Guest blogger Vincent explains how his little green budgerigar gives him a reason to get out of bed and achieve something during the low periods he experiences because of bipolar.

When I am well enough to go to work, which for me is about three quarters of the year, I look forward to coming home at the end of the day. Not because I don’t enjoy what I do for a living but for the greeting I get when I step indoors. I live with a seven year old budgie called Maggie who has been in my life for all that time. Seeing her fluff up her feathers and hearing her cheep a ‘welcome home’ brightens my day.

Vincent explains how his budgie helps him manage bipolar

However I am not always well enough to work. On those dark days when I can hardly manage to bring myself to get out of bed and feel that my life is worthless, I rely on Maggie. When she hears me going to the kitchen to get a glass of water, she happily cheeps away knowing I am nearby. If I feel up to going into the lounge, she comes out to see how I am. She never judges me, never tells me that I should do more, and never says that I should just cheer myself up. She is just content with sitting on my hand or perching on my shoulder while I watch television. When she gets bored with the television she will get onto my laptop and have a peck at the keys. Her typing might not be the best but watching her wander back and forth over the keyboard is quite funny.

More than keeping me company with no questions asked, owning a pet like Maggie means that I have to do a few things for her, even though I lack motivation to do much for myself. She asks for nothing but relies on me to give her fresh seed and water every day and I need to keep her cage clean. She also enjoys fresh vegetables and treats. Because of her, I will summon enough motivation once a week to go to the supermarket or pet shop to get her something special.

Pets aren't for everyone. A few people will have allergies and some animals and birds are expensive and difficult to look after. But for me, Maggie the little green budgerigar gives me the motivation that I need to get out of bed and achieve a little on those days when I would have done nothing.

Vincent has bipolar and lives in Southampton.