After posting yesterday, I got asked about my book of reminders.
If you used to follow me on Twitter, then you may well have seen me reference my post -its and reminders for those days, well, every day really, when my brain just doesn't quite function properly.
I have an entire notebook dedicated to notes and reminders of things that I should and shouldn't do when going about my daily business. Bipolar has messed me up completely.
Some of my notes are just written on the pages of my notebook for me to read through, some are stuck in on brightly coloured post-it notes, which I transfer to my laptop screen, or stick on my front door or in my car.
These notes are extremely important to me, and help me a lot to not make the same mistakes, but I have to also take steps to ensure that these work correctly.
I have to set alarmed reminders at various intervals during the day on my iPhone to remind me to look at the notes. I also have to constantly change, or add to my notes. Making sure the wording is just right is crucial. If it's not, it doesn't work, and things fall apart.
For example, one of my original notes was: 'Don't buy stupid stuff!'
This was adapted to 'Don't waste money' and then it was added to 'Don't waste money on things you don't need' then 'Don't spend money we don't have' and finally 'Don't waste money, save money, have fun with D and the kids'.
It takes a while for me to figure out the correct wording that works for me to not do the thing that it is reminding me of.
Others are more encouraging like 'Take Che to toddler group today, you CAN leave the house'
and 'The school run is NOT scary, it is essencial' and 'Getting out of bed today makes you a better person' and 'Don't forget to eat and drink today'
Silly little things for most people, but its the basic things that my brain blanks over. My spending when I'm manic is almost non-existent now, and my savings account is looking a lot healthier. We have even booked four mini trips for this year and I am happily saving for them. IT WORKS FOR ME!
The days when I don't eat or drink a single thing are fewer. The days when I can't force myself out of bed are less, and Che is going to toddler groups (mostly) twice a week.
It's not a perfect system. It's certainly not flawless. But, it is slowly starting to make a difference to me and some of my behaviour. It is a work in progress and it is trial and error.
For me it is a life line, of sorts. I need to focus on it more to help make me a better person. I am determined to be that better person and hopefully, somewhere down the line, I can show my husband and my children, that I am better than this. That I am stronger than this. That I am a person that they deserve to have in their lives.
If you have anything that works for you, please do share them in the comments below, I would love to hear from people that have developed strategies and coping mechanisms.