Bipolar , Ebay and Me

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Managing Money When Your High

I love shopping online - I'm not a fan of trudging round shops (with the exception of charity shops) and hate tring stuff on. I like the ease, comfort and convenience of ebay - and I love getting those packges come through the door.
BUT I'm Bipolar and shopping online is just the the click of a mouse!
My bipolar disorder II was daignosed about two years agao, and made a lot of sense of a lot of things. My life has improved enormously thanks to the drugs. I'm an ultra rapid cycler so can go through a few shifts in a day.  And - I'm not great with money. Especially when I'm high.  I still get elevated moods, but they are dampened down greatlyby the drugs. Still, I spend. So I've found some strategies to manage myself :

  • Watching.  As a Seller I know having a watcher can be frustrating (just buy it!), but as a Bipolar Buyer watching is a safety net.  All those things I could so easily buy I watch - I'm allowing myslef the possibility of indulging without actually doing it.  And when I'm high it feels like I'm doing something -which satifies. I've trained myself to always watch first, buy later.  That way I get to sleep on it, and the next day I come down - go through my watched items and remove them. 
  • Sniping.  Goofbay sniper is free and easy to use - just google Goofbay to find it.  Sniping is great, especially if you set it for the last few seconds of the auction - because I can remove a snipe by clicking on a button - it's a lot easier than retracting a bid.  ( I once had to email a seller to retract my winning bid from a scooter - 350 quid - and was so embarassed I lied about having a wayward son who had used my account who would now be grounded!)  I've set my snipe, feel pleased to think I'll probably sneak in at the last couple of seconds and get a great deal - so I'm satisfied...but after a nights sleep I usually come down, google Goofbay and go through and remove them!
  • Retracting Bids If you have won an item and then come down, always e-mail the seller - many will let you retract your bid with no hassle at all. It's not guaranteed - but always ask, giev any reason you're comdfortable with - you don't have to 'come out'  if you don't want.
  • Buy Stuff to Sell  I have found that opening my own ebay store really helps.  I buy wholesale from ebay and stock up my store. This helps because it gives me a constructive reason to spend - I try to save buying a job lot until I have the impulse to buy (unless of course I'm low on stock) - that way I get to satisfy my impulse but ultimately make some money out of it rather than lose money.  This still takes some managment of course - I do have a budget - and I can't just go for it, I need to work out a sensible top bid so I can be fairly sure of making profit.. And I still watch and snipe.
Visit my shop and see what you think - but don't buy on impulse!
                                            Jeans Etc I Love Levi's
  • Trying to Manage my Impulse I'm often very impulsive when I'm 'up', and it's hard to control.  If other people make a comment it usually brings me down, hacks  me off,  and leaves me wondering why they always have to  burst my bubble. I'm learning.  I keep the thoughts and ideas to myself as much as I can, write them down, so they're not lost and tell myself they'll keep - that way I can see how I feel the next day.  If those thoughts involve buying - which they often do - I -
  1. Phone my bank and check my balance - a reality check often helps.
  2. Remind myself that whatever the things is I want to buy, another one will almost certainly be along soon.
  3. Tell myself that I am in control (ok this isn't strictly true - the brain chemicals are having a party!), it sometimes helps.
  4. Think to myself - could I tell a member of my family about this purchase?  What would their response be?
  5. Try and remind myself that a purchase now may bring stress later - I'm always skint as it is.
  6. This is one I haven't done - but I will if I feel I need to.  I speak to my sister most days, and I know that if I asked her she would ask me how much money I have spent and what on each day.  Now I'd rather not do this, but I would if I thought I was running too high and money was a problem.
  7. Another action plan I have up my sleeve, but am yet to use, (it's there if I need it), is to give my sister my username and password (I trust her completely) so she can keep an eye on my activity. Of course I want to manage this myself, feel that I'm being trated like an adult, and have financial independence and freedom... but I do have Bipolar and I accept that it's better to involve someone else in managing it than go under. My Mum has just bailed me out - not a huge amount, but enough - I don't want to be in that position again, ever.
  8. I've not got an 8..but it feels wrong to end on a 7...hmmm.....

I know that I'm one of the lucky ones because my Bipolar is well managed by tablets..and I've got a sister if I need help in managing my spending.  I hope you're not doing too bad yourself , and that some of this may be of some help.

Best Wishes and Good Health,
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