So Do You Just Give Up On talking to Your Loved Ones…..?

So this whole thing about loved ones keeps swirling in my head and I was wondering to myself whether or not I should have been more sharing about it and opened up more about my personal feelings (haha no stay with me you’ll see what I mean).

Maybe experiences is what i should say.  And then more ideas started coming too so I was like okay fine whatever I guess I may have more to say on this here topic so I grabbed the old computer and here I am….rambling

Anyway.  Once again.  I don’t have advice for how to deal with loved ones BUT i have my own experiences and have heard a lot of others around the block.  And maybe it helps the newbies to hear it.

I will preface by saying that this does not apply to my husband…he is mostly a whole different thing.  I am referring to the ones closest to me beyond him.

I for one have already lived through and past the stage in my life where I tried to describe my Bipolar to my loved ones.

For the most part it always ended up making me feel worse.  More lonely.  More isolated….

less understood

kinda the same with therapists.

But yeah.  I just got burned one too many times and even lost a friendship for a time and yeah…I don’t share shit anymore.

.

It isn’t that they don’t believe that Bipolar is a real thing…well…it took sometime but yeah….it is just that they don’t know how much they don’t know and I WISH they WANTED to KNOW.

So if you are trying to describe your Bipolar to your nonBipolar loved ones.  Just try to accept what they are willing and able to give in return and know that they will never understand….

and that they may never realize that they should TRY to understand

And also…We could talk and talk and talk and write texts and emails about our Bipolar…but none of that means that they are interested…that they are going to be motivated to understand…to learn…to research read or try….

even if they say something sweet in response….if they then don’t then ask you questions or read the book you recommended and ask you how you feel about it etc etc etc….

then they haven’t gotten where you wanted them to get.

.

That doesn’t mean they are not fantastic supportive wonderful people.

they still are….

Mine definitely are

My heart just still hurts in this way.

.

Think about it like this….

Would we all be out in in the creepy public waters of the global internet sharing our most personal business if we could just talk to our best friends about it?

um no.

.

We are like aliens….living amongst the “normies”…..

we spend awhile having our hearts broken trying to explain it to our loved ones

and then

we realize we need to take greater risks…..

so we open laptops and click on keyboards…

we create usernames and little pics and “sigs”…

all in an attempt to add some humanness to the internet…..

and we start to type and read and talk and listen and share and click and reply and read and read and read and read

and write

.

but we do it

just so

we can hear

those most

magical words

.

“me too”

.

“I know”

.

“I feel ya”

.

“ME TOO”

.

These are words we will NEVER hear from our non bipolar friends and family.

It just can’t happen.

.

So the very nature of our everything forces us out into the public internet in order to find people “like us”…

who instead of saying

“um ok. thanks for sharing.” and/or thinking “holy shit”

will say

“me fucking too.”

“i KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN”

.

we love that shit

it means so much

that is why you are all here and you know it.

.

Why can’t they bottle that stuff and prescribe that?!

.

Imagine the Pdoc saying “Oh I see…hmm maybe if we add a little UNDERSTANDING to your depakote, zoloft, xanax combo we may see an improvement.

.

Damn right

.

It is hard to be alone amongst your loved ones.

It is hard to be on the other side of the river and they think you are right beside them

It is hard to hold something so enormous all by yourself.

.

Most of us do that though.

.

I love how I say “it is hard” like that even comes anywhere close to what it actually feels like.

Bipolar is like a pain cake with loneliness icing……i will stop the analogy there

.

It took me awhile and I fought it hard but I have finally resigned myself to the loneliness of it all.

To being alone with it…..

I feel like this now…“They Will Never Undertand Us”

and I feel burnt out.

But as with life….

Sometimes loss leads to freedom…

I don’t know

.

If I had cancer or Parkinson’s or something not a mental illness….

would they read the books I shyly suggested?

Would I not be shy?

Would they look for information and help and answers on their own?

I really don’t actually know.

.

But I think we ALL know though that none of us (us or them) treat our diagnosis like it is cancer or Parkinson’s or something like that?

They don’t treat us that way and we don’t feel like we are deserving of being treated like that…after all

we are just

crazy

not

dying………………..

.

until we are…

.

but then still…it doesn’t come…..

what you wish for from them…..

.

What would I do if one of these people I love received some horrible diagnosis?

What would I do if I was “normal” and one of them was diagnosed with Bipolar?

.

I would like to think that I would do what I wish that they would do now….

but perhaps I only know what to do

because I’ve been on

this side

.

It’s just lonely you guys.

You all get it

you all know it

You are on the internet reading about Bipolar disorder.

I bet you feel alone.

.

Maybe I should change the wording from

“You Are Not Alone”

to

“We are all Alone TOGETHER”

Bipolar Together

.

.

11 comments

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  1. AndrewS

    Pain cake with loneliness icing! (You need to compile a dictionary of these bon mots.) Been eating that cake all day; still tastes like horseshit😝. Definitely don’t accept terminal or even partial loneliness yet. No doubt a futile protest lodged against an unlistening universe. What can I say? I’m a bitterly pessimistic 36 year old whose “great love” left him because he was “unstable” — although she had the dubious grace to say, AFTER I started treatment, that “I don’t blame you for your disease”: and who still, against all evidence of sense and historical record, believes in shimmery fairy tales of perfect love. Maybe I’m bipolarrr? What I need right now is a teleporter so I can take a melancholy, brooding walk along the Seine, and strike up halting conversations with Parisian girls with sad eyes and dark secrets. Over and out, hope you didn’t mind this amiable benzo ramble across your blog 😜

    Liked by 2 people

      • AndrewS

        Love me benzos…mmm…I get two more today, too, cuz end of a draft and all worked up. (Then 4 days without.) I asked Sass yesterday if being a normie was like forever taking benzos and never developing a tolerance. She said, No, it’s like being dipped in Novacaine over and over and over and never feeling anything. Now that is TOO harsh; but I laughed. Sasscasm.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bittersweet1976

    Thank you for sharing… firstly a brief declaration, then a question

    I am new at all this – partner to a wife recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder 2. I happen to be a family physician, which actually seems to complicate our relationship as ‘life partners’ during this scary time. We both have many questions, doubts and worries. I need help / support – we both do. I also seek clarity to navigate this minefield of symptoms, emotions and treatments. This is why I started my blog (Google: dialogueftdepths). It’s already been helpful, just to get my thoughts and feelings clearer, but I want more. Like many bloggers have noted, public feedback and questions promote sharing ideas and support – so check me out. For now, my focus has been on the current severe depression (episode 2), and an awakening from the denial slumber. Hopefully, as my wife’s insight strengthens, she may join me on the blog to provide her perspective as a newly diagnosed couple / family, dealing with bipolar disorder 2 / cyclothymia.

    Here’s my current question – what are the ADVANTAGES with disclosing diagnosis with specific friends / family (incl kids)? It’s obviously a personal decision and from what others have written, clearly dependant on ones own stage of acceptance and timing in the relationship. As you so clearly pointed out, it requires working through issues of stigma, identity and even paranoia, which I have discovered is fairly common. Since working through this stuff is so challenging, I wonder whether the benefits of ‘coming out’ justify the efforts and if so, then gaining a deeper understanding of the benefits of disclosure, can only help sufferers reach that point sooner… to receive those benefits sooner.

    Hubby

    Like

    • bipolarfirst

      I am impressed by your level of commitment to helping you and your wife through this. As I said, if you are reading this you are the best kind of loved one. And I look forward to looking at your blog.

      Some of my knee jerk reactions to you question…I may have more later but just wanted to get my first thoughts out….

      First as you said…highly individual…I don’t don’t what sorts of family and friends you are speaking of and what your wife’s relationships are with them.

      I think coming out to those super close to you(the bipolar) and who obviously without a doubt love you beyond unconditionally…may help very much with just feeling “supported” and not so shamed.

      I would be extremely wary of coming out to anyone else. It can be extremely triggering. And if you are not 100% sure the reaction would be nothing but acceptance and love just don’t even think about it.

      Also if coming out to people I would immediately provide resources and education and hopefully you have only told people who would commit. Not to plug myself but I would encourage the reading of this blog to them in order to see Bipolar beyond the DSM text book high school presentation of Bipolar which I am sure you can see I am not at all excited about. Not a true understanding and it can breed judgement.

      As for the end of your comment where you ask if it will facilate your wife’s growth in the Bipolar in some way or hasten it or further it along….I don’t know why and this might of you off in some way but I feel like this particular thought is coming from a very scientific place and is perhaps off the mark in some way.

      It is just so much more complicated….so much more complicated. In my own experience I immediately came out to my closest loved ones and the journey was still that….a long hard journey…I don’t know that anything can be done to come to the benefits sooner…

      Well again…that is why I started this blog…because over and over again I see people struggling with the same questions…the same confusions….the same issues…

      And I just wanted to write what I have learned in order to help people going through that…

      I write what I would have loved to find back then. What I needed to hear…what I was searching for.

      So yes actually…I do hope that this can help people to relate to their Bipolar differently. To alleviate some of their confusion…to demystify it all somehow…to lighten it up a bit…to destigmatize it….even if only for the Bipolar.
      There is a lot more to it….but I have to go now.

      Once again, it makes me happy to know there are people like you out there and your ideas for your blog are amazing and could be life changing for people.

      I don’t know the ages of the children so I don’t know exactly what to say about that.

      I think for teenagers it is important to tell them but for their own sake not the sake of the Bipolar. Just matter of fact scientific no big deal kind of way just like well acne runs in our family and we will help you or alcoholism tends to run in our family so you need to be extra careful and we will help you….

      Bipolar/depression/anxiety run in our family so if you ever feel like this or this or this you need to let us know as soon as possible and we will take care of it.

      I wouldn’t really tell younger children

      but there is that balance between stigmatizing it by making it a secret and hush hush and all of that and burdening them with adult information that they won’t understand that will cause them fear and to be mistrustful and judgmental of their mother.

      Just my thoughts and opinions.

      When dealing with kids I would always be coming from the place of preparing their own perspectives of “mental illness” as if they were going to be mentally ill themselves and or live and support loved ones with mental illness.

      The odds are that they won’t “get” the illness but they may. So better that they aren’t shamed and embarrassed.

      again my opinions obviously

      Like

      • bittersweet1976

        Thanks so much for such a detailed reply.

        Do you mind if I copy your comments to my blog page or you could copy/paste them there too

        I will reflect more fully on your comments in the next couple of posts, but I just wanted to thank you for the time you took to read and respond.

        As many of the comments here highlight, your insights are so fresh and unique.
        Sending you positive vibes!

        Like

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