8 Damaging Things Loved Ones of Bipolars should Never Do

GUYS! Look at this!

I wrote one of those ubiquitous Number Things pieces….you know…

20 ways to Love People Better

4 Important Things you Should Know about Tapeworms

35 remedies for being an AssHole

10 Things I Hate About You (HA)…that was obviously just sittin’ there in the subconscious.

Of course I didn’t actually MEAN to and I didn’t REALIZE I did until I got to the end…at which point I gleefully changed the title!

I’m like a REAL INTERNET WRITER NOW!!!!

maybe I should go back and see if I can change ALL my Posts to titles with Numbers!  I bet my stats would SOAR

.

oh shit did everyone leave before I even got to the good stuff (the point)

come back!!!!! It’s an Important POST

I just apparently have to tack 400 words of weirdness onto every post.

.

Let’s do it

No this isn’t going to be one of those lists of things never to say to people with mental illness etc.

it is definitely a good thing to know and I could write you one but you if you google it you’ll find it’s been done (and well) on many occasions.

stuff like everyone’s a little Bipolar…snap out of it…change the way you think change the way you feel…do yoga…all of that

I’m not doing that here.

I have written about what you should say

now how about a flip…

This is what we DON’T want you to do

and it may sound a little counterintuitive

but we do not want you to

try to make it better

don’t

stop

leave it

drop it right there

.

You can’t

.

You can’t make it better

.

You can’t lessen it

You can’t make it go away

You can’t stop it

You can’t pull us out of it

.

Maybe you can distract us

Maybe you can get a smile

or a laugh

Maybe you can make us feel less alone

Maybe you can make us feel a little more loved

maybe a little more hopeful

Maybe

.

But you aren’t going to accomplish any of that by

Trying to make it better

.

Don’t say it’s okay

it’s not

Don’t say Everything Will be Ok

it might…but only because we will fight for the power to slog through hell with our scorpion backpacks

Don’t say

You’re not alone

Because we are

DO say

I am here

because you are

.

Don’t try to solve our problem

it can’t be solved

Don’t search for the perfect thing to say that will help us feel hopeful and or insightful.

.

 

Don’t ever try to relate

Don’t ever try to relate

Don’t ever try to relate

.

Did that get through?

.

Don’t ever try to relate

.

You can do that when we are talking about some random normie issue

not ever Bipolar

not ever our feelings

.

Would you tell someone with Cancer that you can relate?

would you tell someone with a history of abuse that you can relate?

well if you would don’t

that’s not cool

and don’t do it to us either

.

Nothing will alienate and sink your Bipolar loved one faster that acting like you have any idea how this feels

You don’t

You never will

Whatever else you are struggling with in your life right now…

STOP

and count that Blessing

.

No one ever remembers to be grateful that they DON’T have Bipolar disorder.

.

We just want you to BE THERE

be available

be open

be nice

Dealing with Bipolar can be like falling down the mineshaft and being trapped alone in the dark.

We just need to know there are people up there worrying about us and waiting for us and….

crying for us

and calling…

“I’m still here!”

“Don’t worry I’m not going anywhere!”

.

And yeah it must be damn frustrating to be sitting up there scared and worrying and cold and hungry and just wishing (maybe) that you could walk away.

um yeah nothing we can do about that

.

But you know we’d do the same for you

.

One more thing not to do…

Don’t get angry when you get the pushback

this is the pushback I mean

You “You’re not an idiot”

“Yes I am”

You “I do love you”

“No you don’t you’re just saying that.”

You “I do care about you”

“No you don’t.  You wish you could leave.”

You “You’re not a burden”

“Yes I AM!”

.

and we are

we’re not stupid

we know that

we can tell it is hard for you too (well maybe not all of the time…but we will usually realize it eventually and ride the shame waves)

 

.

Don’t get offended by the pushback

and seriously…you’ve got to EXPECT the pushback…

I mean look at what we are putting you through sometimes…

We are not crazy for being afraid you might leave us…

this is serious annoying difficult shit to deal with

AND WE KNOW THAT

trust me

.

And here is the thing about pushback….

just because we can’t hear it IN THAT MOMENT

doesn’t mean it doesn’t get into us and hit us LATER

plus the pushback comes from emotional pain and insecurity

Just because we pushback doesn’t mean you shouldn’t

say those reassuring things

.

In fact not saying them and stopping saying them

is

bad bad bad

.

Don’t say things that make us feel like we will let you down by breaking down.

Things like

I believe in you

I know you can do it

etc etc etc

can be GREAT

but depending on the way they are said and depending on the intention behind them….

things like this can communicate…..

“I expect you to be strong”

and then we feel there is no room for us to be

weak

we aren’t weak

but we may feel like that when we need to collapse and cry and spew the crazy talk.

And by complimenting us too much on how strong and amazing we are….

you may inadvertently deprive us of that safe place to just be Bipolar with you.

.

Let’s do an uncharacteristic (of me) sum up just so everyone is on the same page….

Don’t!

  1. Try to make it better
  2. Say “iT’S oKAY”
  3. Try to “solve” anything
  4. Try to say something insightful and magical that will pierce through it all and make us feel better.
  5. Try to relate
  6. Get offended by pushback
  7. Stop saying reassuring things
  8. Deprive us of the space to break down.

 

(This is when I got excited and changed the title!)

.

It doesn’t really seem very nice of me to only tell you all the don’ts without leaving a DO

so we will sum that up too (I am so ORGANIZED today!)

DO say

I am here

I’m not going to leave you

Tell me more

.

Peace Love and People who Love Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 comments

Add Yours
  1. morgueticiaatoms

    This is excellent. One thing I’d like to add is for those around us to NOT make it about them. One of the first things the donor said when we were going out, and it should have sent me running into the night…I was on a manic upswing but warning him how bad the lows could get…I asked if I hit such a low if he’d stand by me…
    His reply was an ear to ear grin and, Well, I will just have to make you so happy you don’t get depressed.

    Then came the depressions and his taking it personally as if he were a failure when depression isn’t about anyone, it’s an imbalance. And after two awful bouts of six month depressions, he said I made him feel too lousy about himself and he bailed.

    Our issues may impact those around us but they have nothing to do with anyone having some super power to cure us and if they don’t then we make them feel bad.

    Don’t do this, normies, for the love of pegacorn. We all end up feeling lousy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jess Melancholia

    I agree with Morgue. Sometimes I’m so afraid that my depression (or mania for that matter!) will be too much to handle and it’ll scare people off. This is really personal but my husband tried doing that to me to PREVENT my mania. Like words are going to stop me from my symptoms. It hurt so bad because I know I can only control it to a certain extent. He has no idea that an ultimatum isn’t going to stop the cycles. I understand that bailing is in their right but it’s not justified. It just isn’t.

    It’s not my fault I have a neuro chemical imbalance. It’s not my fault my mitochondria are constantly in overdrive or my protein kinases are upregulated for no God damn reason. Or that my blood flows more to the left part of the amygdala where my feelings and emotions are controlled to an extent.

    It’s not my fault.

    I’m going to stop here because I feel a post coming. Sorry. Got a little carried away Claya.

    Great post. It made me tear up.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • bipolarfirst

      WILL PEOPLE STOP APOLOGIZING FOR RAMBLING AND GETTING CARRIED AWAY etc etc etc

      This is a Bipolar blog for Bipolar people! I WANT Y’all to get carried Away!!!

      Jess I fucking LOVED that. It made me have that yes yes YES moment. Can you go write a post like that?

      Like

  3. stephellaneous

    This is excellent. And you may have said this and I overlooked it – but another one that really fucking sticks in my craw is the, “I miss my ______ Stephanie.” Fill in the blank with “happy,” “funny,” “playful,” “fun,” etc. And then when you ARE _____ Stephanie, then it’s “Oh my god, you’ve gone crazy!” “Are you okay?” “What’s gotten into you?” “Damn, how much caffeine have you had?” Or my favorite, “Chill out.” So I can chill the fuck out and you can tell me YOU MISS YOUR FUCKING FUN STEPHANIE?

    Ahem.

    Liked by 1 person

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