The other day, my neighbor said that he had moved, not that he was moving. I was kind of surprised, because he had lived here for a very long time. I asked him why, and he said that he was tired of throwing money away renting. I asked him what he meant by that. I knew what he meant, but I wanted to see what he would say to that. He went on to say that renting was wasting money and that he bought a house and got a good deal. I didn’t want to argue with him, even though I didn’t necessarily agree with him. I did some math and absolutely couldn’t see how he
would be saving money by owning in a period of house prices FALLING! I asked him if he factored in maintenance on the house (2% a year, taxes going up each year, mortgage, etc. etc. etc.). He said, “Yea, yea, yea.” But I could tell that he didn’t, because if you added all those things up, being super conservative, you would find it costs maybe 50% to 100% MORE than
The mistake he made was that he didn’t have a PLAN. He didn’t check things out. He went on a sort of faith that it would all work out. Then I thought about how with bipolar disorder, people
do this all the time. They say things like, “Oh, I am not going to take my medication for the week, it will all work out.” And they have faith that it will. Or they say: “Well, we don’t need to put that much time into helping so and so, she will get better on her own. We just have to have faith.” And they believe that faith will make everything all right.
One of the things I talk about often is how important it is to bipolar stability to have a PLAN. I mean, it’s ok to have faith. Many people have faith. But faith isn’t going to pay your bills. It isn’t going to stabilize your loved one when they’re out of control. It isn’t going to help them maintain stability even if it were to help them get to stability with their bipolar disorder. And notice I said HELP them get to stability – it has to be only one of MANY things that your loved one has to do to gain that stability, not the only thing.
Too many people think that just by having faith, it will make them get better. And not medication. But that can be dangerous thinking. I know someone who is very religious, and believes very strongly in faith. But they shared with me that they also believe that God made doctors and gave them the ability to help people get better, and that includes prescribing the
right medications. Now, it might be controversial to say this, but that’s how I believe. I think you can believe in doctors and medication and still be a person of faith. Another person says that they are a person of faith, but that they believe that God still wants them to “do the footwork.” I think that’s a good way of looking at it.
And you can apply that to recovery from bipolar disorder, too. Medication is only one part of treatment for bipolar disorder. There are things that your loved one has to do for themselves that will lead to their stability, too. You can be supportive, but they still need to do these things for themselves. They can have faith, but they still need to “do the footwork” for their stability.
Well, I have to go!