Archive | 6:29 AM

Living with Bipolar

13 Mar

A bipolar mate, that is. Before I knew any actual bipolar person, I figured maybe they were out of control prior to a diagnosis, prior to establishing a relationship with a doctor, and prior to being medicated. I’ve heard of bipolar people making poor decisions and generally being chaotic to the point of being institutionalized–only if they stopped taking their meds.  But I didn’t realize it is a lifelong ordeal.

The above happens. BUT even people that ARE taking their meds are constantly dealing with bipolar symptoms. Cool is awesome about taking her meds, and yet her needs change and the meds will stop working from time to time.  She will randomly be so anxious at work that she’ll throw up before and during the job.  She will get depressed for no reason, and despite taking meds daily and as she should.  Something will snap and she’ll be manic–but never the fun kind of manic where she is high energy and fun–more so the insomniac, non-eating, angry kind of manic that makes her spend all her money at once or make really bad decisions.

I’m never entirely certain what to do when she is cycling.  Usually, I recommend calling the doctor right away–cause I just don’t know.  Get a medication adjustment–chemically fix it.  I’ll suggest a thousand solutions (eat healthy, exercise, do relaxation techniques, on and on) and take a firm stance with her, because all of it seems so avoidable to a person never having experienced bipolar.  I suppose that’s a little like telling an anorexic person to “just eat.”  It’s not that simple.

I guess the point is–bipolar affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed with it.  Sometimes I just have to step back, uninvest myself and watch what happens.  I can’t fix it by myself, and if Cool can’t control it–well, I have no chance of doing so either.  For example, Cool has decided(?) work makes her anxious.  And she’s really doing things that I know will eventually get her terminated.  Which, for me, would be a horrible situation that I would NEVER put myself in.  The life-altering failure of getting fired from a job would be the WORST for me.  I would really try everything to avoid it–even if I hated said job.  And the financial consequences would be dire.  For me.  But the more I try to tell Cool to get her shit together, the more she feels pressure, and the worse the anxiety gets.  So I have to pull back and let her be.  It’s hard.

I will make sure I am OK, and can get by financially with or without Cool.  Sure, I’ll be supportive when I can.  I’ll let her know she is loved, but I’m not here to “save” anyone.  It sounds bad for a mate to say, but I have to make sure I’M taken care of–because things with Cool’s bipolar/anxiety make her unpredictable.  And she needs stability–and so do I.