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!