all that we see.  But, if we start to zoom out, we begin to see the table that it is sitting under and the fat orange cat that is breaking the rules and napping on top of the table, basking in the sunlight that is pouring through the backdoor and creating a quite entertaining shadow.

If you realigned your perspective and started to use more of a wide-angle lens perspective, how would this improve your life?  Would it enable you to work through intrusive thoughts and be able to successfully challenge and squash anxiety that rises from the great unknown?

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