Tag Archives: Bipolar coping tools
This quote, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,” is from the story of Jacob, when he wrestled with an angel through the night, refusing to surrender until the angel blessed him. This deliberate stance is the number one reason that I am still alive. One out of five people with bipolar one disorder tragically killed themselves. I decided that if I have been fated with such a dark and dangerous disorder, my personal choice has to be to endure and to make it pay for itself. If I am going to be affected by an illness that also creates havoc in the lives around me then I am going to learn from it.
It sucks when you are under major stress and the powers that be have a video conference and decide to mess with your head. One of them turns to the other and giggles, “Let’s niggle her a bit by adding a sideways, nerve wracking stressor on top of the pile.” And another power nods emphatically in agreement, “She can take it! Let’s sit back and watch! Where’s the popcorn!”
With bipolar disorder, whenever you feel strongly compelled to do something, truly inspired to pursue a relationship, salivate over a potential purchase — just don’t. That way lies danger. And the reverse – when you feel like you can’t live one moment longer, if you don’t have the energy to get out of bed, and when you genuinely do not care about brushing your teeth or even world peace, it is time to get up and out of the chair and out the front door.
“How are you doing?” does not mean what it says. When we ask this question we rarely want to know how the other person is really doing, particularly in depth. When we are dealing with someone that is depressed we need to admit that and respect it. And when are depressed and try to answer this question we should not respond honestly — if that causes harm. Instead we can learn to simply “ping” each other in the situation, to find out if they are there, if they will respond, and to gauge the distance between us.
Here is one way that I deal with the hyperfocus of Bipolar/ADD. I have alarms on my android tablet set to go off at certain times (which become increasingly annoying when I try to snooze them) and compel me to do certain activities. This is my dog’s favorite.