I did something really dumb yesterday. I drove on a 3
mile street for 43 minutes. Dumbest thing I have
done in a long time.
BUT, there’s an important Bipolar Lesson to be
Here’s what happen. I have this meeting that I attend
once a month. They are really strict about attendance
so I make sure I leave REALLY early. I leave 2 hours
early and it only takes one hour. I do it just in case
something happens and I will get there on time.
So yesterday, things are going along perfectly. I was
late by about 7 minutes which was totally fine
because that would me 1 hour and 53 minutes to get
So I start driving to the meeting. I jump on my
cell phone to call all the people that I didn’t
call back that day. I actually called one person
who used the F^ree consultation certificates
for non medical and non legal questions (because
I am NOT a doctor or lawyer), in this course/system:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT
And helped him with a simple issue which I had a problem
with before. The issue was: How do you fill out the
disability forms for a loved one when the spaces are
so small on the form?
Don’t laugh at him. I had the same problem myself.
So if you are laughing at him, you are laughing
at my by the transitive principle and that’s not
Seriously had no idea how to do it myself
back in the day. I made 10 copies and was trying to
write smaller. I failed.
Then I was talking to Pascale a friend of mine who
is SUPER smart (one of the smartest people I know)
and she said, “Dave, retype the question in MS
word and then type your answer over there so
you can have all the space you want. Make sure
you call them and ask if it’s okay.”
I was shocked. Why? Well I was not even thinking
about that. I am not kidding. I don’t think
I would have ever come up with the solution.
I would have spent weeks trying to “engineer
a way to write smaller.”
The strange thing was, I had the answers typed
in MS word but I was trying to transfer them
by hand to the disability form. Because at
the top of the form it said “Please
print neatly” I thought it had to be
written out by hand or maybe with an old
school typewriter (which I didn’t have).
I never thought about typing the question
in MS word with the answer. You might
think that I am a dummy and so is the guy
I was talking to. Maybe we are, maybe
But, we both shared something in common. BOTH
of us were so close yet so far. Meaning,
he had spent a week trying to figure out how
in the world could he write on one page when
it required like 7 pages of information.
He was stuck and I helped him. Maybe he would
have figured it out. When you call the disability
folks, they just tell you to “write neater” as a
solution. HELLO!!!!!!!!!!! Write neater?
Well that’s what they say.
Keep reading for the lesson.
So back to my story. So I was making great time.
Going faster than normal. BUT, I was going the speed
limit so if you are a police person on my list, don’t get
I got right down to the street the meeting was on. I
was really excited because I would be a full hour early
and could get some work done that I needed to do.
So I was driving and something strange happen. I couldn’t
find the place. It’s almost like it vanished. I drove up
one side and then another.
10 minutes went by.
I kept driving and turning around and looking. It wasn’t
anywhere. I saw some buildings that looked like
buildings on the street but I wasn’t sure. I kept
going over and over and over.
The place wasn’t there. I stopped my car, looked at the
sign to see if I was on the right street. I was.
I was starting to get really annoyed. So I drove up
the street again. The thing is, when you turned around
you had to go through all this stuff because of the way
the road was because when New Jersey made roads, part of
the contract was “We need to have 5% of the roads be
really confusing, make no sense to ensure people get
lost everyday to help keep our residents mentally alert.”
Just kidding, that’s not true, don’t call the state and
ask and then get mad at me and say I am a liar.
Okay, back to the story at the same time, I was on the
phone with my friend Maceo.
I kept telling him that I was lost but we kept talking.
After 33 minutes I was getting REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY,
Don’t worry there’s a bipolar lesson here, keep reading.
Then about 39 minutes passed. I said to Maceo “Oh my God. It’s
almost 5:30 I am going to be late. I
am lost, I gotta go and figure this out. I will talk to
He said okay. Then I pulled over and called Scott the meeting
leader and asked him “WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I?” I was really
frustrated. Scott said, “Okay where are you?” I told him
he then said to me “Oh you are on the other side of the street.
You need to go under the underpass and get on the side where
I am. It’s 3 minutes away.”
Boy was I annoyed. Do you know how dumb I felt. I drove on
the same short 3 mile street for 43 minutes. Why? Because:
-I didn’t call Scott right away. I was determined to figure it
-I felt like if I just kept looking I would find it eventually. I
was so close so how long could it take me?
-I was too lazy to hang the phone up with Maceo and call Scott.
What’s the bipolar lesson here?
So many of you are so close yet so far to helping yourself
or your loved one.
When I put together this course/system:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT
I did so to help people, help themselves as fast as possible. People
call and write me and say, “I bet that I can get what you learned
in the library.” I always tell them, “You can’t get everything
but you can get some things.” They are all confused.
Then I ask them if they mean can they get what I have in my
courses/systems for f.ree somewhere else? They say “Oh, yea.”
I say probably. If you do EXACTLY what I did to learn it in
the first place.
Then I tell them, how it took me 9 to 12 months and there’s
stuff I am still learning. How I didn’t work for that period
of time. I never spent time with friends. I never did anything.
All I did was “work” on this and look for a solution.
So for some people, if they are into that kind of thing, that’s
okay with me. Meaning they would want to duplicate what I did,
if they could afford it, to prove a point they could do it
all on their own.
My dad is like that. He loves telling me how he “NEVER asks
anyone for help.” Finally after hearing this for so many years
I asked him, “How has that worked for you?” Dead silence.
I think for the first time, he figured out, it hasn’t worked
for him and who in the world wants to do things that hard way.
There’s no special trophy, plaque, extra money, away, ribbon
that you get from anyone that I know of when you do things
that hard way.
Take two people. One gets all the information on how to help
someone with bipolar disorder spoon-fed to them, another does
it the hard way. People look at each of them the same as successful.
One is half dead from the stress and “work” she put into it.
The other is alive, happy because she did it the easy way.
The lesson is, if you can get help, and get it right away, do
so, don’t do it the hard way. Like how I was driving to the
meeting. If only I called I would have gotten there 45 minutes
early probably. But I wanted to do it the hard way.
NOW, I am not saying all this to push you to get my courses/systems.
NOW, for many of you, you need to be getting other help from
doctors and therapists. But maybe you are too cheap to
spring for that extra session to buy their time to ask specific
questions about your loved one or yourself.
Maybe you need to be attending family therapy but you figure
“I can figure it all out myself…I know everything.”
These are just two areas that I see people not getting
the help they need to speed things along. Sometimes it’s
because they are being cheap, sometimes it’s because they
just think they can figure it all out themselves. Maybe
they can, maybe they can’t. Sometimes you have to pay
a doctor, specialist or therapist and sometimes it’s going
to cost more than the $19.95 you spent on the TV infomercial
buying something that really isn’t going to help you or
your loved one.
You don’t want to be driving on a 3 mile road for 43 minutes
Hey I have to run. I have a bunch of research to do in
the library today. Great thing is that my consulting
business requires trips to the library and I can also
look up stuff for this mental health organization at
the same time.
Have a great day.