Everyone has values, things they believe in that, no matter what anyone says or does, they can’t be shaken from these beliefs. Some people’s are religious beliefs, and no matter what, you couldn’t sway them from their religious beliefs (not that I’m saying you should ever try – I’m not saying that at all, so don’t get me wrong). Other people have political views that, no matter what, you couldn’t get them to believe anything else other than what they believe, right or wrong. That’s how strong they are in their beliefs.
But then there are other things, like personal opinions, that aren’t like these other things I mentioned. They’re not like facts, that can be proven right or wrong. They’re just opinions, so they can be swayed. Then there are people who are what some people call “wishy-washy.” They don’t seem to have any opinions or beliefs of their own. They just go along with what everyone else thinks or believes. These people just want to “fit in with the crowd.”
There are some things you can compromise on. Like you might want to go out and do something, but if your loved one isn’t feeling up to it, then you can compromise and stay home. If you are helping your loved one keep a To-Do List and they don’t get to all the things on their list, that’s ok. You can compromise on that, and assure them that it’s ok, that they can get to the other things tomorrow. If you make a decision that your loved one doesn’t agree with, then the two of you can talk about it, and there will probably be a compromise in there somewhere. Sometimes you even have to put some of your own needs aside because of your loved one’s bipolar disorder, and that involves compromise.
BUT…If your loved one asks you to do something that could damage them and their bipolar disorder in some way, on that you should NEVER compromise!
For example: If they say they’re tired of taking their medication, and ask you to stop getting it filled at the drugstore. That’s something you cannot compromise on. They need their medication to maintain their stability. Or if they want to start skipping their appointments with their doctor, psychiatrist and/or therapist, and tell you they don’t need you to drive them anymore, that they can get there by themselves, if they feel the need to go, whenever. That’s something you can’t compromise on, because that, too, could jeopardize their stability.
What if they start wanting to sleep all the time, and tell you to just leave them alone and let them sleep as much as they want, or if they start isolating in the house, not wanting to go anywhere, when you usually encourage them to be productive and get out of bed and do things? That’s an area where you can’t compromise, either, because if you do, you know that too much sleep and isolation can lead to a bipolar episode.
What if you see other signs or symptoms of an impending episode, like triggers happening, like your loved one stops taking care of themselves, or stops caring about you and your relationship?
You can’t just not say anything. On this you can’t compromise. You have to say something to them about it. What if your loved one becomes manic, starts spending excessively, starts making rash decisions, or becomes angry at you and expressing it in ways that are intolerable to you?
That, especially is something on which you cannot compromise. You have to take some action.
Just like the person whose values cannot be swayed no matter what, as a good supporter, you cannot let certain things slide. If you believe that your loved one is starting to show the signs of going into a bipolar episode, you cannot compromise. You have to take action. If your loved one won’t listen to you, then at least try to get a message to their doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist.
Your loved one should have a signed Medical Release Form on file in their offices allowing you to talk to them. But let someone know what is happening. Don’t compromise on this.
Well, I have to go!