I always take on things in life in an academic way. I always want to read a book about something, or watch a how-to video about something, or interview someone about something, before I ever take it on myself. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. And not only that, but I am a read all the directions all the way through before you start anything guy too. Although I have found that little tip really worthwhile in my life.
I guess I just feel like if I know where something is going, by knowing the ending, then I can better navigate the journey.
And I don’t think this is a bad thing, really, otherwise I would stop. But it does get in the way sometimes. I have found that the best way to learn something is to actually do it, but I guess I try to limit first time mistakes. I can never just dive into something without feeling pretty uncomfortable in what I am going to have to do to accomplish the goal.
I build and fix stuff like this, I cook stuff like this, I garden like this, I started this website and my podcast like this, and I even try to understand my Bipolar like this.
I have a few books on the subject. The good ones are Bipolar 101 by Ruth C White PH. D. and John D Preston Psy. D. and An Unquiet Mind by Kay Jamison and for loved ones When Someone You Love is Bipolar by Cynthia Last PH.D. The books have been a tremendous source of understanding and therefore calm for me. Knowing what is happening and why and how common it is or isn’t relieves my anxiety about my condition in a way that very few things could. On top of the books I read online about Bipolar almost daily. From blogs to Q&A groups, to discussion boards, to medical journals and studies, I am always trying to find more information about it. And the best sources of information are my therapist and doctor. I try to jot down questions in my journal to ask them about my behavior, my symptoms, and my medication.
I’m sure most of you don’t approach life the way I do, reading everything in sight before diving into it, but I do recommend reading the books I listed above if you want to better understand yours or your loved one’s disease. Understanding is the only way we will get through this, and that is something I really believe.