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Accepting Limitations Placed On You By Bipolar Disorder

I met a beautiful young creature. I then flirted with said creature, as is my habit. Eventually, she asked me a question about local politics. A perfection reasonable question, one assumes. There was just one problem, I don’t know anything about local politics. This is because I refuse to watch the news as I find it depressing and I told her so. She said she understood.

Then we planned to go out to a movie. She asked me to pick the film. I picked one of the action-suspense genre as then there was no chance of me becoming emotionally activated by a stupid movie. Nope, no romantic movies on a date with me.

And then we discussed the showing to see. I have to see the early show because I turn into a pumpkin at 9:00 PM. And really, I prefer to see matinees because they disrupt my sleep cycle less which disrupts my bipolar less.

Poor girl, she had no idea what her flirtation had waded her into.

Bipolar Limitations

Yes, it’s true, my life is built around my mental health. My life is built around my stability. If something is going to destabilize me, I just don’t do it. I apologize to the cute boys and girls of the world, but that’s just the way it is. I don’t expect others to lick a toad and get sick just to be around me and I think others shouldn’t expect me to do things that would make me sick to be around them either.

Accepting These Limitations

And while sometimes I get frustrated as I bump up against the things I just can’t do for the betterment of my mental health, I have to accept that these are the choices I have to make if I want to be well. And I do. I really, really do. And altering the time of a date is a small price to pay for not wanting to kill yourself. And yes, it’s really that simple.

And while this girl doesn’t know me today, if one day she does, I would like to think that she would respect my desire to be well. My desire to take care of myself. My desire to be true to myself. Because people who care about us care about our self-love too and don’t judge us for what we can’t do, but instead celebrate us for what we can.

And believe me when I tell you, in spite of my own limitations, there are still lots of fun ways to spend a date. Trust me.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

28 thoughts on “Accepting Limitations Placed On You By Bipolar Disorder”

  1. Hi I’m Amanda and I’m a low functioning bipolar 1. My biggest struggle is not only accepting my limitations but struggling with others not understanding that these limitations are vital. I’m a longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous and more recently Alanon. Basically the people in these programs not only attend quite a few meetings but do a lot of service work in and out of the programs. I only have one friend who understands and that is because she shares my illness. Unlike myself she accepts limitations and doesn’t worry about others expectations. I wish I could say the same. I live on a hamster wheel of not keeping up with other “kids”. Being seen as stubborn, unwilling, or even dishonest. I worry about it all the time. No seems to never be an acceptable answer. And I fall all over myself trying to explain. To no avail unless I tell the really gory details: attempted suicide, spending thousands a day, ending up in prison because I could not stop shoplifting. And I resent disclosing this just to get approval. How a on earth do I explain simply why I missed a meeting because I’m exhausted from a major life change 4 months ago. I can’t keep up with housecleaning or errands. I’m so jammed up and behind all the time because I struggle with efficiency and confusion at slightest stress. I’m sorry that this sounds so pathetic. I just would really like a way to accept myself in the face of ignorance of bipolar. I love my programs. They save my life. I believe I make myself sicker by worrying about missing meetings etc. you all are so wonderful for your candor and honesty. Thank you. I would love suggestions.

  2. By the way….I am not manic and suffering insomnia. I am in Queensland, Australia so it is not 3.21am but rather 18.26!!!

  3. Hi world! I have been enjoying Natashas site for some time, particularly last 24hrs. THANK YOU SO MUCH Nat for enabling me to complete 2 leather chairs that I have been struggling with for months. I am 42, self employed, a single mum (running both a house and large industrial premise) only diagnosed in Dec14. Luckily, My business is thriving, but often I cannot bring myself to go to work, let alone be productive. I know about lists and goal setting but have had limited success over past yrs….works awhile, then I stubbornly ditch it. I used your method last night and self talked thru today (after getting started 2hrs behind my schedule) and achieved the job that I have put off and has overwhelmed me for months.(THANK god this cuustomer has been patient).
    My son’s father suggested that I need to sell business and get stress free job but as my gp pointed out, I am too energetic and creative to do that. And I know I offer people a skill that not so many possess, so I feel obligated and fulfilled to satisfy others with my talents.
    Since the bp diagnosis, I have contemplated giving up the daily struggle, but when I look at a completed job, I am so grateful for my talent that I must continue to satisfy the creativity within me and celebrate being part of the elite club that we bp’s belong to. The list of high achievers amongst us is certainly something to be proud of.
    Thanks again everyone for reminding me that I am not alone, but part of an empathetic crew of strong individuals. Xxx

  4. I need to read this. Or actually I needed to read this, and I did a couple of weeks ago. After reading I did not place limitations on my behaviour and now the limitations are placing themselves.

    Either the world has gone irrational, or I have. I think it is me. I have schizoaffective disorder, and the chances of me having another psychotic episode is greater that the chances of laws of nature, people around me, and even the furniture in my apartment, being so very different all at once.

    I was in hypomania for three months. I was going higher and higher until I decided to go off antidepressants. When I came down from hypomania, my brain was broken. If I had been sleeping, eating and resting more, maybe I would not be sick. At least not this sick. Maybe some of the limitations could be worth it. If only I would get used to them and not hate them so much.

  5. I came to terms with a self-diagnosis of bipolar disorder this summer, just a few months ago. A part of me always knew. I have looked into personality disorders and mental disorders since I was very young. I’ve always been unusual. It was extremely difficult for me to accept my bipolar. The aspect that tied it all together for me is the insomnia. I had no prior knowledge that my insomnia was tied to the disorder. I’m 19 now and a sophomore in college. Sometimes the party scene combined with my problems can be totally devastating. I experience a great deal of mania which can sometimes feel like euphoria and I love the creativity and the energy I experience during these episodes. Truthfully I love my bipolar far more than I hate it. It is a part of who I am and a part of my uniqueness. But the lows have become increasingly difficult to ride out lately. It is essential during these times that I be conscious of the danger of my suicidal thoughts which have become louder and louder only during the lows. Recently I’ve fallen in love with my best friend who also has deeply emotional issues and is a recovering drug addict. I know how it sounds haha. I don’t post on internet forums but today I am deeply seeking other individuals who understand on some level. Anyways my relationship has been a disastrous roller coaster. I am finally on my way to recovery and I know D will totally destroy this, but I love him. He gives me something that I feared I would never have ever again. When I’m with him I’m not alone. He shares this deeply intellectual mind that I have only ever encountered in one other person in my life. I’m actually pretty terrified he might be my soulmate. Although I do believe that there can be more than one soulmate

  6. Taking care of myself is not a limitation-it’s self care. I try really hard to manage my bipolar on a daily basis, shoot on a minute by minute but since I am in grad school, I’ve not done those things that are so critical to my health.
    Thank you for reminding me that I HAVE to practice self care and learn to do those things I need to do to make sure my bipolar stays away.
    Just because I’d love to stay up all night and read a good book doesn’t mean I should. I know the price I will pay for a few days of no sleep. It’s not pretty.
    Just because I would love to go out and tie one on, doesn’t mean I can. I KNOW the price I will pay and I can’t play that game.
    It’s called self-care. Take my meds, eat right and get some sleep. Do I always do it? No. But I try.

  7. I don’t date for self care reasons…I have depression and anxiety, I’m divorced and am too sensitive. I’ve come to accept it and work around it. So yes, like the author, I too respect my sleep cycle, don’t watch the news and stopped following politics. been called Debbie downer, most recently called a food snob because I refuse to eat anything with a tv commercial, gmo or non organic. Lol! Regardless, l love myself, well most days.

  8. reading the comments here has really helped me in some ways. about 2months ago I agreed to having my mother-in-law move in with my husband and I. at the time she could do a lot more than she can now. I stay home to care for her as hubby works. she now can’t shower on her own, go to bathroom, get in or out of bed on own among other things. I’m stressed, tired, sick which doc says could be ulcers. I feel guilt for not being able to do these things when in the beginning I thought I could and felt it was the right thing to do. I already knew I can’t handle much stress but at the same time I hated to admit that I do have bipolar and there are limits I need to set. after reading about either doing things out of my limits or dealing with wanting to end it all by killing myself, I see how it’s best for me to tell the family this is beyond my ability to do and stay healthy myself. I do however feel guilty because I feel I will be a disapointment to family and they may not understand why this task could be so much on me. I tend to worry to much about what others think. as for taking some time out for myself, I find I can’t. if I try, I only here my name called so I have to stop what I’m doing to go find out what she needs now. if I sit back down again I can’t relax I find myself feeling anxious or on edge that soon I’ll be hearing my name called again. I want a way out so I can get my mental and physical health back for I feel I’m going to go insane.

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