Relationships and Bipolar Disorder

Good evening readers, I hope this entry finds you all doing well. Tonight’s topic is relationships. How do we help those in our lives understand us and communicate in a gentle way with an understanding heart? Those who know me best know that I’m very people oriented; my family and friends are my world. 

This life we live is a vapor of the next to come. Life is so fragile, so precious, and so beautiful. Life is like the wind, it’s here and then in a blink of an eye it comes to a end. Nothing in this world can be taken with us to the grave or the life to come. The only lasting thing in this world of immeasurable value is people

Coming from a personal standpoint, over the years dealing with my bipolar, I’ve lost people in my life. I’ve seen friendships just fall to the wayside. Not because I didn’t invest in those I loved, but these people didn’t take the time to understand my bipolar. They didn’t care to, they took and never gave. Some gave their time and understanding, but then said they got tired of my illness. An illness I did not ask for, an illness that I couldn’t make go away. 

We’re not meant to walk this road of life alone. We’re humans and God created us to need each other and interact with one another. So let’s be honest here, all relationships come with difficulty at some point right? Let’s now throw in trying to deal with our depression. Trying to get them to understand our feelings and why we say or do what we do. It’s difficult at times to explain to others when we don’t even know the answer ourselves. 

Let’s strive to help those in our lives understand that friendships and relationships take work, they are two-way streets. It’s give and take in any healthy relationship. Help them help you. Talk openly with them, do not hide away behind someone you’re not, be transparent with them, and be honest with them. 

It’s important when dealing with mental health, depression, bipolar etc.… that we have a support system in place. People we trust fully, people that are invested in your well-being. Share the hardships of what it’s like. Open their hearts and minds to what we truly deal with, people are not mind readers and they can’t always see between the lines. Sometimes those who love us back away because they are afraid, but so are we. Tell them that and be honest. 

Those who truly love you and care about your well-being will listen. Maybe they could go to a counseling appointment with you, and it will help them understand you better. Be patient with them as they are trying to work all this out just like we are. It wasn’t always easy for my husband in the early years to understand why I acted the way I did, but he got involved in my treatment and it made a world of difference in our relationship. 

As I look back over the years, I am so grateful for those God placed in my life. Without them I would not be here writing this. My husband, parents, family, best friends, and church family surrounding me (us) during those inpatient hospital stays or when I was in a deep phase of my bipolar, the encouragement we received was beyond words of gratitude. 

It’s never to late to start over. If people in your life haven’t been present in your struggles and lack understanding, who knows what can take place if you and they were willing to sit down and be honest. Share your feelings of anger, frustration, and fear. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the time to help them. Build the bridges that may have been burned. Talk to others that have gone through similar circumstances. 

Read the rest of Natalie’s post for ibpf here or visit her personal blog at www.rtwtoe.blogspot.com

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