I keep setting standards (especially ones that will help me get better) that I simply have not been able to stick to.
For example my current standards are:
1) no more dating (just focus on me for now)
2) stick to regular bedtimes (asleep at 10, awake at 6)
3) no more processed sugars or sweets
4) avoid any sense of obligation (only do what I want to do)
Pretty basic stuff, right? Shouldn't be that hard? Well, unfortunately, everytime I meet a guy and he asks me out, I immediately say, "Sure!". And now I am under an obligation situation, which I DESPISE. So I say YES and then two minutes later, I regret it and don't know how to get out of it. And I really don't want to be dating anyone. I have no desire nor interest in doing so. None. None. None.
This weekend I met a guy and we spent two days hanging out (I hated the entire second day but didn't know how to get rid of him) AND we ended up eating a brownie, ice cream and frozen yogurt - all of which were things I had given up for the last 8 days.
I'm furious at myself. I'm furious for not sticking up for myself. I'm furious for not being able to say "No, I'm not dating right now" and "No, I don't eat sweets" and "No, I need to get to bed early tonight" and "You need to go home now so I can go to bed", etc.
What the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I say NO NO NO? I am SO upset with myself right now! Is this just another part of being bipolar?
Sometimes having bipolar can make us feel really weird and helpless--but to put your problem in perspective, read any women's magazine and you'll find an article about how to say no, because we all have trouble with it.
It sounds like you're trying to acheive reasonable goals, but I wonder if you also need to cut yourself a bit of slack. If you say yes to a date, and you really don't feel comfortable going, you can always call and cancel. Yeah, it sucks a bit for the guy, but really if you don't want to be there how much is he going to enjoy your date anyway.
The regular bedtimes, have you tried something as simple as a watch alarm, set 1/2 hour before bed, to give you a concrete reminder to start heading to bed. As for getting up at 6am, 8 hours is not enough sleep for me, maybe it's not enough for you either?
I have trouble with absolute dietary rules (because of an eating disorder history), so maybe this isn't really relevant, but unless there's a medical reason to cut out all sugar, what about having just one small portion a day, so you don't feel deprived and over do i when you do finally indulge?
If you cross of the dating issue (I am married) I could type that same list. I cannot do it either. I am a miserable failure at any goal I set for myself. I don't know that it is the bipolar though. It could be. I am sorry you are having such a bad time with it.
It might help if you could lower you standards a little. You seem to be wanting it black or white, all or nothing.
Take a small goal each day, one step towards your larger goals. I think we tend to overwhelm ourselves with taking on too much, then we fail. I write down my small goals for today, accomplish them, and then build on them.
It is important to have a regular sleeping and eating schedule for us - and regular exercise. Dating - date when you WANT to, and if you don't like a date, leave. And there's nothing wrong with limiting the time on a date, keeping it simple, especially if the guy is a new one. Go for coffee for an hour. Or don't go at all.
Above all, keep in mind that you are taking care of yourself by deciding to live in a way that makes you feel good. That comes before anything else.
I don't feel I've said any of the right things, sorry. I do hope you can work on these things and live comfortably.