Pets, family, and work are common morning motivators. But what do you do when you don’t have those things and you’re facing bipolar depression?
Finding My Purpose Every Morning
We all need a reason to get up every day. For some people, they may have a pet to take care of. For many people, that means showing up to work every day. For others, it is taking care of their small children. But what do you do when you don’t have a pet, don’t have a job, or don’t have small children?
Luckily, for me, I am able to work full-time again, but there were many times in my life when I couldn’t work at all. It was really difficult for me to get up and start my day when there was nowhere I had to be, no one to look after. And when I couldn’t even pay my bills every month, there wasn’t much point in going anywhere because I didn’t have any money to spend.
I would be restless at home. I would pace around my apartment. I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what. Every time I tried to work part-time, I would have to quit after a few months because I was either depressed or manic.
Turning to My Psychiatrist & My Mentor for Support
I went back to see my psychiatrist for help to calm me down. I was desperate but found no answer. So I came home and sent an email to a person that I had never met but who had become a mentor through email. He is a publisher, owns media businesses, and hosts workshops all over the world. I tell you this so that you know that he is quite an accomplished person and always took time out of his busy life to answer my emails—sometimes on a daily basis. On this particular day, I emailed him and I told him I had three strikes against me:
I had no professional/work life;
I had no boyfriend;
I had money problems.
Three strikes were against me; however, I knew if I could solve one of these problems, I felt I could cope with life.
From Needing a Purpose to Finding My Calling in Bipolar Advocacy
My mentor replied by giving me the “kick in the pants” I needed. In part, this is what he said:
“Fake it till you make it. Believe in your own success. Get out there and do something, anything, every day…. Time on your hands isn’t good for you. You need to stay busy. The best way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to help others. Go do something every day. Help people. Get involved with a shelter [or an online peer support group]. If you have no purpose, invent one.”
He also told me to pray for direction and to stop focusing on finding a good man.
On his advice, that very day I went to my local mental health drop-in center and started interacting with people. Within a month, I was speaking there about my struggles with bipolar disorder and what I had done to reach my recovery. That started a two-year stint in which I did over 100 talks and wrote two books. I spoke at mental health centers, hospitals, libraries, colleges, universities, Rotary Clubs, and other places. I felt like I was really making a difference in the lives of others!
Fast-forward ten years, and today I work full-time as a virtual assistant and own a home. Having a mortgage and not wanting to lose my home is a great incentive to get up and work every day! It is still a struggle to get going, and there are many days I can’t put in seven hours, but I persevere.
And I do have one more thing to live for now. I became a grandmother a year ago. I want to see my grandson graduate high school, go to college, get married, and have kids of his own. If I accomplish this, I will live until 90!
Now, when I am having a bad day, I look at his picture and know with certainty I can cope with whatever the world throws my way.
When Lynn Rae was 39 years old two psychiatrists told her that she would NEVER work full time again. She had accepted the diagnosis of bipolar disorder but would never accept the prognosis. After working part time at several different jobs between episodes of depression & mania Lynn was finally able to work full time and has been since 2009. She has now enjoyed over 10 years of good health. Lynn Rae can guide you in making those important decisions in your life surrounding Family, Friends, Fun, Fitness, Fulfillment, Finances & Faith through her Keynote “The Seven F’s to Your Fantastic Future.” She has written 3 books and self-published one of them which are available for sale on Amazon. Lynn received the Marilyn Nearing Award from York Support Services Network for the contribution she was making as a volunteer in the mental health field. Lynn Rae has her own business, GTA Office Services , in which administrative tasks are done virtually for her various clients. She makes her own home in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
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