This is probably a part 1 of something because it feels like a very big topic. But let’s start with feeling stupid shall we? That’s always fun.
Nobody likes to HAVE to rely on other people because they are unable to do life on their own.
But we need people.
It helps to have people.
Not just any people but people to be our life spotters.
People who know us, really like or love us, and know we have Bipolar….and kinda understand Bipolar… of course.
because sometimes..(just sometimes right) we might not know we are in trouble.
We might not even know we are in an episode .
We need some brave souls around us who are willing to step up and say
“um hey…do you think that you may be….”
So that is all nice and good and necessary and warm and fuzzy and I’m not complaining about having loving supportive people around
it is obnoxious
not to have them
it is so insulting to know that you have a disorder that means you need to be under surveillance. Like Britney Spears or something. Although, actually I guess the jury is still out on whether or not she is one of us. but anyway.
It is just the fact that the people we love are always on the lookout…always vigilant…
they, just like us, are waiting, watching, wondering…
It sucks because it makes you feel like you need to explain and justify all the time…
“No I’m not manic I promise…well I’m as sure as I can be…I’m just happy”
“This isn’t depression I’m just having a hard time with x…..”
and then… do they believe you?…do your assurances quell their fears?
or do they get out their Bipolarnoculars and set up camp to see what happens
sometimes we feel like hiding stuff
even innocuous stuff
so people don’t worry
we feel like we need to yell
“Keep your pants on everybody! I’m just making some jam here!”
“Can’t a girl go to a drum circle without being manic?!?”
But I am not at all criticizing them. I am grateful for people who do that for me. But it is still a blah gross feeling
like being a child
like not being able to be trusted in this way
like needing to be watched
It is weird to have people know something is wrong with you….and to be able to look for it…or i don’t know I can’t explain this well…later maybe…
When I’m manic I REALLY want to go out. But I do NOT want to go with friends who know I am Bipolar and have cleaned that shit up before…
That would not be so fun.
See what I am saying?
And then when we do have an inkling that we are heading into something it sucks to have to say it. There is no cool way to say it.
It isn’t fun and it can feel like
“Hey here I am again with my messed up shit, being a big problem for you. So sorry you have to deal with a Bipolar person. Betcha wish you’d never asked me out…walked into my dorm room…got assigned to my group…”
(I am blessed with a beautiful sister/friend who is unfailingly there for me and because of this almost every time I call her and there is no answer I try to quickly text her “no crisis”. Because I don’t want her to worry for ONE second more than she needs to.)
it can feel like letting them down to realize that we are wobbling/falling
It isn’t fun to admit that you were wrong and you are (or were) in fact manic or depressed and then it sucks even more to hear them say…
“yeah i know”
“i thought so”
“i was wondering..”
and i’m talking the big stuff and the mild stuff here
So i think it is in everyone’s best interest to figure something out with our support people and ourselves. What is a way we can say it that helps everybody? How do we want them to say it to us?
I have a plan with a couple of people to just send a clean straightforward text…
“I feel kind of manic”
“I feel kind of depressed”
“I’m not doing well”
Just a simple alert. I don’t expect them to do anything. I mostly just want to take the onus off of them to wonder if I am or if they should tell me.
Plus, nothing ruins the fun of mania like telling somebody who has been through your mania that you are manic. It is like eating a stack of pancakes in front of a friend who knows gluten makes you ill. Ruins the buzz.
That is part of the hiding it thing. But don’t hide it!
It sucks feeling infantilized and babysat
it sucks feeling like a
It sucks feeling like such a high maintenance wife/friend/son/sister etc
It sucks knowing that the people in your life have had an extra chore added to their plates
because they (usually unknowingly) let their heart get tangled threaded swathed around a Bipolar
the good ones stay
We all wish it was different
And to be SURE there is shit we do for them 🙂 just sayin
It is all love
Thank God for love
Now I feel myself turning to the fact that many of us do not have people like this…..
this is where a kick ass therapist earns their keep….
They may not love us but they can get to know us very well and they can learn more and more about Bipolar and our own unique Bipolar and become invaluable
and here is another thing….
it takes time to grow the kind of people I described above
support doesn’t just fall out of the sky
just the fact that someone loves you does not mean that they get Bipolar and know what to say or what to look for or what to do or even what the hell Bipolar is…..
sometimes with time and education these people can become the support we need.
and then they can start saying…
“That seems like a lot of shoes…..”
“Are you sure you should be drinking that?”
And it can feel infantilizing and annoying