Focus on What You Can Do with Bipolar, Not What You Can’t
It seems like there are 1000 things I can’t do because of bipolar disorder, but what I’ve learned is that I need to focus on what I can do with bipolar disorder, not what I can’t. Because there are things we all can do. We often take those things for granted – but they are still there. We all have a “can” list and a “can’t” list. We, with bipolar, need to focus on our “can” lists.
What I Can’t Do Because of Bipolar
I was talking with another person with bipolar and he was saying that it feels like bipolar has taken away everything. He was diagnosed in his 20s and he said it feels like everything has been taken away and that life before bipolar disorder feels like just a dream.
I know what he means. I started seeing a psychiatrist at age 20 and in all likelihood was sick far before then. It feels like bipolar disorder has taken away most of my life. It feels like my “can’t” list is huge because of bipolar disorder.
I can’t live without bipolar medication, which means I can’t live without side effects; I can’t stay out later than nine o’clock; I can’t work for longer than a few hours at a time; I can’t get through a day without resting.
Can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t. It seriously sucks.
What I Can Do – Even with Bipolar
But, there are many things I can do, even with bipolar. I can be a loving human being; I can be a good kitty mommy; I can be a writer; I can be a speaker; I can be a trustworthy friend.
Can, can, can, can.
I still have a “can” list – even with bipolar disorder.
And what I’ve learned is that I can reframe my “can’ts” – which are inherently negative – into positives (Unlearning Negative Thought Patterns).
Learn More about Focusing on What You Can Do with Bipolar Disorder
For as much as I’ve lost, and it has been a lot, there are still things that I have. In all honestly, I mourn what I have lost as it has been so much, but I also try to celebrate what I still have. Because I’ve realized that if I focus on all the “can’ts” then I can’t even see the “cans.” If I focus on all the “can’ts” all I’m doing is looking at the negative, and by doing that, I risk losing all the positive “cans” I do have (Negative Thoughts Distort Your Reality). And those are the things that make my life worth living. And if I nurture them, I know that, in some form, they will always be there.
Tracy, N. (2016, July 1). Focus on What You Can Do with Bipolar, Not What You Can’t, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2016/07/focus-on-what-you-can-do-with-bipolar-not-what-you-cant