Managing Goals and Hobbies with Bipolar.
Its like trying to drive a road trip in a car that can, AND WILL, switch off at any moment, for as long as it wants.
I consider myself a jack of all trades, which is great in its own beautiful way; but it unfortunately stems from an unhealthy habit.
My name is Benjamin Imlau, and I'm a Hobby-holic. My friends and family know very well that I pick up and drop hobbies at a comically quick pace. Here's the thing, when I'm feeling good, I have the desire to learn new things and grow; but when I dip these things fall by the wayside.
You may think, "okay, well just pick it back up when ya' feel good. Boom, therapy done, Ben healed." The problem is, by the time you upswing from a dip, it is very easy to make a simple task or hobby a much more daunting, impossible mountain climb in your mind.
I have a three quarter completed Furret cross-stitch sitting in a drawer that seems impossible to finish at this point.
Partially this is because what goes through your mind during the dips. if you do something regularly and suddenly stop, your brain will likely scold you in some way. The depression in Bipolar greatly amplifies this, how else should I react when one moment I am extremely proud of my work; the next I hate myself for not continuing it.
It is so hard to find the energy to continue your hobby though, considering you're finding yourself lacking the energy to even leave the bed. Inevitably this can become a vicious cycle of depression leading to dropped projects, and dropped projects leading to more depressive dips.
So how do you tackle this as a Bipolar person?
First look at your thought process, how much are you beating yourself up for not continuing this project? Are you getting overwhelmed with the completed end goal? These specifically feed into that cycle, and making it much more difficult to return to what you want to do.
I find it helps to break up the over arching goal/end-product/task into pieces. A good example can be seen in the blog itself here. Even if I'm not feeling up to writing a full post, maybe I have new title ideas, or pieces I could expand into a blog. Something to put down, showing my brain I did >SOMETHING<.
Also remember, sometimes you "just gotta take the L" and take a day off. Its human, we all have a really rough day once and a while, self-care is super important. Pamper yourself a bit for a day, with a clear goal to do something the next day.
There are other ways too, CBT and DBT therapy are another major recommendation from me, they both deal with thought alteration, and thinking more in Grey than Black and White.
There are other ways that different people have to cope with this, but these are the ways that help me right now!
Anyway, have a fantastic day!