Support for all members of special needs families

Random Bipolar Musings, Part 1

minion eye roll

I figured it would be a good project – asking those closest to me how it was and is for them having a wife/mom/daughter/sister/friend with bipolar. What’s challenging? What’s strange? Anything interesting? Anything good? Or not really?

The project – a series of blog posts interviewing my family members – never went anywhere, and I abandoned it. I suppose it’s not an easy thing to tell someone you love what about them you don’t like, what irritates you, what makes you roll your eyes or grate your teeth. How they make you feel bad when they’re manic and their conversational filters are completely off and they say insensitive things. But you try to be understanding, and you’re glad it doesn’t happen very often. And you’re glad they’re aware of it and take their meds religiously. At least there’s that.

Supposedly we (bipolarians?) are a creative lot, but that may be the only across-the-board positive quality. I know I have other positive qualities, but just saying. We’re all different. Some bipolarians are downright assholes. And their family members might feel that way about them too.

It was unrealistic (and probably unfair) of me to think that people would feel comfortable talking about what my disorder means to them, how it affects or has affected their lives. These are their personal thoughts, memories, and feelings, and they have a right to them. They have a right to keep them private. But it makes me wonder – what would they not want to say? And would I want to hear it?

At least no one has to pull me aside to talk to me about my hygiene (yet, anyway). My 22-year-old son who has autism, bipolar, and epilepsy puts off taking showers as long as he possibly can. I went to have dinner with him as I do once a week and gently, diplomatically had to let him know that he didn’t smell good and needed to shower more frequently. A) He says no one else says he smells, so he must not. B) He says he has better things to do.

Don’t we all?

7 thoughts on “Random Bipolar Musings, Part 1”

  • Interesting question! I think more than comfort, it’s a matter of safety – how safe do others feel in sharing their thoughts on the matter?

    • Carrie, yes, safety probably has a lot to do with it. Thanks for your insight!

  • Dealing with anyone who has extra needs, who cannot pull the weight needed so one has to do more while dealing with ones own issues is alway tiring. It’s more work, more worry, more stress. With bipolar swings, rationality often goes out the window. It’s just MORE at times when all of us want a reprieve at best. and unbearable MORE when we are stretched ourselves. More work, more trouble,

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for your comment. I definitely agree with you. I used to always say there is no light at the end of the tunnel when you’re raising a child with special needs, because the tunnel has no end. And when there’s no one else to help pull the weight, it can certainly be unbearable. I appreciate your input.
      Best wishes,

  • I think I’m too oblivious to make the connection between behavior and disorder/ disease! Or I’ve been guilty of over-analyzing a situation. But I’m usually not cognizant in the moment so I would make a terrible interviewee on the subject. I sure do like the term bipolarian, though!

  • Tanya, any project you want to do, I’d be happy to help. Exploring how we interact with others and their responses is important. But just so you know – anything you want to interview me about – I’m here for you!

  • Another thought-provoking post, Tanya. I think sometimes family dynamics interfere with getting projects off he ground whether or not they have to do with a family member with special needs. Over the years, I’ve thought I could get some crazy-good projects going with my sisters on sisterhood, but while they’re supportive, it’s not really their thing. The spark isn’t there. So I have to work on projects with people who do feel the spark.

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