How to Say THANK YOU, NO THANK YOU when You Have Bipolar Disorder


Julie, come to the concert with us! We have a box and I know you love the band! You will love it!

Thank you so much for thinking of me. I want to go and the stable me would LOVE to go. Unfortunately, the bipolar me, the one I dislike but have to live with every day simply can’t handle the big crowds. I get overstimulated and this can lead to so many symptoms I simply can’t have in my life right now. I am sad to miss this. I know you are going out to dinner first, and I can definitely join you for that part of the evening. Thank you very much for asking me!

Julie, I don’t see why it’s so hard for you to travel. You love it so much. We are just going for the weekend. It’s the coast and it will be fun. I will drive! Come with us! 

Thank you! I wish with all of my heart that the regular me you see in public is the me I have to sleep with at night. I can’t and don’t want you to have to understand what I go through to be honest- it sucks, but I can say that as much as I want to go with you, I want to be stable more. I have to give up so much so that I can be the friend and family member I want to be. Please send me a video. In fact, a video chat would be amazing. I feel sad I have to miss this. I feel that I miss out on a lot of things, but I can say that I’m healthier than I have ever been since I’ve been really watching my triggers. Travel at this time is too much for me. I hope you have fun!!!

It’s all about trigger management when you have bipolar disorder. 

It’s hard for people who don’t have bipolar disorder to understand that FUN things can make us sick. Triggers are ANYTHING that causes mood swings. There is no positive or negative to a trigger. It’s just a trigger!
Learning to say no in a way that also educates people about how you take care of yourself really makes a difference. People know to keep asking you- because maybe you can go in the future, but they also get to see that you are committed to staying stable so that you can maintain the relationship!
Woo! hoo!


3 comments to How to Say THANK YOU, NO THANK YOU when You Have Bipolar Disorder

  • Gloria G

    Julie thanks for sharing this. Once again you have revealed just what my partner must feel when I start talking about going away for a more than 3 days or going to an indoor concert. I know he would like to getaway but I know he has a hard time away from home. His routine is interrupted and he is very uncomfortable. He doesn’t really want me to go alone or with friends so he will push himself to do it. I see now how this triggers episodes of mania, and or depression. Since he is rapid cycles it could be all of the above within s short period. I guess I need to be more understanding about this issue, thank you Julie!

  • Dear Julie,(and Gloria) I emphasise sincerely with your situation. I am writing from Belgium and was diagnosed with bipolar 2 rapid cycling (depressed in the mornings and manic in the afternoons) about 10 years ago at the relatively late age of 40. I sensed something was seriously wrong years before as after graduating in law from Cambridge, my supposed career just fell apart. Anyway I have written at length about my journey which I hope will help others and ”triggers” play a major part don’t they? Whenever I am invited to anything I always say ”yes” impulsively and then go into a flat spin before the event. I believe this is social anxiety and it is exhausting. Too much being the life and soul of the party in my youth! One of my biggest triggers is being late and not being able to find my way in the car, not helped by a useless satnav ! I have to make the journey beforehand so that I wont panic on the day over simple things like parking. I am completed stunned how normal day to day activities can cause such stress, but trying to meditate and exercise more to get a handle on it. I am new to blogging and talking to other sufferes as have kept it relatively silent for years, so it’s nice to engage and get tips for a healthier, more manageable life. Have a nice day from a very cold Belgium, take care of yourself Scarlet !

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