How’s it going?
Bill, a friend of mine, has a mother with bipolar disorder.
She didn’t find it out until recently, either, and she’s in her 60’s.
It took a major episode that put her in the hospital to find out her diagnosis.
She got put on the right medication and is seeing a therapist now, and is very stable.
In fact, she’s getting married!
But here’s the most important thing –
The man she’s going to marry knew that he had to learn more about bipolar disorder .
He recognized that that would be a necessity if he was going to marry her and be her supporter.
He even got my supporter course, and said that it helped him immensely to understand her.
More than that, he said that he has more confidence in his own ability to take care of her (and her bipolar disorder) in the way that he needs to.
I hear the same thing from many supporters who get my courses:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Bill’s mom also read my survivor’s course so she could learn more about her own disorder.
Not just because I wrote them, but I do believe that these courses give both the supporter and their loved one the information they need to fight this battle together.
Look at it this way –
If you just found out you had a lifetime illness (which bipolar disorder is), like diabetes or something like that, you would want to know everything you could about it.
I think Bill’s mom and the man she’s going to marry are going to get off to a very good
I was also told that they’ve been “best friends” for six years already!
Whether you have bipolar disorder or not, that’s the way to go.
Bill also has the disorder, and he and his wife are best friends as well. He says it helps get through the rocky times when just plain love isn’t enough.
Now, Bill’s wife Betty is a good supporter.
She knew when she married Bill that his bipolar disorder was a major thing that they would have to contend with, because they’d also been friends for many years before they got married.
Sometimes, as a supporter, if you’re married to someone with the disorder, you may have to take a step back and be “friends first.”
When things get really difficult, try to think of your loved one as a friend first, someone you’re trying to help.
It can make things easier.
Sometimes a married couple can get so caught up in the marriage part that they forget that they were friends first.
What I’m talking about is a mindset here.
Try being a friend to your loved one and to treat them like you would any other friend.
Just taking that one step back can help you see things in a different light.
I’m not saying to discount your feelings or anything.
You can still feel the way you feel.
But by taking the attitude of a friend, you may be an even more effective supporter.
It will help you both to stay on the same team, too.
With the same goal – stability for your loved one.
Sometimes, as a friend you can be more patient than otherwise.
Try this approach and see if it makes a difference in your relationship.