Hi, how’s it going? Hope you are doing well.
Forgiveness is a difficult thing to wrap your mind around. This is especially true when you feel hurt by whatever the other person did to you. Things can make this process harder, like for instance if whatever was done is something that they might do again, then it is easy to feel the need to protect yourself from it.
I think that’s part of the reason it’s so much harder to forgive someone who has bipolar disorder for the things they do over and over again. On top of the fact that chances are this is a repeat offense, it is easy enough to assume that they would do it again. In fact, it’s smart to prepare yourself for just that.
But it’s even smarter to help prepare them for the opposite. See, as part of their treatment team, you hold a toolbox for them. They can’t always see everything in the toolbox until you show it to them. Many of these tools are things that seem so obvious to you, that you sometimes can’t figure out why they haven’t gotten it.
But try to remember that there are things that you probably ought to understand better than you do, as well. Everybody has a place to start from. The important part is to keep growing.
So if we, as supporters, can take those places where they’ve caused offense, and help them turn it around, then they can grow in time that the next time around they might not make the same mistake.
So how can we do this? Well, it’s not easy. It usually means we have to put our pride aside and talk to them reasonably while we are still angry. If they were lying, you may need to find out why they felt they had to lie. Were they afraid of your reaction? Would they have been right? That is, if they had told the truth, would you have had that bad reaction? Be honest.
Sometimes we may have to work on ourselves. Other times it has nothing to do with us. It just depends. But either way, if trust needs to be built between you two, then you might want to work on that.
If they have done something that affects you too personally, such as physically hurt you, then you may need to get outside help. At that rate, you may seriously need to decide whether they should be forgiven.
There are hard choices when the offense was something that is hard to deal with, but not necessarily life-threatening. For example, cheating on a romantic relationship is a very individual experience, and should be judged individually.
The two most important things to think about is whether the problem is their bipolar disorder (or just misbehavior), and whether it is something that can be worked on. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with things like this. It gives a format for them to work on these behaviors, and ways to see what kind of progress they are making.
If your loved one already has a therapist that works with them in that type of therapy, then you might suggest that they work on the problem behavior during their sessions. If they don’t have this type of therapist yet, it might just be time to get one.
Ultimately, it depends on you. It is easy to base how you react on your emotions, but remember, doing that is exactly what often gets your loved one into trouble. And there are always going to be things that you will need forgiveness from, too.
It’s almost always better to forgive your loved one and try to work on the problem. But this only will work if they are willing to work on it with you. It is, after all, their recovery (not yours.)
Well, what are your thoughts on this?
Well, I have to go!