Hi, dear reader. The weather has been pretty extreme all across the Unites States this week. Where I live there was hard pounding rain and winds up to sixty degrees. When I went outside I noticed my neighbor’s giant dead tree had broken off into my yard. I was afraid I would need to get somebody with a chainsaw to cut it up and take it away. This morning I had my internet cable fixed. Then lucky for me, two fellas came and started sawing away and throwing the lumber into the back of a open trailer. I guess the city was cleaning up all of our messes.
Wouldn’t it be nice if, after a devastating bipolar episode, your good luck fairy would POOF and make everything better. Sorry it just does not work for us. We are still responsible for our actions, however lucid we are during a manic episode. Some manic episodes are worse than others. Some of the classic behaviors of a manic episode hurt not just ourselves but others around us, too. If we go on extravagant spending sprees can really cause damage to our lifestyle and also that of our family. I had a friends who spent three thousand dollars overnight with credit cards and the internet. She was on a high buying lingerie and pots and pans. It was as though everything she wanted she could have. But, the credit cards lied. She did not have actual cash to buy the things she did. When the manic episode ended, she was left it a bad way.
Some of us are amorous. We get made up (or rather, off, the clothes come off) and go out. Our prowl is for someone to have sex with. We want, no, we need, someone to make us feel better or alive or to make our happy even better. It is probably more than one person to fill our insatiable appetite for bodily contact. When we fall back to reality we have a giant mess. Our partners may not want to be our partners anymore and what of those we had sex with? Were we “careful” in our devouring of others? Sometimes we may even contract a sexually transmitted disease. So, how do we clean up? First of all, tell your partner that you were in a manic episode and did what you did. Some of them will understand, if they are educated about the illness. Now, I said understand not forgiving. It may be too big to accept and really, can you blame them? But like with most of the messes, apologies must be made.
Now, depressive episodes can be just as trying for our friends and families. We withdraw and are irritable and not fun to be around. People may call you. Text you. Email you with invitations to go out, but why would we want to do that when all you want is to be left alone. Eventually, even when we think it will never end, our depression will lift and the fog we were in will go away. Friendships may be strained, when people who loved and liked us before do not understand why we went AWOL. Sometimes this is when you explain your bipolar disorder to people, but do not feel like you have to. It is your illness and it is your call.
The key to cleaning up a bipolar episode is to ask forgiveness. Remember, everyone makes mistakes, whether they live with bipolar disorder or not. We live with an illness in the brain. Our chemicals are not quite right. It is a reason, not an excuse, to make the messes we do.