Bipolar

Photo by Ivana Cajina from Unsplash.

Bipolar

Comforting sun that warms

can also burn.

Summer showers cool and soothe,

but lightning strikes sometimes.

The honey bee that captivates

can inflict a painful sting.

Cheery words spoken today

may become tomorrow’s curses.

Decisions are made,

changed, and changed again.

Promises are made

but not always kept.

Friendship smiles today,

but it may weep tomorrow.

As difficult as our friendship is for me,

what hell it must be for my bipolar friend!


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia.


Mental Illness

Mental illness occurs in many forms. It can be very difficult to deal with someone who is mentally ill, but I believe they deserve our empathy and compassion. We may need to maintain good boundaries for the sake of our own sanity. It may help us in dealing with those who suffer from mental illness to remember that their illness is not their fault, and they may have little control over their feelings and behavior. They deserve professional help, and they deserve our understanding and support.

70 Comments

  1. A lovely analogy/interpretation of Bipolar. I played golf with a Biupolar friend, and there were his good and bad days, which were sometimes terrible … I seemed to handle him ok, but there were others who would not play golf with him …

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  2. I am Bipolar and friendships are really hard. I salute you for trying with your friend. It may be too hard. I find friendships really hard. My husband is a clinical social worker so he understands more than the average person. I hope you can remain friends. Maybe just a time out. Or maybe it is too much for you. It’s definitely not easy.

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    1. Thank you, Stockdale, for your kind and helpful comment. This is a friendship that will be permanent in my life. We do the best we can. I am happy you have an understanding and supportive spouse, and I credit you both for making a good life for yourselves. All the best ❤ ❤ ❤

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  3. PMDD can often mimic bipolar, and it’s often misdiagnosed as this, so I have experienced some of these highs and lows. Having effective treatment now is giving me a unique perspective! Thank you for raising awareness and encouraging compassion ❤️

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    1. Ingrid, I am so happy for you that you have found a successful treatment for PMDD. I admire you for raising consciousness about it. I did some research about bipolar disorder for this post and found that it has several forms and is often associated with ADHD and borderline personality disorder. It is interesting that PMDD can have some of the same highs and lows. Thank you so much for sharing your insights. Wishing you continued health, happiness, and success! ❤

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  4. This is a beautiful analogy, Cheryl. I fully agree with you. A mentally ill person needs our care and compassion. Duality of things have been very well depicted in your poem.

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  5. couldn’t agree more Cheryl … I had 2 lengthy calls just yesterday from one such friend who was concerned that her workplace issues were MH based. I could reassure her that 98% of workplaces have such political issues eg bullying, gossip, exclusive groups, etc … and none could be directly attributed to MH.

    Kindness is the answer, and often boundaries are vital, well written 🙂

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      1. It is important to share experiences on this and other issues. My phone has been stolen and I’ve lost lots of things because I’m too naïve. That’s life! I miss reading WordPress in the morning, while having breakfast and in the bus, on my way to work. I have to buy another one. Take care Cheryl!

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  6. Like you say, life’s ups and downs are hard as it is, but how much more so for bipolars? This crazy and quickly changing society/rule of law country we’re living in right now must be even more so – plus might even trigger more hard-to-manage responses because of our current Realities.
    Anyway, here’s to loyal, steadfast friends…you’re a good one, Cheryl!

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    1. Laura, your comment adds so much context and so many important points! I think you are right that societal problems are magnified for people with bipolar disorder. I voted by mail in the Florida primary today after doing extensive research on all of the candidates and the issues. I hope we will see some positive changes.

      Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing your thoughts. All the best in the coming week! ❤

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  7. What a wonderful poem that describes the suffering so well Cheryl. It is such a battle such an important cause to support and give a listening ear with boundaries that give structure and protection for everyone, We are all deserving no matter what we are suffering from! 💖

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  8. Unfortunately seen this affliction up close and the hardships it manifest for the inflicted and maybe even more so the ones around it. There needs to be an equal effort to address as we see in cancer and other diseases – instead too often society just brushes it aside and turn a blind eye to results on broken down street corners and homeless encampments. A excellent poem that captures the true essence.

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    1. Even in this day and age, there remains much platitudinous lip-service when it comes to proactive mental illness prevention as well as treatment. … Various mainstream news and social media will state the obvious, that society must open up its collective minds and common dialogue when it comes to far more progressively addressing the challenge of more fruitfully treating and preventing such illness in general.

      But they will typically fail to address the problem of ill men, or even boys, refusing to open up and/or ask for help due to their fear of being perceived by peers, etcetera, as weak/non-masculine. The social ramifications exist all around us; indeed, it is endured, however silently, by males of/with whom we are aware/familiar or to whom so many of us are closely related.

      Albeit perhaps a subconscious one, a mentality persists: Men can take care of themselves, and boys are basically little men.

      One might see some of that mentality reflected in, for example, a New York Times feature story (“She Was a Big Hit on TikTok. Then a Fan Showed Up With a Gun”, February 19, 2022). Written by Times reporter Elizabeth Williamson, the piece at one point states that “Instagram, owned by Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has … been accused of causing mental and emotional health problems among teenage female users.”

      A couple paragraphs down, it is also stated that “Teen girls have been repeatedly targeted by child predators.” … The plain fact is, teen boys are also targeted by child predators. Another plain fact is that mental and emotional — along with physical — health problems are being suffered by teenage boys directly due to social media use.

      Revelatory of the latter is the extensive March 9, 2022, feature story headlined “Bigorexia: Obsession with muscle gain increasing among boys” (which originally appeared in The New York Times):
      https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/fitness/bigorexia-obsession-with-muscle-gain-increasing-among-boys-1.4820697

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  9. Helping without enabling is the tricky part for most people I think. As an empath I have been pulled in to many toxic friendships and it is painful to have to pull away. I understand these are learning experiences for both of us.

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  10. Wonderful message beautifully expressed Cheryl. I’m in full agreement. Often getting help is the hardest thing in the throws of depression. You never know how a big a difference that bit of kindness can make in someones life. 🙏

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  11. Loved the analogies you share, Cheryl. It would seem nature is bipolar too yet we love it in all its glory. So it should be with those who suffer from bipolar disorder. Patience and compassion are the key. Thank you for sharing your empathetic insights. ❤️

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