Having bipolar II, means I’m more often languishing in the lows of depression, than frolicking in the magnificence of mania. Over time, I have learned to adopt certain strange strategies in order to avoid becoming marooned in the sea of sadness. It’s no quick and easy fix, mind you. It takes some work and a level of commitment to pull it off. But here’s what works for me:
I make pacts with myself. Yes I know it sounds childish. And in your mind’s eye you’re probably expecting us to meet in the treehouse at dawn, wearing our father’s old army camoflague, cupping our hands to mimic the owl-call that is the secret password. Hoohoo hoohoooo Hoohoo hoohoooo.
Well, put the cammo gear away, this is far simpler. All I do is I make a pact with myself. I make stipulations, I bargain and negotiate to get the job done, I provide incentive. I make a verbal contract. If I get out of bed this morning, I promise I can get straight back in the moment I get home from work. If I shower tonight, I can skip cooking dinner and just eat cereal. If I wash my hair, I don’t have to clean the flat. If I clean the flat, I don’t have to do laundry. If I do laundry I can have a chocolate and go straight back to bed.
And so goes my internal dialogue. Pushing me on through each hour, each day, each hurdle that seems insurmountable. I am my own cheerleader. I encourage, coerce and bribe my way through these patches. But it works. It begins to build momentum. And over time you realise, you’re getting out of bed without thinking, taking care of domestics because you want a clean home and washing your hair because you have regained your sense of self-respect.
So, here’s to putting the squeeze on, holding yourself to ransom, making an offer you can’t refuse. Put yourself back in control. Be the one calling the shots. And to hell with bipolar’s depression. It’s nothing but a bully. It’s time to fight back.