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How’s it going?
Today I have a super important
thing to remind bipolar supporters
Before I get started.
Hey, there is a person who posts many great
things on my blog. Her id is SuzanneWA. I am
trying to get a hold of her. If you
are her, or know her, please have
her email me at:
Okay let’s move on to today’s
topic. We have been talking about
goal setting for several days now.
I am happy to report that I have been
flooded with phone calls, emails,
faxes and a few letters in the us mail
about how they are excited to think about
and set goals related to bipolar disorder.
Actually on Thursday I spent 7 hours
in the library working on my goals for
2008. I actually do quarterly goals
so I do this 4 times a year.
I still have to do a little more
work which I will do probably today/
Anyway, someone wrote me:
“Dave, it’s amazing. What you said
the other day was so simple. The fact
of thinking about your future, where
you want to go and how you are going
to get there. I haven’t done this in
30 years. No wonder I am not going
anywhere. I am going to my therapist
to work on what my goals are and
I will talk to my doctor about them.
Thank you for making me think of this.”
That’s great Cherie! I am really
proud of you. Also I noticed
a whole lot of people are talking
to their doctor AND therapist
about their goals. This is great.
EXACTLY what you should do.
It’s kind of amazing when you
sit back and think about how little
time people devote to goal setting
and planning for their own life.
I have a friend who came from
another country. She barely spoke
English and had absolutely no
When she first got here, she bought
many books to help improve her
English. She started buying
motivational and goal setting
She set several specific goals
8 years ago:
earn more than $100,000 a year
live in a big house on 5 acres of land
drive a black high end BWM
live in the country
Have a job with a lot of responsibility
She called me the other day and I was
telling her about how I was talking
about bipolar disorder and goal setting.
She said goal setting was important
and how she had just found her list of goals
she wrote out and set years ago and was reading
frequently up until a couple of years ago.
She said she was amazed that every goal
she wrote down and set she had reached.
I asked her if she thought at the time
it was possible? She said no but she
followed the exercises in the books.
It was amazing story and hard for me
to believe but it’s true.
But back to bipolar disorder. I really
believe so many people fall short of
their potential when they are dealing
with bipolar disorder.
On the one hand, there’s the person
who is not stable, manic who gets a whole
lot done but then crashes.
Then on the other hand, there is the
stable person who doesn’t set any goals,
live on disability day to day really not
doing a whole lot. I find many of these
people are kind of afraid to set goals
or be more than they are because the
fear bipolar disorder.
There’s no question that you have to
factor bipolar disorder into your goal
setting. But when I talk to people I still
think they fall short of what kind of goals
they can set for themselves.
I really believe that the way around
this problem is to set goals and work
with your doctor/therapist about what
will not negative affect your bipolar
So, again, like my mom, you have to
work with your doctor and therapist
when goal settings.
There is a side benefit of this.
When you show your doctor and therapist,
you’re serious about changing and improving
your life, they work harder to help you.
You wind up getting better treatment
from them. You’ll see.
Now if you are a bipolar supporter,
you too, can be involved with your
loved one’s goal setting by going
to a therapy session or doctor visit
that will be devoted to goal setting.
NOTE-This will be primarily for those
supporting stable individuals who will
allow them in the visits.
Speaking of bipolar supporters,
I got a lot of feedback
of people saying that they took
my emails to their loved ones
to talk about setting goals. Many
bipolar supporters are now
talking about setting goals with
their loved one’s with bipolar
On this note, I have received a number
of voice messages and also emails
about how supporters feel bad thinking
of all the bad things that bipolar
disorder has caused.
Let me explain further by one
email I got.
“David, Hello. Thank you for all
you do. I have been on your list
for more than 1 year. I have learned
so much from you. I totally
agree with your concept of goal setting
with bipolar disorder. I spent time
thinking about what I wanted our life
to be like next year. My wife is
now stable, we did all you said
in your courses and it worked.
It’s really hard for me not to be
really angry when I think about
where we are. We lost all our money.
I lost many friends, family members.
I’ve been made to look a fool. Our
children are angry because of all
When I think about setting goals. I think
about how much I lost and how far we
have to go. It makes me mad at my wife. I
feel guilty for being mad at her, I know
she didn’t mean to do all these terrible
things and it was the illness. I do now
separate the bipolar like you have said.
What should I do?”
Frank’s email summarizes a whole lot of
emails that I have gotten that basically
a bipolar supporter is thinking about goals
but feeling really bad because he/she is looking
back and seeing all the damage that is done
from bipolar disorder.
Here is what I have to say. There is no
question that bipolar disorder is destructive.
There’s no question that for many, myself included,
it winds up making you way behind.
Here’s the think you have to realize about
bipolar disorder that most people don’t. Frank
does I think however.
The person with the disorder does NOT want
it and did NOT want to do all these bad things.
Many tend to forget this. Today I don’t
but up until like 8 months ago, I would as
well. I had to train myself to remember:
-there is my mom
-there is bipolar disorder
-bipolar disorder is the enemy
-bipolar disorder does the bad things
-it’s not my mom that does the bad things
-she didn’t want bipolar disorder
-there is way more good than bad.
Things like this. My brother on the
other hand focuses on all the bad,
thinks my mom is doing it all on purpose,
and believe some how there is more
bad than good (when I know since
I grew up in the house this is not
Here’s what you should do if you
are goal setting and feeling bad
because you feel like you have lost
First, realize you can get it back. For
the most part, you can get back anything
important that has been lost in bipolar
Second, realize, now you know what you need
to do to prevent this in the future. This
is a good thing.
Third, get as much information as you can
on how to move faster to get back what’s
This can be done through your own research
or by getting things like my courses/systems
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Fourth, keep telling yourself over
and over again that your loved one
did not want bipolar disorder and doesn’t
do anything bad on purpose.
Finally, realize that bipolar disorder
can be hard to manage at first and people
who have it, find out, overtime, what works
and doesn’t work on management. There many be
some slip ups. Remember this is not done
I have never met anyone who had bipolar
disorder that went out of his/her way
to be unstable and cause major problems
with other people.
So if you have a bipolar supporter setting
goals, you have to remember what I just said
if you are feeling bad about where you are in
your life and how far you have to go to
get back what all the episodes have caused.
Well I have to run and do a whole lot of work.
I’ll catch you tomorrow.
P.S. Don’t forget to take a look through the
different programs I’ve put together… each one is designed
to help you with a different area of bipolar disorder whether
you have it or you are supporting someone with it.
You can see them all and get the details by visiting:
P.P.S. Check out my F.ree blog with copies of emails
that I have sent in the past and lots of great
information for you:
P.P.P.S Check out my F.ree podcast. Hear me give
mini seminars designed to teach you information
you can’t learn anywhere else.