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The Magic Scarf

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I’ve used prayer to help me deal with my bipolar illness. It helps. I’ve prayed nightly for strength and clarity. I’m a Catholic, and I try to go to mass regularly. I offer up my communion meal for my sanity. But once, I used superstition to help me get through the day.

I was at an airport which used to be a very problematic thing for me. Airports were a trigger of mine. They triggered my illness. I forget where I was going, but I was highly paranoid and delusional. I thought I was being followed and that I was in danger.

I happened to be wearing a silk scarf around my neck. Here’s where the superstition came in. I put the scarf on my head. My delusion was that the scarf was magic and it would protect me from harm.

I looked like someone out of the 1950's, my head wrapped up in a silk scarf, which I had pulled down over my eyes. My husband led me through the airport, and I followed obediently.

It was a little crazy.

My psychologist says she’s heard of ill people putting foil on their head to keep themselves from hearing voices or to protect themselves from being abducted by aliens.

Religion and superstition have gotten me through the day.

Hey, if it helps, what’s the harm?

Add a Comment2 Comments

after giving a long history of my bipolar ride, somehow it didn't save and once again my message did not get across-- pray for me that i will try again.

March 31, 2009 - 10:23pm

Laura, thank you so much for sharing your story, though I have just one area of disagreement: Your action wasn't a "superstition." It was a smart coping strategy that dealt with your fears and allowed you to move through a difficult, triggering place.

Your scarf was a talisman, a symbol of safety and protection that did, indeed, protect you that day. It was a brilliant thing to do and I'll bet there are a lot of people who not only understand your action but have done something similar, in some way, themselves. Especially those of us who deal with anxiety and panic attacks.

Well done, Laura. Well done.

March 20, 2009 - 8:34am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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