I bet you’d never in a million years think that bipolar disorder could have anything to do with fishing, would you? Well, let me show you how this guy who actually has bipolar disorder changed my mind.
This guy really likes to fish. He goes fishing wherever he goes. So he was down in Florida on vacation, and he went on one of those excursion fishing trips where they take you night fishing out on the gulf.
Well, there was this one woman on the boat who’d been fishing for hours, and nothing was happening. Everything was so calm, in fact, that she had almost fallen asleep.
Then all chaos broke loose! Her line went crazy! She was losing control of it! She couldn’t keep hold! She just couldn’t do it by herself! She needed help, and she needed it badly.
Well, she ended up catching the biggest fish caught on the entire boat that night!
Do you know why?
Because the deck hands helped her reel it in.
And this guy was watching the whole thing happen from beginning to end.
So he told me (like I’m sure you’re wondering) how this made him think of his bipolar disorder. He said that usually, his life is really peaceful. Life goes along, and things are usually pretty good for him, no real problems to speak of. But then some things start to go wrong. He gets a little stressed. He might start losing some sleep. His meds get a little off. He just “doesn’t feel right.” Then all chaos breaks loose! He feels like he’s going crazy! He’s losing control of it!
He can’t keep hold! He just can’t do it by himself! He needs help, and he needs it badly. He’s headed for a full-blown manic episode!
But, just like the lady with the fish, he doesn’t have to go into the episode, because he gets
the help he needs. He has a great supporter and a strong support system.
He told me that remembering that fishing trip and that woman’s experience with the fish
helps him stay stable, because he remembers that he can’t do it by himself, and that there
is help for him if he needs it.
Each person with bipolar disorder is different.
For this guy, remembering his fishing trip in Florida helps keep him stable.
For others, unfortunately, it’s remembering the last episode, when they forgot that they couldn’t
do it by themselves, and that all they had to do was reach out for help.
Some stay stable out of fear of being put in the hospital again.
Some stay stable because they have a great family and gang of friends who make up their support system.
Other people stay stable because they monitor their moods, take their medication religiously, eat right, exercise, have a good sleep routine, go see a psychiatrist and therapist regularly, are part of a bipolar support group, volunteer, and have a balanced life.
Still others stay stable because to think of otherwise just isn’t an option for them, so they do what they have to do.
Well, I have to go!