I made the huge mistake today of venturing over to my You-Tube channel and reading the comments on my videos. Now I remember why I don’t do that too often. Some people are so nasty. I guess I can’t believe that someone would take the time to write something. I must have really pissed them off. It is not like my videos are seen by millions of people or I am hugely influential. So why do they bother? Beats the heck out of me.
I was going to start responding to the comments. I even started typing but I stopped. You know why? I was just getting wound up and nothing I could possibly say to these people would either change their views or their opinion of me. So I back-spaced, erased and closed the window.
When I first started my You-Tube channel and my blog, it was to give a voice to the spouses of people living with bipolar disorder. I haven’t made a video in a really long time and I rarely do blog posts about bipolar disorder anymore. Mostly because my husband has been stable now for years. It is funny how in good times, we completely forget just how bad and chaotic life can get when a mental illness gets out of control. Maybe it is nature’s way of rejuvenation and renewal. A time to remember why you got together with this person in the first place. A time to strengthen your bonds of love and most importantly, to build memories that will see you through the hard times.
Another reason I have pulled back from writing about bipolar disorder is because of the negative feedback I get from people who have bipolar disorder. Most of the time it is very clear that they are not in a good place at the moment when they are responding to my posts. I get that. But I don’t have to deal with their illness or symptoms and have the luxury to shut it out. Besides, I am living a chaos free life right now and really don’t want to venture down into that rabbit hole with them. I can not diagnose them or give them advice except to tell them to find some professional help. And don’t stop until they do.
I guess the thing that pisses me off about most of the comments from those actually living with bipolar disorder is that they don’t actually get that I am not making videos or writing blog posts for them. There are a million resources/sites/blogs online for people who are suffering from a mental illness. People with bipolar disorder can check out those for information or support. I am here for those that are the carers, the spouses, the parents, the children and the friends that are suffering because they choose to support and love someone with bipolar disorder. I share MY experiences, MY feelings and MY situation. If that helps even one person see a light at the end of the tunnel, awesome.
Just like I can not claim to know what is going on in my husband’s head or really truly know what it is like to have bipolar disorder, those that have the illness don’t have any idea what it is like to be one of us either. PERIOD. Stop the double standard. Stop criticizing me on semantics. Stop getting pissed at me because “I don’t understand”. Stop making assumptions about me and my husband and our relationship. YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT. Move along or pass my posts over to someone else in your life and see if they can relate to what I said/wrote.
But just in case you are still here and want to get a glimpse into our world…
- Sometimes we are, just as much as you are, at a loss at how to handle YOUR mental illness.
- Sometimes we make mistakes.
- Sometimes we get pissed off.
- Sometimes we have moods or get depressed too.
- Sometimes we get so sick of having to be the “stable” one and keeping everything together.
- Sometimes we get emotional and need a break from you.
- Sometimes we reach the end of our rope and want to walk away.
- Sometimes we hate the disorder and all the symptoms so much we can’t separate you from it.
- Sometimes we hate ourselves because we love you so much and want to help you but we feel like we are failing miserably.
- Sometimes we want to be selfish and just look after us for a while.
- Sometimes we want to vent to others about the illness and yes, you.
- Sometimes we want to cry and scream and shake you into sanity.
- Sometimes we are irrational.
- Sometimes we want to hug and kiss you but we are rebuked.
- Sometimes it feels like we can not do anything right.
- Sometimes we want to turn back time.
- Sometimes we think if we can just get you to listen, everything will work out fine.
- Sometimes we look back and laugh at ourselves, you and the whole damn mess.
- Sometimes that is the only way we can get through it.
- Sometimes we make it worse.
- Sometimes we make it better.
- Sometimes it feels like we are the only ones working on your stability.
- Sometimes we feel like your parent and we resent that.
- Sometimes we want to be taken care of.
- Sometimes we are a mess.
- Sometimes we will say things that will hurt you.
- Sometimes we do it on purpose.
- Sometimes we can be more sick than you.
- Sometimes we want to be able to express our feelings and emotions openly and honestly without being judged as right or wrong.
Straight up. None of the above things/feelings/emotions/actions are exclusive to a relationship with a spouse that has bipolar disorder but for some reason, people seem to think that we have to keep our mouths shut and suck it up just because our spouses have a mental disorder and we should just understand. That’s not fair.
For those of you with bipolar disorder, know that I love my husband and we have a fabulous relationship and I would never say/share anything in public without his full prior consent and input. We have learnt how to talk through the past and yes, laugh at each other whole heartedly. We have learned a long ago to not take anything personally in times of crisis and maybe you should too.
For those of you living with a person who has bipolar disorder, if you come across my videos or posts, know that I’ve been there, done that and have a wonderful relationship with a spouse that has bipolar disorder. Everyone can and should have stable relationships in their lives, even when one has a mental illness. My way is not the only way to achieve that. I only want to show you that it is possible.