Today’s message is going to be for both bipolar supporters and bipolar survivors, because I think it’s important for both of you to learn this very important concept. I heard a saying the other day which I thought was really neat: “NO is a complete sentence.” Isn’t that cool? I thought so. You see…Too many people do not even have the word “No” in their vocabulary, so they get over-committed, stressed out, and overwhelmed. This can lead to many problems for these people. For someone with bipolar disorder, this can even lead to a bipolar episode.
It’s hard to get your priorities right if you don’t know how to say no to people. It can lead to so many commitments that you just can’t do everything. Then you have to let someone down and you can even feel guilty about it. You may even start avoiding that person. Then it may affect your relationship with them.
How to set priorities is important, especially when it comes to bipolar disorder. For many people, there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that they want to accomplish just in that day. These people are just TOO busy! Being too busy can lead to too much stress in their lives.
For someone with bipolar disorder, too much stress can lead to a bipolar episode. It’s very important for someone with bipolar disorder to keep their stress levels down. This way, they have a better chance at having a more stable life and of better management of their bipolar disorder.
As a supporter, it’s just as important to keep your stress levels down, so that you can be the best help you can be for your loved one, and so that you don’t face supporter burnout. This way your life can be more stable, too, and you can manage your life better.
Ok, so as far as setting priorities, goes…The most important priority is yourself. Supporter, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you will not be able to take care of your loved one. That means that if your life is too full of “stuff,” you need to get rid of some things. You may have too many obligations. If that’s true, consider getting rid of some of them, and keeping only those that matter the most. There may be too many constraints on your time, and you may be rushing around all the time, trying to get everything done, which could be stressing you out. If so, you may need to consider some time management skill training. You may be wasting a lot of precious time just running around needlessly.
For the bipolar survivor, if you are feeling stressed, consider that it may be because you have too many obligations in your life. If you are still working a full-time job outside the home, you may have to consider leaving it. It may be too hard for you to handle, considering your bipolar disorder. It is more important for you to have less stress in your life than to have that job. You also, like your supporter, need to prioritize your obligations and responsibilities. Keep those that are most important and consider getting rid of some of the others.
Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. Say “No” to new commitments. Don’t take on more than you can handle. The stress just isn’t worth it. Keep in mind that stability with your bipolar disorder is the most important thing for you. And remember, both of you, to make sure to leave time for each other.
Well, I have to go!