Bipolar: Getting What You Pay For


Have you ever seen this commercial for a chocolate candy that is made up of AIR in the middle?
That’s right, just AIR! And they’re marketing this like it’s a desirable thing! Like you’re supposed to want it, and want to pay more for a candy that’s nothing but AIR in the middle! Am I wrong here, or are they just insulting my intelligence, but I don’t think that this is a really good thing here. I think this is an EMPTY thing (just air) that they’re trying to make us believe is something desirable, something we should want and think is really cool. Well, I for one, don’t think it’s really cool. Or desirable. I think it’s a rip-off.

I don’t think in this life that you get something for nothing. I think that “You get what you pay for,” as the saying goes. Like even with bipolar disorder: You get what you “pay for” even with bipolar disorder – in other words, you get what you expect.

Here’s what I’m talking about: Say that you wake up in the morning, and you expect that today is just going to be more of the same, that your loved one is going to be just as bad today as they were yesterday, and there is just no hope. Well, guess what? You get what you pay for! Chances are…Your loved one WILL be just as bad today then as they were yesterday. You’ve kind of “doomed” them to no improvement, because you don’t expect any more from them than that.
And if that’s the way you’re going to be, you’re kind of enabling them. When you enable your loved one, you allow them to continue unacceptable behavior, because you don’t expect any better of them. So why should they even try to do any better if it’s not expected of them? I mean, if you don’t expect it of them, why should they expect it of themselves?

Have you ever heard the expression: “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” It might seem obvious to you, but it’s true. Nothing changes unless you change it. But if you don’t see that anything needs to change, you’re not going to change it. In other words, if everything is going along, and you think that everything’s fine, you won’t see a need for change. That’s how your loved one will be. Yet they may be doing things that are unacceptable to you. They may be doing things like in a bipolar episode that have no consequences to them, so they won’t see any need to change their behavior at all, but these things can really hurt you. And you may be feeling some really bad feelings inside because of this. Some negative feelings that you’re just stuffing.

Feelings like:

• Frustration
• Anger
• Disappointment
• Mistrust
• Loneliness
• Self-Pity
• Resentment
• Guilt
And if you keep stuffing these feelings, well…You “get what you pay for” there, too. In other words, it could make you sick. It will come out in some way. Like give you headaches, stomach aches, body aches, etc. So you have to do something about it. You have to talk to your loved one about their unacceptable behavior, and even set some limits or consequences to their behavior. I know it may be the last thing you really want to do. But still…For your own sake…You have to do it. Or you’re going to get sick, and you don’t want that.

The best thing to do is to wait for a time when they are receptive to you, maybe a time when they are in a good mood, and just openly share your feelings with them. Hopefully, they will hear you and be willing to change and accept what you have to say. At least you have to try.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,



  1. Dave,
    Thanks for this latest offering. It really helped me out. I never thought I would end up with a family member who had mental illness until my 14 year old daughter ended up having an emergency “psychiatric” evaluation at a hospital a few weeks ago because her school demanded it after erratic behavior. Now, as we try to adjust meds, I never know what will happen next when the phone rings. I was in a constant state of panic. Only after I remembered you saying that a caretaker must also take care of themselves, did I pull myself together and get back to what my life needed to be done. I no longer am freaked out continuously over what the latest calamity might be. Thanks for all you do because if I had not remembered what you have said in your daily emails, I would still be a basket case right now. Thanks so much!

  2. Yes I agree with you. My ex husband was bipolar and I did that. And started letting my family do the same and friends and family.
    I got help and I kindof find it fun now. All though dealing with a bipolar had left me completely untrusting of people but learning to call it out as it is. Being a woman it’s hard I found it first like I ways being rude, but when you really just take a step back and repeat what just took place to the bully and turn it around to them , I have found they run.
    When there is nothing for a manipulator to get from you they move on, or even better make it more about you.
    The hard part is remaining calm because they try to push your buttons on things that you are sensitive about other then them.
    Whatch out remain calm and turn it back to the person..
    Careful they may freak. That’s good it’s another manipulation about you. The hard part is for me is letting go. Remember if we to hold a tought in our head that long us to can become mentally ill or sick.
    Thanks for this letter will have to keep it close to remember and not forgot. I love having a voice but the stronger I get and the bullying I have taken I have to take a step back and tell my self I am not going to be a bully to so nice calm words, I sometimes want to attack and go for the jugular
    My therapist says because of what I have been through and still alittle sick myself from it all..
    My husband was a alcholic bipolar
    I never knew those people before or even understood manipulation so have a long ways to go and try not to judge anyone just remember that I have a choice now and it takes awhile to really know someone.
    Jesus forgives and we must too
    God bless

  3. coming in with “lots of pain” and falling asleep in heavenly slumber just to wake up “pain-free” with a glowing smile on my face is absolutely Priceless! I just had that experience this Tuesday morning!!!! I woke up talking nonstop to my Elder Daughter about how good life feels when there’s no more pain.

    wiped it?




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *