Many supporters are overwhelmed by the fact that their loved one has bipolar disorder.  They feel like the disorder has taken over their lives, and that there is no room for improvement in their life.  Yet everybody that I speak to wants to improve their life, but many of them are faced with the same questions:1.      What is the best way to start improving my life?2.      What are the best resources for me?3.      Which book should I read first?4.      Which seminar should I go to?5.      Should I listen to an audio program from my car?6.      What is the best website to go to?You need to start by asking yourself:  "What is it that I want?  What exactly do I want?"  Or for some people:  "What don't I want?"  This is a crucial question and the perfect starting point for finding the resources that you need.

 

Maybe, you don't know what you want.  Maybe, you have no idea what you want.  If you think that you fit into this category, I want to tell you that although what you want might not be very specific yet, I'm sure there is still something there, you just might have to look for it.*  You might want to simply change.*  You might want to find out what you really want.*  You might want to be happy.*  You might just want a better life.*  You might want to find out your life's purpose.No matter how general or how specific this is, you need to start somewhere. You have to start to answer that question:  What do I want?Become clear on what it is you want for your life.  Ask yourself three questions:

1.      What do I have that I want?  This helps you appreciate your current life. (i.e.--good education, close friends, health, home)

2.      What do I have or tolerate that I don't want?  These things detract from your happiness. (i.e.--large debts, abusive friends, dead end job)

3.      What don't I have that I want?  This will greatly improve the quality of your life. (i.e.--more confidence, closer friends, more money in the bank)

 

Write down a complete list of possible things that you want.  You can call it brainstorming or idea generation.  Nothing is too silly.  Nothing is too ridiculous.  Just write it down.  Save your criticism and evaluation for later.  Write whatever comes to your mind.When answering these questions, think in terms of your home life, your family life, your career, your health, your social life, your physique, your hobbies, your community, your world, and just about anything else that comes to mind. Go BIG!  What are your life dreams?  Do you know what your ideal life would be like?   Make sure to write it all down and try to be as specific as possible.  Then review your list and prioritize.  Decide what is really important to you and what you really want to achieve.

 

In this way, you will find out what is important to you so that you can improve your life, in spite of the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder.