How’s it going?
I am going hiking today so I had to get this off early in the morning.
Okay, so, have you ever heard the expression “getting back on the horse”?
People use it when talking about having failed at something and then trying it again.
Sometimes, if you’ve messed up, it’s hard to get back to where you were.
But sometimes it’s CRUCIAL that you “get back on the horse” when it comes to things that you
mess up with your bipolar disorder.
Take, for example, your medication.
It’s easy to forget to take it.
If you do, that’s ok. You just take the next dose when it’s time.
But too many people will just stop taking it altogether, and that is a HUGE mistake!
Because that is almost a SURE way to go into a bipolar episode!
And also because when you’re ready to go back on your medication, it’s like starting at square one again.
Bipolar medication takes time to build up in your bloodstream, so if you’ve been off it for awhile, you have to start at a low dose again and build back up to the level where you were before you stopped taking it.
Some people mess up seeing their doctor, psychiatrist, and/or therapist.
They miss one appointment, then it gets easier to miss another, then another…
Then they stop going altogether.
And that is NOT the right thing to do.
If you miss an appointment, you have to “get back on the horse” and go to the next one.
There are so many parts that can be messed up in a treatment plan, but I’m not going to go into all the parts of a treatment plan here, because I go into them extensively in my courses/systems:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
But I do want to talk to you about what happens when you do start to mess up parts of your treatment plan.
Let’s say you’ve started isolating again.
Isolation is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and one of the top triggers to a bipolar episode.
But if you let this slip, and you start to isolate again, then you are in a dangerous place, and could be jeopardizing your stability.
Now you have two choices:
You can either close down, shut out the world, get all depressed, climb into bed, pull the covers over your head, feel sorry for yourself, cry, and go into a bipolar depressive episode…
OR… you can “get back on the horse” again.
Another example is if you start to slip with your sleep patterns.
Lack of sleep (or too much sleep) is another trigger to a bipolar episode.
But you can fix it if you catch it soon enough.
In other words, you can accept that even though you let a PART of your treatment plan get messed up, your WHOLE treatment plan is still working, and you can still fix it.
First you identify what went wrong. Then you can fix it (“Get back on the horse.”)
It doesn’t have to be anything really dramatic, but even small parts of your treatment plan, if they get messed up, can cause you to go into an episode.
Even if it does cause you to go into an episode, though, you can still recover from that episode and…
That’s right – “get back on the horse” again.
Start back doing the things you were doing before you went into that episode.
What do you think of the idea of “getting back on the horse”?