Let me ask you something: Have you ever watched two people playing a game of chess? They’re so serious. Each move is precise. That’s because each move determines the outcome. Just one move can mean the difference between winning or losing the game. Coping and dealing with bipolar disorder is like that. Oh, not that it’s a game by any means. I certainly don’t mean that. It’s more like a war. And a war is made up of battles. Each battle is precisely planned. It’s called STRATEGY. Your strategy, too, determines the outcome…Whether it’s a game of chess or a war. Or your battle with bipolar disorder. And these strategies determine the outcome of your battle.
If you went into a chess game without any strategy, you will lose the game, because I guarantee you that your opponent will be using strategy against you. If you went into a war without any strategy, you would lose that war, because I guarantee you that your enemy will be using strategy against you. And if you’re trying to cope and deal with bipolar disorder without a strategy, you will lose as well. Stability is all about carefully planned moves. And your strategy will determine the outcome. The war against bipolar disorder is a war that you CAN win, though. I know, because my mom has. And I have scores of testimonials from others who have done it as well.
I helped my mom develop her strategies, made up of planning and systems. And each move she makes determines the outcome – her stability. As long as she follows the plans, systems, and strategies, she stays stable. Which she has now, for a long time.
Some of her strategies are:
• getting good sleep
• eating right
• taking her medications
• following a routine
• seeing her doctors and therapist
• avoiding her bipolar triggers
• watching for signs/symptoms of an impending episode
Some supporter strategies would include:
• making sure your loved one takes their medication
• good communication with your loved one
• being supportive and understanding
• keeping a safe, peaceful home environment for your loved one
• avoiding your loved one’s triggers (and helping them to avoid them)
• watching for signs/symptoms of an oncoming episode
• planning in advance what to do if they need to go to the hospital
And remembering that the enemy is NOT your loved one – it’s their bipolar disorder. You may still lose some battles with bipolar disorder – Your loved one may still have setbacks and episodes – But with good strategy, you WILL win the war! Especially if you work together with your loved one towards a common goal (their stability).
Well, I have to go!