Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Loving someone with bipolar disorder

How do you love with someone with bipolar disorder?

It's hard af.

I struggle to love me, and I have bipolar disorder.

I've got friends who love me though. I asked them what makes me so appealing, and they had some surprising answers,

One of my friends told me she loves me because I'm funny, I'm creative, and I'm kind. She loves me because I genuinely want to do good in the world.

My other friend had similar answers; I'm funny, honest, and compassionate.

I was once told that even though I'm a difficult person, there's still something innately likeable about me, and well, my friends' answers prove that's true.

My daughter loves me because she relates to the mood swings, and understands when I'm struggling.

My husband shows his love for me by being kind, compassionate, and understanding.

What does that compassion look like?

He knows I love Robert Downey, Jr, so when I'm in a funk, he'll turn on movies with him in it. I just recently watched Sherlock Holmes, and snuggling my husband and enjoying the movie really helped me know I'm loved.  He forces me to talk when I want nothing more than to clam up. He takes me out on dates when I want to curl up in bed and sulk, He surprises me with trips for just the two of us, to help me get out of my head, and to have something to look forward to.

So loving a person with bipolar disorder isn't easy. We're unpredictable, there's a chance we might hurt you when we're hurting too. I inadvertently hurt a good friend of mine with my last suicide attempt, and I'm having to suffer the consequences of that right now. But I'm still innately likeable. I'm still a good person, even though I do have mood swings, even though I have rages, even though I cry and sulk.

I also delight in making people happy, and serving others. And people see that about me.

I'm loved because I'm quirky.

So to love a person with bipolar disorder, you have to be willing to be hurt, you have to take a chance, You have to be prepared to roll with the punches (not literally, I hope). But there are so many good sides to loving a person with it. We're usually quite creative, and can help you get your house beautified, or help you with a DIY project you're stuck on, We can chatter your ear off for hours, and yet we can also turn around and listen when you need someone to lean on too.

Loving someone with bipolar disorder is chancy, and can be scary, but the person behind the disorder is usually worth the trouble. Like an ogre, (and an onion), there are layers to a person. And peeling back the layers and starting to love someone with bipolar disorder is a beautiful thing.

Like people say, if it's difficult, it's usually worth it. And a friendship with someone with mental illness can be difficult, but is so worth it. 

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