You know I like to go hiking, right? It’s my main hobby (besides non-competitive bodybuilding), and I do it as often as I can. Hiking helps me balance out the hard work that I do, and helps me stay de-stressed. That’s what a hobby is for, and I think everyone should have at least one, and the experts agree with me.
Anyway…For my hikes, I like to pick spots that have the most beautiful surroundings, so that when I take my breaks, I can enjoy them. Makes sense, right?
So I was thinking about this…Have you ever noticed the trees? How they seem to bend in the wind but not break? And how strong their roots are? That’s what keeps them firmly planted, so that they can stand against the wind and not be blown over.
So that’s what I was thinking about, how we could learn a lesson on bipolar disorder from the trees. I was thinking about how when they bend in the wind, they’re being flexible… And how you need to be too…Sometimes.
And how when they’re being firmly planted, so that they can stand against the wind and not be blown over…That’s how you need to be against the adversity that comes into your life…Even if it comes from your loved one…At other times.
Adversity, or stress, can come from your loved one in the form of being depressed or manic
at times, especially when they’re in an episode.
So, like I was saying…There are some things you need to be flexible about. For example…It won’t kill you to be flexible about what you watch on TV. Seriously, I’ve known couples who’ve gotten into verbal battles over just what to watch on TV! And you’ve got to ask yourself, is it worth it? To fight over something so seemingly trivial?
But to these people…Hey, they’re willing to go to battle over their right to each watch what they want! Well… I agree with their rights, but…I also believe that you should, as they say, “pick
your fights.” There are some things worth fighting over, and some things that just aren’t, in my opinion. Like the TV and what you watch on it, I don’t think that’s worth a knock-down-drag-out fight, do you?
Or…Say the fight is over your teenager’s curfew time. What’s the difference if it’s 10 pm or midnight? Is it worth fighting over? Some say it is, some say it isn’t.
The point is…This might be a place where you can be flexible, like the tree bending in the wind.
You might be willing to give in to the two hours curfew time just to save the peace and your relationship with your teen.
There are some things you would be firmly planted about, of course…Like who they hang around with…Or how they are in school…Or how they act at home…And getting their chores done, etc. And meeting their responsibilities.
But on other things you can be flexible. It’s the same in your relationship with your loved
one with bipolar disorder. There are some things you will stand firmly planted on, of course, and other things you can be flexible about.
For example…You will not stand for unacceptable behavior. Like the impulsive behavior they exhibit when they’re in a bipolar manic episode.
Like risky sexual behavior, risky driving, shoplifting, excessive spending, fighting, or even substance abuse, and other unacceptable behavior that hurts them or you (or others) or has consequences in whatever way.
That’s when you put your foot down, saying that you won’t tolerate the behavior. Or at least that you will reinforce the consequences of their behavior. That’s you “being the tree,” and “not bending in the wind.”
Well, I have to go!