Have you noticed how many Rent-to-Own places there are these days?  It seems like there's practically one on every corner!

 

Ok, here's how it works.  It's sort of like layaway, except that it ends up that you pay a whole lot more money!  Say you want a big screen TV.  Well, who can afford one right now?  Times are really tough financially for everyone right now.  So they offer you one at a really good deal.  They offer you one at a really good price.  No money down, even!

 

And they let you pay it in INSTALLMENTS.

 

So it sounds like a good deal, because you don't have to pay for the TV all at once, which you can't afford to do.  So you agree on how much you're going to pay each week (or sometimes each month in some places), and you pay for the TV on the installment plan.

 

Well, there's a bipolar installment plan, too:  You don't get to have stability right up front.

 

Just like you don't have all the cash up front to buy that big screen TV all at one time, you don't have the resources to get stable all at one time, either.

 

So you reach stability in installments.

 

The first installment you make is that you listen to your doctor and psychiatrist and do what they

say to do, which is to go on medication.

 

The next installment you make is that you take that medication, faithfully, every day, every time you're supposed to take it.

 

Without medication, there is no hope for stability, that's how important it is.

 

The next installment is to get a therapist, and to see them regularly.

 

The next installments are that you get the right amount of good sleep, exercise, and eat a healthy diet.

 

The next installment is that you take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and

spiritually.

 

The other installments have to be made, but not necessarily in any particular order.  These could be:

 

  • Build a strong support system
  • Help your support system help you
  • Join a church (or other spiritual place)
  • Go to a bipolar support group
  • Be productive
  • Start a hobby
  • Communicate with your supporter
  • Don't neglect your supporter
  • Help your supporter help you
  • Watch out for triggers
  • Watch for signs and symptoms
  • Stay close to family
  • Stay in touch with extended family
  • Have friends and a social life
  • (maybe) work a part-time job
  • (maybe) start a home business
  • Volunteer
  • Help others
  • Do things you enjoy
  • Keep stress to a minimum
  • Don't forget to relax
  • Be independent (as much as you can)
  • Keep learning about bipolar disorder
  • Educate others about bipolar
  • Self-manage your disorder

There are several other ways to make "installments" toward management of your bipolar disorder, and any installment you make toward your bipolar disorder will lead toward greater stability.

 

And the more stable you are, the less episodes you will have, and the more time you will have to spend having a good, productive, successful, happy life.