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  • Writer's picturegerpictus

Getting out

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so they say. My apple is getting out, which can be a real problem, despite the doctor’s encouragement. It’s much easier said than done. I suffer from the daily happy rollercoaster ride that is bipolar disorder; on top of that my medication often doesn’t seem to work and I have problems with my back.

If I have someone to go out with me it’s much easier, but most of the time I’m on my own and feeling watched.

So I wake up in the morning and face these obstacles I mention with a sinking heart. But coffee makes me feel better when I get up (which can be on the late side) and then I see about what I can do to fit in the twenty minutes out of the house that the doctor wants from me. Many times I don’t get very much further than the sofa (a bad day). Sometimes I can manage just the twenty minutes out (more coffee in a local café – a good day). At other times I can go out for a whole morning or afternoon on my own (an excellent day).

The reason why I can stay out for so long seems to be meaningful routine: going somewhere regularly and for a purpose. My routines involve a little volunteering and attending some peer support groups. They are tools to combat the issues that on any one day are keeping me indoors. Along with the routines come lesser associated behaviours – walking down the same street at the same time of day if possible, catching the same bus, and so on. The more I can get out beyond a trip to the shops the better it is for me.


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