Bipolar: Even When You Don’t Feel Like It


When you were younger and you didn’t feel like going to school…Your parents made you go anyway, didn’t they? Yep, mine made me go, too. Even when I didn’t feel like it. What about later? When you didn’t feel like going to work? You still had to go, didn’t you? Even when you didn’t feel like it. You can’t just call in sick just because you don’t “feel like” going to work that day. You have a responsibility to be there. And you have to meet that responsibility. Otherwise, other things will suffer. Like the bills not getting paid and other things.

Well, unfortunately, it’s the same with being a supporter. You can’t just “call in sick” because you don’t feel like “showing up” one day, can you? Even if you don’t “feel like” being there.
Just like back in school… or at work. You have responsibilities to your loved one just like you did at school and have at work. People depend on you at work, and your loved one depends on you at home. You have to “show up” and meet those responsibilities. Whether you feel like it or not.

And sometimes that can be frustrating, I know. Frustration is one of the biggest negative feelings you can have when you’re a supporter to a loved one with bipolar disorder. I know, because there were many times that I experienced frustration when I was trying to help my mom with her
bipolar disorder. I got so frustrated that time when she was in her worst episode that I wanted to turn around and walk out on her and never come back! (but of course I didn’t). The point is that many times, I sure didn’t “feel like” being her supporter!

There were many times that I just had to “show up,” like we all had to back in school on those days when we didn’t “feel like” going and our parents made us go anyway. On those days when you’re that frustrated, you just kind of tie a rope and hang on, it’s all you can do. And you hope that the next day will be better than today.

The thing is, that those days are going to happen. It’s just inevitable. Yes, there are going to be some days where your loved one seems to have improved in leaps and bounds. And that’s great!
But those days are few and far between. Mostly, their recovery will consist of long, dry days that seem to go on forever…Days where they don’t seem to have made any progress at all. Or, worse yet, days where they seem to have even gone backwards a little (or even a lot). Or they could have even had a relapse, or an episode, when they were doing great for a while, or even a long
time (or so you thought).

So that’s when you can get really frustrated. And so can your loved one. Then it’s really bad, when both of you are frustrated. It’s hard to keep a positive attitude then. But you still have to –
You still have to “show up,” even when you don’t feel like it. It’s how you get the best of this thing called bipolar disorder.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,



  1. Hi David, I am a mother/supporter of a 33 year old bipolar daughter.
    Is there ever a time to give up? There has been times in the last 20 years that have included the following…
    Drugs, death of friends due to drugs, stealing, promiscuity (of the worst kind) seeking out the lowest forms of friends, having her children taken from her, tickets, accidents, terroristic threating, aggrivated assault, filthy language, evicted from where she lives, more than one time,being set on self destruct and since she is 33, I have no rights to do anything about it.
    I just have to protect her kids, help her clean up her messes she makes with her life & start all over again.
    She needs help and I don’t even know where to turn. She has almost bankrupted me, she has NO money so where do we turn? She has even been fired by doctors and been kicked out of rehab/ physciatric care. She is in jail as of this moment but when she gets out, I do NOT want her to live with me. She has no friends because she gets on drugs and acts like an animal and not even the drug addits can tolerate her. Please tell me where to turn.

  2. I have bipolar disorder and my therapist is my only supporter. I lose interest in things and don’t feel
    like doing things; even the essentials like eating meals and taking care of myself. I force myself to
    go see my therapist because he gives me hope and this helps me to keep going. Being a supporter is a great responsibility to someone who is bipolar and should be proud of himself for taking on this difficult job.

  3. Being a supporter has been hard the past few months 4 months. He refuses to take meds and verbally abuses knocking me down so some times I can’t handle it any more. I am looking for help with the situation by can’t find it. They say come see me next week when you really want them to help you now.

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