…now I don’t recognize the person and they are pushing me away. If this sounds familiar to you- then you may be one of the several people who have sent me a very similar comment or email. In most cases, it’s of a romantic subtext. What’s going on in that person’s mind? Can you help? How can you get it back?
A Bipolar who is intensely energetic, passionate to the point of it being too much, outgoing with no barriers, and filled with grand ideas for a future for the two of you is probably very manic. It just so happens that manic individuals come across as more charismatic and on point because their mind harbors no doubts on their behavior and is moving in overdrive. It is very easy for anyone to be enticed and grow deep emotions very quickly for a manic Bipolar if they don’t understand what’s going on and how damaging it is.
What does that mean for the people that fall for a Bipolar during a manic cycle? Probably being severely hurt. That overly energetic, far too passionate person is going to crash into deep depression. Chances are pretty good that any “feelings” they thought they had while manic are going to disappear when they crash out. You’re still confronted with getting to know an entirely different person in the event that they happen to retain some of those emotions. It’s probably not going to be the person you fell for initially.
Then the questions arise- what did I do wrong? How can I get that person I fell in love with back? You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s the normal ebb and flow of Bipolar Disorder. Exceptionally stupid people may try to put the blame on you; but a Bipolar’s emotions changing completely with a mood shift is as natural to us as breathing.
And what about getting that person back? You don’t want that manic person back. You see that frenetic, energetic, fearless mind that so enthralled your mind and emotions is also the same mind that will sell their stuff and fly to Paris tomorrow to start their new life. The manic mind is just as chaotic and destructive as the depressive mind. It’s not something you’ll want back because eventually it will bite you on the ass.
The reality is- you fell in love with just one fragment of that person. If you haven’t spent enough time with the person (a year+) then you probably haven’t experienced their “normal”- how they would be if medicated and managed properly.
But why won’t the person talk to you now? Why do they keep pushing you away and trying to isolate themselves? Well- what goes up must come down. If they are manic they will eventually crash into a deep depression. And a lot of people going through depression don’t want to deal or be around anyone. They may have also been diagnosed but not really understand why the things are happening in their head as they are. For many, it’s easier to avoid someone then try to explain to them how you could love them more than life itself one day and not care whether they were alive or dead the next.
A lot of Bipolar people simply cannot deal with this chaos particularly right after they crashed. The mind is in flux for a little while after a major cycle so they may also be trying to retreat to collect their thoughts so they can figure them out. They may also be reminded of all of their previous failures because of the chaos in their mind and not be able to cope with it at the moment.
Quite a few people want to put the blame on the Bipolar person. They think that the person is purposefully jerking them around or playing with their heart for no reason. While there are undoubtedly some assholes that probably do that- the people genuinely affected may be just as confused as you are. Take a moment to consider the person you’ve loved most in life and the person you’ve hated most in life. If you haven’t experienced true hatred before- think child molester level of hatred.
Now just imagine if you woke up tomorrow and you had a child molester level of hatred for the person you’ve loved most. No rhyme, no reason. It was nothing that person did. Your brain just woke up and decided “hey.. fuck that mother fucker.” That is similar to what you are dealing with in regards to a Bipolar crashing out of a mania and their “love” disappearing. It’s probably not vehement hatred; but chances are good it’s more along the lines of “I don’t know you.” or just not feeling anything for you at all.
The Bipolar that crashes and retreats is probably in a similar mentality. If the Bipolar crashes and wants to talk about it or try and involve you; that’s an entirely different story. Then the two of you can try to move forward together. If they retreat and continuously fight you; you’re probably going to be better off just letting go.
“But I need closure!” I’m no rocket surgeon, but to me, a person who claimed to love me but refused to talk to me for weeks seems like they are providing plenty of closure. Actions speak far louder than words. Why do people need to hear “this will never work” when they’ve already been shown it won’t?
So how can you identify if that special person you just met who said they are Bipolar, who you are falling for, and want to spend your life with is actually level enough to make that kind of judgment? Well- the world isn’t ending tomorrow. Take things plenty slow. The Bipolar person should have at least a bit of doubt or reservation about the whole thing. If they are talking grand plans of weddings, buy a house together, and so on within a couple months; I would be pretty hesitant to move forward on anything. If their personality is so striking, enamoring, more unique than anything you’ve experienced; that could very well be mania.
Go slow and take your time. Wait at least a year or two before entering anything major. That will give plenty of time for that person to crash back to baseline if they are going to. And for the love of God- don’t joint sign for ANYTHING. Keep your finances separate so they can’t clean you out should they decide to pursue their childhood dream of going to Hollywood to make it big. It can easily happen and they will think it is their best idea ever until they crash out of their unwell cycle and realize how drastically they fucked up.
And finally- there are those that have mentioned that mental illness is no excuse and they should be more responsible with their emotions and actions. Thank you for your incredible insight! You are an unrecognized innovator of mental health treatment and should definitely go before the WHO to put forward your idiotic ideas!
It’s “Mental Illness” and “Mood Disorder”; not “Mental Super Happy Fun Time”. Most of us do not like that we do serious damage to people we care about, that care about us, and our ability to live life. It fucking sucks knowing you tore the heart out of a loved one’s chest if you actually love that person. Even if you have everything under control as much as you possibly can, it is no guarantee of success or that you won’t end up backsliding and doing similarly terrible shit to people you care about.
That’s just life with Bipolar Disorder.
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