Problems, plumbing and bipolar disorder

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I wanted to share this email I got, because
this woman talks about a real important
point I want to talk to you about.

Dear Dave,
I want to tell you about something that
happened to me. We recently had a really
bad plumbing problem, that was going to be
really, really expensive to fix, way more
money than we had in our savings account.
We just didn’t know what to do. My first
reaction was to just sit there and cry and cry.

All I wanted to do was go to bed and pull
the covers over my head and pretend that
the problem would go away by itself. It
honestly felt like my bipolar disorder was
talking to me and telling me to do that!

But then I remembered something you
said in one of your emails and in your
course. You said we had to stand up to
our bipolar disorder, and not let it get the
best of us. You talked about how it might
seem sometimes like the disorder would
actually “talk” to us, like it was an entity
of its own! Well, that’s exactly what I
felt like!

So I stood up to it, and I didn’t go up to
bed. We checked with a few friends, and
found a couple guys who could fix the
problem without charging us, so all we
had to do was pay for parts, which was
less than we had in savings!

So thanks to you for reminding me that
I could stand up to bipolar disorder like
it was outside of me, and I could solve
a problem without panicking and it
could work out – I didn’t have to
hide from it.

Let me tell you something. This
woman really encourages me – I
hope she encourages you, too. It’s
nice to know that something I said in
my emails and courses helped her,
because I know that in my courses I
do teach about standing up to bipolar
disorder and not letting it get the best
of you:




The important thing is NOT to panic!
Try to reason out what to do in the
situation. I know it sounds crazy, but
it IS true that sometimes you can actually
“hear” your bipolar talk to you – this
woman isn’t the only one I’ve had to
tell me the same thing.

The point is, that if your bipolar had
its way, it would make you give up at
the first sign of a problem. Then you
would always remain low functioning
and supporters would always be burned

The other point I wanted to make was
like the woman in the email said –
being honest, that at first she did cry.
It’s ok to react honestly – you don’t
have to pretend to be superman or
superwoman. It’s ok to have regular
human emotions! You don’t have to
assume you are automatically going
into a bipolar episode!

So you can react normally, as long as
you don’t panic. Then you can think of
what to do. Try to ignore what your
bipolar is telling you to do. Fight it!

A friend of mine uses an expression
called “doing the next right thing.”
Try to do that when faced with a
problem like this lady had. Don’t let
the bipolar tell you that you are
defeated, just because the problem
seems bigger than you are.

Try to stay positive, don’t panic, and
look for a solution to your problem.
Sometimes it will mean asking someone
else for help – which is something that
bipolar usually doesn’t want you to do,
is it?

If the disorder had its way, most
of you would be isolated. So it’s hard
to fight that. But you can do it! If you
share your problem, you can usually
find help in solving it. Use this lady’s
story as a positive example.

Well, I’ve got to go. Think about this,
so that the next time you’re faced
with a seemingly impossible situation,
you won’t panic and let the bipolar get
the best of you!

Your friend,


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.

  1. Fortunately, I take PaxilCR for my panic attacks, which often happen when I least expect them. They would ordinarily happen before I had a mystery shop to do, especially for a company I had never done one before. Ultimately, I figured I shouldn’t rely on a medication to get me through the hard parts of doing a consultation, so – I REASONED myself out of them!

    This is sorta what you’re talking about in your email, about confronting the “bipolar” and taking control of the situation. As soon as I realized I didn’t/couldn’t have to be “perfect” on my shop, I relaxed as much as I could, and DID the shop ONLY to the best of my ability. It turns out that when you’ve done enough “shops,” the observations and “mechanics” of the “shop” are pretty much the same for each one. I’ve become comfortable (in a sense; as I maintain a certain amount of anxiety to keep me alert), in doing these shops, so that I don’t panic, although I keep taking the PaxilCR.

    You CAN/WILL “rise above” your bipolar if you DON’T let IT control you – and YOU control IT. Unfortunately, and Dave, not being a bipolar survivor yourself, a hypomanic episode CAN/WILL “attack” you when you’re NOT looking for it, or not ready for it. It’s insidious; it’s NOT a respecter of persons or their mental capabilities. I struggle daily with “fighting” the bipolar from the moment I get up in the morning, until the time I put my head on my pillow at night. It’s THAT powerful. Medications DO help; but they don’t/can’t do it alone.

    Bipolar survivors HAVE to fight/struggle daily to overcome the relentlessness of bipolar disorder. It is NOT an easy disorder to live with. I find myself “backsliding,” and returning to the “triggers” when I’m not strong enough to avoid them. The Holidays make it that much harder. We’re faced with being with people we’re uncomfortable with, or who we’d just as soon NOT be around. Buying the “right” present becomes a major decision, especially when we don’t have the money to buy it. I’ve spent WAY too much on Christmas, and will spend the next few months juggling my accounts to “pay the piper.”

    Thanks for ALL you do, Dave, especially your “homey” tales of how others manage/handle bipolar. I’ve learned soooo much EVERY DAY from you. Keep up the good work, and I know you’re a blessing to your Mother.

    BIG HUGS to all bipolar survivors and those who love them. My prayers are with you. Stay sane, and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  2. It’s a good story and since reading your stuff I have stayed sane by trying to turn away from my husbands bipolar as if it were another person in the room, house, farm. However, I find myself having panic attacks after 8 years of living with this man. I have never had them before but I can feel a sense of something rising in my chest which I dont seem able to control. maybe I should get Suzannewa’s PaxilCR. I have sent my child to Canada for christmas with my sister because i cannot stand for him to be around this endless sickness and depression. I am isolated on a farm 1 hour from he nearest supermarket and docters
    I have really begun to feel a sense of desperate loneliness and wonder if it is all worth it. Because of David I have been able to detack and not hook in – but my detachment has taken me to a place where i no longer know if i love my bipolar husband as i used to – i mean how can one carry on loving someone who has abused and illtreated one – even if you do know it was the illness talking and doing. I have no support because noone else knows hes paranoid and delusional….they think I’m the crazy one.
    You guys all sound so positive which kind of puts me to shame – but I feel I am sick an tired of talking to his bipolar and it isn’t going anywhere…the unbelievably negative gloom is powerful and quite capable of sucking everyone in the house in whether it be family or staff.
    For all bipolars and their supporters hope you get through this time with no episodes relatively peacefully.

  3. Dave, this post is so “Right ON” and what I’ve been trying to tell my daughter, FIGHT IT! Lately she’s felt like she’s running out of fight and doesn’t want to do this every day any more. We have a contract that if she feels like hurting herself she’ll let me know, I’ve explained that the disease could make her do things she otherwise thinks she wouldn’t do. I forwarded this email to her, I think it’s the most important lesson for her right now. The timing is perfect, Thank you!

  4. You are so right about not asking others for help when we need it. While I was real bad I could have used a whole bunch of help, but pride and not wanting others to see how bad I was made me push others away and isolate myself (truly I was afraid they would experience my wrath and hate me for life).

    The supporters in my life couldn’t understand me and I was completely embarressed by my lack of energy and mental control. If only I was not so pig headed about it I could have avoided a whole bunch of episodes.

    Going through the medication experimentation to get it right for me was so difficult. I had horrible moods and people don’t understand that kind of behavior until they are on a mood altering drug themselves.

    I have two friends that recently quit smoking and went on that Chantix….well guess what they are so moody, I laugh about it cause I am that way without meds but some of the meds they put me on made me act out in some violent ways. The chemicals in the mind are a delicate thing to get balanced. It can take a while to get to the point of realizing how messed up you were before meds and while you were adjusting to the right meds.

    My mental montra is “Be Still and Know That I am God” While I was getting stabilized when I would have a stressful moment I would say it over and over again till the moment had passed. Kind of like taking a time out to think before reacting. It is hard to reprogram old ways and at times I find myself regressing, but atleast I am healthy enough to recognize it.

    Take care everyone! Merry Christmas! I pray for those who are suffering through the madness, may you have strength and conviction to see it through to wellness!

  5. Thanks, Dave, for sharing this e-mail. I am so proud of this bipolar sufferer for not allowing this seemingly momumental problem to victimize her. Thanks for sharing this success story. Those of us that support bipolar survivors can really use the “inside scoop” of what it’s like for the sufferer. I have to admit that it’s hard to be empathetic when you are burnt out or otherwise spent. Thanks tremendously.


  6. My son has a dual diagnois, bi polar and substance abuse. He applied for SDI in CA but was denied as they state his is only drug related, even though his doctor states otherwise. I have supported him for many years, he is 32. He is currently in jail for warrants, picked up Xmas day. I am unable to aid him as I don’t have the resources left. He is also learning disabled. He lost his drivers license due to a judgment from not having his insurance renewed, it was a day late and he was involved in an accident. I can notify the jail concerning his medical history but I am concerned he will not be able to handle it. He is scheduled to get out in a week. I am planning on hiring an SDI attorney when he gets out to get him SDI. They take their costs out of his backpay. He is sensitive to medications and hasn’t been on some for a while. He was picked up on Xmas day walking from my house to his. He left walking as he knew he couldn’t handle it and I went in the house and left a few minutes later in my car to see if he would let me drive him home, there was not a confrontation, simple conversation re: do you want a ride home, no he said, I asked twice and left. A few minutes later a cop came and said he was involved in a domestic dispute and this same cop had been at his house a week earlier as a tenant had tried to committ suicide and my son called 911. They arrested him for his warrants and this mother received a call from her son 30 minutes later stating he was in jail. I have tried with no success to get him help and am out of resources. He wants to be helped, but he was in such despair prior to being jailed I don’t know what to do. When in the past we all lived together and we would call the police for help when he was violent, they would not aid us or him. I am ashamed of our police depts here.

  7. To CMPUTZ195: First of all – STOP enabling your son! Also, if it can happen in your state – see to it that someone gets him an “involuntary commitment.” You sound like you’re at the end of your rope where your son is concerned. Getting an SDI attorney MAY help; yes, they DO take their fees out of backpay.

    Whatever you do – get this “boy” help. He’s no good to himself, and certainly no good to you. You’re worrying yourself SICK over him; remember, the important thing is “take care of Number One.”

    I feel for you in a BIG way. Just have faith that everything will ultimately turn out for the best. My prayers are with you, dear, so be smart and do the right thing.

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