As long term readers of this blog (or subscribers to my YouTube channel) will know, I suffer with bipolar and anxiety disorders. Understandably, bipolar affects my life in many different ways and one of the more frustrating ways is that it can make maintaining relationships virtually impossible at times! Love can be like a sickness at the best of times however when you also throw bipolar disorder into the mix, things suddenly become a lot more complicated.
The highs and lows of bipolar are very difficult to deal with and lead to people who suffer with the condition to constantly have to reconsider just what it is that they are feeling. Is that the quick and enticing rush of new love, or is it just the beginnings of mania? It can be very tough to judge and so can be even tougher on their partner. If we can’t even work out how we are feeling, then how can we expect our partners to do the same?!
Now don’t get me wrong, mania can really help you to feel amazing if you are in a good relationship, as every little feeling is heightened by a hundred percent and it all seems more intense – in a good way. However, if you are a bad or dangerous relationship, then these feelings can be extremely hazardous. If you have your rose tinted bipolar goggles on, then it can be difficult to see what is right in front of your face and can make you stay in a relationship that you don’t want to be in for even longer.
I have experienced amazing relationships that have started during periods of mania and everything felt so intense and amazing, which gave me the confidence that I wouldn’t necessarily have had otherwise, to continue and push things further. However, I have also had relationships that I have stayed in for way too long, long past when I was no longer happy, because during periods of mania, I would convince myself that “things aren’t that bad” and so I would stay.
When you are manic it can be difficult to separate yourself so that you can truly see all of the shit that you have surrounded yourself with for what it truly is. During this stage and get past the teenage-soppy-Romeo and Juliet style feelings that you have going on, and see the world for what it actually is. This is why it is vital that you learn your own warning signs, in that you can feel when an episode is coming on and so can fight against, or accept but at least be aware of what is going on so that it doesn’t control your life too much this time.
I find it easier if I can keep track of my moods, whether that be through physically writing it down, or by using an app (there is seriously hundreds of mood tracker apps, just have a search!), whatever works best for you. Bipolar does not mean that we cannot fall in love, or that we cannot feel – hell, if anything we feel far too much! But it does mean that we have to be a little more careful when it comes to our own hearts, and more importantly, someone else’s.