Have you ever experienced that one perfect moment…Like when you’re looking at a sunset over the water? Or experiencing the peace of hiking in the mountains? Or being with your innocent infant when they look up at you and smile for the first time? Moments like these…Don’t you wish they would last forever? The problem is that they never do, though.
When you’re dealing with a loved one who has bipolar disorder, they go through the highs and
lows of the mood swings associated with their disorder. These are called bipolar episodes. And when they’re going through an episode, it can get pretty rough. You can feel like you’re dealing with someone you don’t even know. They will do things they would never do if they weren’t in an episode. The problem is, when you’re actually going through it, it can seem as though it’s going on forever. It can feel as though it’s never going to end. You can get so discouraged. You can get to where you feel like your loved one is always going to be this way, the way they are during this bipolar episode. And that can make you feel really awful. It can make you feel all sorts of negative emotions, in fact. It can not only make you discouraged, but it can also make you frustrated, irritated, agitated, aggravated, angry, resentful, and all sorts of things toward your loved one. Maybe even hateful!
The thing is, that it can make you feel like your loved one is the enemy…Like they’re doing these things on purpose. Like they could help it if they wanted to. Like they’re specifically doing these things to hurt you. When none of this is true. The enemy is NOT your loved one!
The enemy is their bipolar disorder! And it is making them do these things. The thing that you need to keep in mind is that this will NOT go on forever, no matter how much it feels like it will.
There are a couple things you can do about this feeling. To help them keep their loved one separate from their disorder and to remind them what their loved one is like when they’re NOT in an episode, one supporter keeps a photograph of their loved one handy from during happier times. You could do that, too. When you’re feeling like your loved one is always going to be like this, look at pictures from when they AREN’T like this, and that will help to remind you that they aren’t always like this.
Another thing you can do is to think back on past episodes when you also thought they would never end. They always did, didn’t they? You always got through them, and your loved
one always got better. So the same thing will happen again. When you start to get discouraged, try to think positive.
Well, I have to go!