I want to warn you today about something important. It’s something that I see too many supporters do. They are still making bipolar disorder the main focus of their life. At first, when your loved one was initially diagnosed and you were learning all you could about bipolar disorder, it was your main focus, and that was ok. But it still shouldn’t be the main focus of your life now. The main focus of both of your lives should now be stability, or the management of your loved one’s bipolar disorder.
You have to understand and realize that bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness and you and your loved one will be dealing with it for the rest of your lives. Still, it shouldn’t be your main focus.
Even though there is no cure for it, bipolar disorder can still be treated with medication and therapy. There are other things you can do to help your loved one to maintain their stability as well. Things that will keep the focus off their bipolar disorder. Concentrate on your relationship, for one thing. Remember that bipolar disorder is not what defines your loved one. You are with them for other reasons (and you know what those reasons are). Your loved one is a person with a unique personality, has interests and goals, and is capable of living a stable, healthy life.
Surround yours and your loved one’s life with all that life has to offer, not bipolar disorder.
Many times, I talk about how important a good relationship is to bipolar stability. Concentrate on that relationship, and make it the best that you can. Remember what brought you together in the first place. Don’t make the mistake of making bipolar disorder the only focus of your lives.
There is so much more to it than that.
You should share some common interests. Enjoy doing the same things. I know a couple who when they were dating, used to go to their favorite restaurant and eat strawberry shortcake and drink coffee and talk for hours. Despite the bipolar disorder, they still do it! What was your favorite thing to do when you were first dating? Do it again! Spend time with your children.
Or even grandchildren, if you have them. Don’t forget extended family, either. Family is important to your loved one’s stability. A social life is important, too. This is so they don’t isolate, because isolation is a trigger to a bipolar episode. And it, too, keeps the focus off the bipolar disorder. And keep fun in your lives! Try to think of some fun things to do. Another couple I know enjoys playing board games, so they do that. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or extravagant. The important thing is that you don’t make bipolar disorder the focus of your lives. Try to think of some things that will help you keep the focus off bipolar disorder in your life.
Well, I have to go!