Bipolar: Strength in Numbers

I am an average guy. So average, we joke about it in my family. Average height. Average sense of humor. Average weight….

Ok, so below average height (except in certain countries), above average weight and I think pretty damn funny sometimes. My family thinks that, too. Except those times that the Jack-in-the-Box pops out and becomes a raving lunatic. I have been diagnosed as being “borderline” bi-polar. And I am not who you think I am. I can be as patient as the Dalai Lama or as angry as the Incredible Hulk. In the same day. Hell, in the same hour.

Not sure if you read the title of this, but I am trying to do what the therapists all say and to remind myself that I am not alone. I am doing that by trying to tell YOU that you are not alone. I mean, think about it….if I think even 1 person suffers or I could help them, I prove to myself that I am not alone. It makes sense in my head so just go with it.

I finally found a medication that works for me. So, why am I writing this? Because I am currently off my rocker…er, meds. Due to a “scheduling mix up” with an online pharmacy, I have unintentionally gone off my Abilify for over a week. I pray the medicine gets here everyday and it really could be. But this really isn’t the point…

The point is, my bipolar disorder has now taken back over, mixed in with some withdrawal effects that are very unnerving (Ha, unnerving. Get it?).

Now the real point: how do you apologize to the people you care about the most who you ultimately hurt the most? Answer: you can’t.

I know, I know. You are thinking “Wait….what? WTF, Jack…what’s the point of this blog if you aren’t giving me any answers??!”. I mean you can’t just say you are sorry. Again…and again…and again and expect it to change anything. You know this. If you are reading this, you can probably empathize and are looking for answers.

What do we do? First, don’t stop saying you are sorry…as long as you mean it. But, more importantly, do EVERYTHING in your power to CHANGE how you react to things. You know you are hurting the people you care about. The people you care about the most are probably getting hurt the worst. You watch day after day as they pull further away from you. Not because they don’t love you but because a human being can only take so much. Look at it from their point of view. If they know you are bipolar, that adds a level of hopelessness and fear that the person they love may be too broken to deal with. Or that things may never change.

I love my girlfriend. She is amazing. Unfortunately, she does not hear that enough from me. My fears from past relationships of being hurt, mixed with being bipolar and probably some OCD make me say more harmful things than positive things. But, reality is, she is beautiful. She is funny and witty. She is down to earth and she has (for the most part) a very calming influence over me. I say for the most part, because I let my own fears get in the way of it being all the time.

She has the ability to hurt me the most which means I have the most fear of her. Kind of counter-productive, huh? I lose her more and more everyday because I can’t seem to muster the strength to change my biggest flaws. I have said I’m sorry more times than I can remember and am not sure at what point she stopped listening to them.

I wish I could give you some sort of happy ending at this point, but this post….is just the beginning. Her and I are not doing well right now. I have hurt her again. Not that she doesn’t have her flaws (it does take 2 in a relationship) but I just can’t let some things go that I really need to. I get fearful and I then get controlling. We end up arguing more than we don’t and we both have too much other stuff going on in our lives for that.

So, we start again. With the hope that today will be the beginning of real change. “There have been  days without incident.” Maybe putting a number to it will make me pay attention. Sort of a challenge to see how many days I can go. Maybe turn “days” into “months” or even “years”. But let’s start small.

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