Monday, May 4, 2009

Loving a bipolar person...

Bipolar... A disorder that is caused by an imbalance in the brain. I guess I could go deeper into it but the definition in full is here for you to have a look at if you like. But in truth, this weekend I was approached by a friend with a question. A question concerning a young lady he was falling in love with. So what is the problem with that? They get along well, she is beautiful, he is a nice looking young man and they are both doing well. Sounded perfect to me. I asked him what I was missing.
She, the love of his life is, well to say the least, VERY bipolar. "And?" I said. Then he began to explain things to me. She is sometimes so far away in her thoughts that he can not reach her. She wanders off aimlessly, not having a clue as to what she wants nor what she is looking for. In restaurants, she sits sometimes, seemingly for a lifetime, staring at the menu. Now and then she glances over the top and with a red face, smiles at him. She cuddles next to him on the couch as they watch a movie. She plays a bit with him and laughs. He of course follows her lead and the next thing you know, they have forgotten the movie is even on. {Nothing wrong with that of course.} Suddenly, as if by some unseen force, she pushes him away and begins to watch the movie again. {{So, she changed her mind... that happens to us all.} She then gets up from the couch and goes out to the kitchen. He waits for her to return but after a few minutes, he wonders what is keeping her. He finds her in the kitchen, staring out the window. When she turns to look at him, tears are in her eyes and he knows, the night has just begun for them.
I listened to him and felt every word he said to me. He spoke of his fears and wondered if a person really can or even should start up a serious relationship with someone that is Bipolar. I had to really take a moment to think my answer through. His pain was obvious and he simply stood there shaking his head. There were other things he spoke of like her suddenly becoming angry and yelling about truly, nothing. He loved her so much but sometimes wondered if he was taking on more than he could handle.
I asked him,"Do you love her with all of your heart?" Of course he does but sometimes, she is almost emotionless and other times, she can not seem to get enough of him or of their love-making. How was he to deal with it all? My answer was simple to that question. LOVE HER... love her with tenderness and compassion and spirit. Love her in her bad times and good times. Try and understand that she can do little to change the way she is. If she could, perhaps she would. I told him that if she found a "safe place" with him, she would love him for the rest of their lives. I also told him that yes, she would be High Maintenance. She would require space and time and that to try and deny her such things, she might simply leave. I explained a little more about her being bipolar and told him a few things he might do to help her when her "moods" swept through.
Let her know you are always there for her but do not smother her. Walk with her slowly when she needs to walk slow and run like it is his last day on earth when she wants to run. Nothing he told me of her was anything that I do not deal with every minute of my life. Living with a loved one that is Bipolar is no doubt a challenge at times. There will be times when you wonder if they even care you exist. Days that they will want to be alone or will cry for no apparent reason and to touch her/him might be something that he/she will not allow. Encourage her and show her that the way she is doesn't change the way he feels. When she is in a Low, let her try and settle it in her own mind. When she cries, let her cry. It doesn't mean he did anything wrong and chances are, she couldn't give him a reason why she was crying if he asked her. When she can not seem to make a choice from a menu, talk to her and remind of of things she orders a lot. She will then feel at ease and choose something.
Above all else, never let her feel like an oddity or as if she were too much. She will find that "safety" in him and though neither may ever know why some things happen, to walk beside her through the highs and the lows is the greatest show of love he could give to her. Don't get angry with her when her moods swing fiercely from high to low and back to high again in just a few minutes. If she is with him, then she trusts him and loves him as much as her mind will allow her to. Living with someone that is Bipolar is not a walk in the park. But... life can be awesome and life can be beautiful for them both. Simply take it one moment at a time because that is how her life happens daily. The rewards can be great and the love, splendid. I think they will do fine...

12 comments:

bettyl said...

Thanks for the post. I think your advice works for any human with or without any disorders. No relationship is perfect, so we just have to take the 'not so good' and wait because the 'good' is always worth the wait.

KB said...

I think all relationships have challenges and if you love someone you will take the good with the bad regardless.

Darrel said...

you have both said it perfectly as I was writing this post I was thinking the same. Thank you for reading this and for your comments.
and KB, hugsssssssssss tight and KotaBear is doing great. smilesss HUGSSSSSSS....

Mental Health Recovery Now said...

I "never" reply to blog posts but this one is an exception. I am bipolar (and a writer) and this is one of the very best things I have ever read on bipolar disorder: free of jargon, free of crap, compassionate and clear. Well done. It's helped and touched me.

Lola said...

Great post. I often wonder about my 16 yr old daughter and her illness. She's not very mature for her age, so we are not yet having to deal with dating issues, but at some point that will come and I worry if she will be able to find someone who can love her and be able to deal with all the things we as her parents are dealing with now.

Darrel said...

MHRN, thank you from my heart for your kind words.I am glad that this has reached out to you in a good way. There are many things in life we dance around and say what the world wants to hear."Safe" words that really only reach those that dont really want to know anyways.
Open, honest and from the heart will better reach those that Do want to know or that Do relate to the words. I have been chastised more than praised for my "Way to open" writings and so words such as yours are so greatly appreciated and taken to the heart. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you again for your words. Always, Darrel

Darrel said...

lola, wonderful to see you here. I follow you in entrecard and it is nice to bridge the cyber space to here. Thank you for reading this. It is difficult sometimes to watch our children, knowing they perhaps do need a special kind of heart to love and grow with. It is the one that admits they dont fully understand you but loves you anyways that will be endearing. As long as she is always honest about where she is and things she deals with daily, there is a heart to fit hers. It is beautiful that your hearts watch for her now. That will be her greatest strength when she is out in the world herself. Bless you Always, Darrel

Healthy Diet Plans said...

Relationships are God gifted but at times they all create some troubles and problems for all. We just have to fight with all problems.

Faye said...

Having lived much of my life with 2 bipolar people I found this a very interesting post. I think it should be noted that not all bipolar people are similar, however they are need and want to be loved and accepted and need friendship. thank you Darrel for this wonderful piece.

Darrel said...

Faye, hugs to you and thank you for reading this blog. It means so mucxh to me to know you relate in this way. You are very right in that although all bipolar people have many things in common, they are each very unique and must be treated as such. but the main thing bthat we share is that we all want to be loved and accepted and we all live in a world very much created in such a way that we can survive as best as we can. Thank you again for this Hugssssssssss...

Anonymous said...

I agree this is a great post, and as a bipolar person also, it makes even greater sense. Lola, to answer your question.. I'm a 24 year old female, and I'm bipolar. I've had some really rough relationships, but my current relationship is wonderful. It takes some time and support. But I'm sure she will find someone.
Christall

Darrel said...

hiya Christall. Hugsss So wonderful to see you here. Your words and your input for Lola are wonderful. Sure miss you and I am so happy for Brody and you. Hugssssssss... Love ya, Darrel

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