You know how we were all taught not to procrastinate? That we should not put off till tomorrow
what we can do today? We were basically taught that procrastination is not a good thing. And, in general, that’s true. Because if you procrastinate too much, it can actually make you lazy.
But, with regards to bipolar disorder, I want you to look at procrastination temporarily in a new light. Think of it as “putting off until later.” And here’s how you can relate it to bipolar disorder. Say you feel a bipolar depression descending upon you like a dark cloud. Procrastinate that depression. Then it will not fully descend upon you, because you won’t let it! Do you see what I mean? In this case, procrastination has worked for you instead of against you.
It’s like fighting off a cold. You can feel the symptoms coming on long before the cold actually takes hold. And if you do something about it at that point, you may be able to actually avoid the whole cold! So that’s what I’m saying to do with signs and symptoms of a bipolar episode.
Be vigilant. Watch for them. Then be proactive, using the tool of procrastination in the way that I’ve described. You see the depression coming. You acknowledge that it’s there. You decide to procrastinate the episode. No episode!
Another way of saying procrastination is “putting it off until later.” Well, I’m talking about putting it off indefinitely! And you have the power to do that!
You can do the same thing with a manic episode. You are vigilant. You are watching for signs and symptoms. You notice that you feel a bit hyped up. You take action, like you would with a cold. You let your psychiatrist know what’s happening. They perhaps increase the dosage of your medication to help your symptoms. A few days later, you are feeling fine again. Episode avoided! Because you took action. You procrastinated, you put off, the episode!
You can use this method with negative feelings as well. You are going to experience negative feelings from time to time (everyone does). But if you have bipolar disorder and you experience
too many negative feelings, or experience them too often, they are going to have a bad effect on you – they can even be a trigger to a bipolar episode. So what you can do with negative feelings is put them off, or procrastinate them, until later, until you can deal with them in a healthy manner, such as speak to someone about them or write about them in a journal.
Do you see how in these ways, procrastination can actually work for you instead of against you?
Well, I have to go!