Bipolar disorder doesn’t like change. It likes structure and set schedules.
I’m not trying to anthropomorphize bipolar disorder. When I say ‘it’ I do know it’s an illness, but it can sure seem like a human adversary. It’s tricky, sneaky and nasty. Those are not exactly good qualities! But just like with any human adversary, it is possible to minimize the damage.
When an event sends you spiraling down into depression, it’s easy to think that everything in your life is spiraling down. That is what bipolar disorder does. It distorts your thinking so that one event becomes about your whole life. So when you have a problem – with a relationship for example, bipolar disorder symptoms will whisper that this means you have trouble with all of your relationships and that you will never have good relationships again.
It doesn’t matter that this is impossible. It feels very real and the spiraling downward continues. Here is what you can do:
1. Say to yourself over and over again- ‘My life is made up of many, many experiences. This one experience is important, but it doesn’t mean my entire life is about this experience.’
2. Remind yourself that even the worst pain in the world can eventually end. Bipolar disorder will lie and tell you it won’t, but it does.
3. And finally, there is a person in you that has zero to do with this illness. The illness is like a blanket- it affects the real you, but it’s not you. Remember that when it feels that the blanket has covered up all of your life.
The way to end a downward spiral is to do anything and every thing to go into an upward spiral. The three suggestions above are a good start.
PS: Can you tell that I need my own advice today! It’s always important that I only listen to the real person- myself!