I heard a saying the other day that I like a lot: “Keep the main thing the main thing.” I know it’s used in a 12-Step Program, but it can be used for other things as well. For instance, it can be used with bipolar disorder, when you’re talking about trying to cope and deal with it, or just trying to cope and deal with life in general. What am I talking about? I’m talking about priorities. Specifically, about keeping your priorities in order. That’s important in life, but especially important when you’re dealing with bipolar disorder. For example: If your loved one gets their priorities out of order…Say, they start to take on too many projects all at once, they can get overwhelmed. And many times, if a person with bipolar disorder gets overwhelmed, they can too easily go right into a bipolar manic episode. And it can take a long time to de-tangle them out of that episode. Because then it’s a matter of getting their priorities back in order. And that can take some time. The important thing is to keep them in order to begin with so that doesn’t happen.
Before you can keep your priorities in order, you first have to SET your priorities. You want your priorities to be well-balanced and healthy for you. For example: For a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder, they often miss the main priority, believe it or not. Too many supporters believe that the main priority is their loved one. Well, it’s not. Now, some people might get mad at me for saying this, but I believe it’s important. Your main priority should be taking care of yourself first. Think about it. If you don’t take care of yourself, who else is going
to take care of you? And if you don’t take care of yourself FIRST, how are you going to be able to take care of anyone else? Even the airlines know this. It’s true: In pre-flight instructions, they always tell you that if the oxygen masks come down, to put yours on FIRST, and THEN put your child’s mask on them. That’s so that you can take care of them. That’s having your priorities in order. You can only take care of your loved one if you take care of yourself first. So your first priority should be to take care of yourself.
And there are other things that go along with that priority, of course. Like that you need to be well-balanced: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Like that you should keep a good sleep schedule, eat a nutritious and balanced diet, and exercise. In other words, you should keep yourself healthy, in all ways possible. That’s so that you can be the best “you” that you can
be, both for yourself and for your loved one. In that way, you’ll be keeping “the main thing the
main thing” as well.
Well, I have to go!