Some friends of mine just had a new baby. It’s amazing how quickly and how tremendously
their lives have drastically changed! They’re really struggling with trying to figure this new parent thing out. Like what to do when the baby cries (it seems to cry for so many reasons).
Maybe you’ve had children, and you remember when they were babies (or you have a baby now)…And you remember how they would cry. and you’d have to try to figure out what they
were crying about. Did they need their diaper changed? Did they need to be fed? Did they need to be held? Did they need their pacifier? Did they need something else?
The point is, the only way that a baby has to communicate is through crying. But we learn, as an adult, that we have to communicate through words if we’re going to get our point across. In other words, you can’t expect your loved one to know what you’re thinking or feeling if you just shut down and stop communicating.
Communication is one of the most important things there is in a relationship. Especially when you’re trying to deal with bipolar disorder. So why do supporters stop talking to their loved ones with bipolar disorder? Well, usually it has to do with fear. Fear that they will make their loved one worse. Fear that it will start a fight. Fear that they won’t be understood. Fear that they will push their loved one away from them. Fear that they are making a “mountain out of a molehill.”
Fear that their thoughts and feelings aren’t really valid. Or any one of a number of reasons.
They may even be going from past experience. Some bipolar supporters have tried to talk to their
loved ones in the past and it hasn’t worked out, so they stopped talking to them. Maybe this is you. Maybe you tried sharing your thoughts or feelings with your loved one at some point and it didn’t work out exactly like you wanted it to, so you’ve stopped talking to your loved one, too.
Maybe it’s out of fear. It could be for one of the reasons I listed. Or it could be for another reason. But whatever the reason, if you’ve stopped talking to your loved one, then communications have broken down, and that’s NOT good. For you, or for them, for your relationship, or for their bipolar disorder. Maybe you just need to take a risk.
Try taking something simple. And start with that. Like making a suggestion. For example…
Maybe you can offer an opinion on what the two of you can do together this weekend or something. It’s a start! Then work up from there. Eventually, you can rebuild the walls of your
communication and be able to share your thoughts and feelings with your loved one again.
Well, I have to go!