If you have been reading my blogs for the last day and a half you must be wondering, what the hell journey is this guy on?! One moment I am talking about how to avoid feeding off your bipolar partners emotions and the next I am talking about how my own relationship has gone sideways.
Welcome to the life of a Bipolar.
Despite our best laid plans, things go sideways. If you don’t know what FUBAR means, ask a veteran. Things went FUBAR last night. Our best laid plans went out the window.
That is the life of living with Bipolar. Shit happens and there is no way to avoid it. So, what do you do when it hits the fan and sprays all over the room? You take a deep breath, pray to your Higher Power for forgiveness, understanding, and mercy and bite the bullet.
The whole situation looks like a tangle of spaghetti and you don’t know where to start. Start by looking within yourself.
Did I do something wrong? Was there something that I should have done but didn’t do? What can I take away from this whole affair so that it doesn’t happen again?
There are a hundred questions that you can ask yourself but the first question we often ask is where do we go from here?
Take another deep breath.
If you find yourself in this situation, where your relationship has hit a brick wall at ninety, step out of the vehicle and assess the damage.
We can’t fix everything, especially when mental illness has warped reality around a telephone pole. But the things that we can fix, we must be humble, merciful, and willing to make that first step towards amends. Even if you feel and believe that you have done nothing wrong, be the first to make that amends.
I’m sorry things spun out of control like they did, is what you say.
If that person is not ready to listen yet, back off and give them some space to sort things out themselves. As much as you want to fix things, there are times that you need to let the engine cool down before you start working on it.
I’ve taken classes on marriage counseling, I’ve given marriage counseling, I sat in marriage counseling alone for my own relationship. But by no means am I Dr. Phil.
What I have learned from those years of experience is that silence IS a problem. The silent treatment does not work. All it does is causes the wounds to fester and rot. The infection, if left untreated, will seep into the rest of the body and sooner than you think you are septic.
But if your partner does not want to talk, don’t force them. If they are at least willing to listen, open the door to reconciliation.
Don’t say that you are sorry if you are not at fault. But if you are at fault, if there was something that you said or did, or didn’t do, make those apologies quickly and then let the other person have time to recover.
We who have Bipolar live in our own heads. Thoughts bounce around like a rubber ball on crack and before you know it there are a hundred rubber balls bouncing around in your skull. Often times we need to open a door or window so that they can bounce right outside where they belong.
The hardest thing is seeing the one you love and care about suffer inside their own heads. You are powerless to their illness. And there is no way to take that power back. So take another deep breath.
Check yourself and your own mental faculties. The most important person for you to take care of first is yourself. If you are not taking care of yourself you will soon become useless, or worst a problem, to the person that you are trying to help. Do some internal housecleaning and get your shit in order before you venture out into helping them. Too often, if we don’t do that, we make the situation worst.
I got a little bit of restless sleep after being up and manic for 48 hours. I drank half a pot of coffee and popped a handful of ibuprofen. Now I am taking my own deep breaths and am trying to expel the negative thoughts and emotions that are creeping in. I found from all this that it is nearly impossible, and very unhealthy, to try and take care of yourself and another person at the same time. You can only do one or the other, else both will suffer.
My take away from all this: relationships can really suck sometimes.