top of page

Finding Peace in the Chaos

Nick Gangewere
Guest Blogger

When a negative thought races inside your own head, it doesn’t operate in a single line of movement. The thought doesn’t just work its way from your memory to your present in one swift motion. A racing thought bounces between every section of your mind, breaking down your mental fortitude and ripping through any positive emotion.

To me, a racing thought is more than just a construct that you can extinguish at any moment. To me, a racing thought is a symptom of my Bipolar II Disorder. Racing thoughts are what almost took my life.

I grew up a happy kid in a happy family with great friends and a loving support system. I had expectations of success in my future to go along with goals and dreams that never waivered.

I had a smile on my face each and every day for most of my childhood, and it was no fake grin, I was genuinely full of joy as a child.

A racing thought took that all away from me.

When I was in high school at 17 years old, the effects of a Bipolar II episode began to seep into my head. The smiles became forced and happiness seemed to fade into the darkness within my own brain.

I felt sluggish, tired and foggy-minded. I had little to no energy and struggled to get out of bed each morning despite getting hours upon hours of sleep. At the lunch table I would fall quiet amongst my friends and in class I would sit towards the back to avoid being called on.

My smile would be glued onto my face and with each and every “How are you?” I would respond with “I’m good.”

I was not good. Not at all.

One afternoon I was journaling to myself after school. Writing was always an escape from the events of the day and I wrote to myself often. Today, however, my writing took a turn.

Words of encouragement and motivation turned into phrases of insecurity and messages of death. One sentiment consumed me above the rest- I don’t want to be here.

This simple phrase would spiral into ideas like “Would anybody care if I was gone?” or “Why do I deserve to live?” and I couldn’t stop them.

Biological depression has triggers but doesn’t always stem from situations or moments, but can simply form from within your own brain chemistry. The peace in my mind had disappeared, and in its place there was a demon that wanted me to quietly fall into despair.

In the middle of my journaling that day I paused and dug my pen into my forearm until a tint of red surrounded the ink. The bleeding did not hurt because I felt like I had to injure myself. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be happy.

I eventually graduated from pen ink to a pocket knife, carving words like “Faith” and “You Matter” into my skin in an attempt to convince myself that I was more important than my brain was leading me to believe.

The simple thought of “I don’t want to be here” had snowballed into an avalanche of self-inflicting phrases and torturous words of negativity. Eventually these thoughts of pain became thoughts of suicide. This racing thought then became a plan of action.

An eventual overdose on my antidepressants (which I outline in my essay here) had me thinking that living was not an option.

As I lay in the hospital bed that afternoon with monitors and medication around me, I knew that something had to change.

Then I learned about reframing.

Racing thoughts are quick and repetitive thought patterns that can wreck a person’s wellbeing. A tiny concept like an upcoming test or presentation can work its way into belief that a small idea means much more than it actually does.

Reframing is a cognitive-based technique where a person’s distorted thinking can be evaluated and perceived in a new manner. A thought that was once negative can be tolerated and even changed into a positive mode of thinking.

My thoughts of suicide and burnout came from a lack of understanding as to why I was thinking the way I was thinking. I too often gave into the negativity without asking the simple questions like “Why do I feel this way?” and working to reflect on my thought processes.

As I began to buy into my therapeutic and psychological practices, my mindset slowly began to shift. This is not a success story as of yet, but I try to improve my emotional intelligence each day in an attempt to prevent racing thoughts from consuming my mind.

Our brains are the most powerful part of us, yet we too often work reactively to understand them. I fell victim to a lack of understanding as to why I felt the way I felt.

Whether it is hypomania or depression, I have found a happy medium where I somewhat know when to train my mind and when to relax it. Mental health is similar to physical health, because improvement stems from effort put in.

The hurricane of racing thoughts within my mind may have calmed, but I am aware that those same winds can pick up at any moment. Through meditation, gratitude lists and deep breathing each morning and each night, my days begin and end on my terms, not the terms of the demon that can pop up within me.

I no longer believe that I don’t belong here. I no longer think that I lack the control it takes to be successful in life. By finding peace through the chaos, I have learned what it means to live my life my way.

The racing thoughts that battered my wellbeing have been hushed. I can finally think clearly again.


Get support. Give support. Download the app today.


Mit 0 von 5 Sternen bewertet.
Noch keine Ratings

Rating hinzufügen
bottom of page