People (readers) often ask me how they can best ‘take care’ of their loved one or friend with bipolar. I think the easiest way for me to answer that question is to take a moment to thank a handful of people in my life who make a massive difference in it. In no particular order these people are my husband, his parents and my two closest friends, Chelle and Tash. I will now take a moment to explain how each of these people assist me on a daily basis.
My husband, Daniel, who of course spends the most time with me, is invaluable in his ability to recognise changes in my mood and instigate/get the ball rolling in getting me treatment. Whether I be manic or depressed, he knows the necessary steps that need to be taken to get me the treatment I need. This could be as simple as medication changes or as drastic as in-patient care in a mental health facility where my psychiatrist has admitting rights. No matter the level of intervention required, he is right there by my side through the entire journey, supporting and encouraging me as I regain ‘normal’ health. He is there through the worst, including self harm and the best when I am well again and his love for me never wavers.
My parents-in-law, Terry and Margaret, are also amazing in their support for me. When I am unwell, but I am able to seek help as an out-patient, they open their home to me (and Daniel) and our menagerie of pets. In fact for more than a month now I will be staying in their home while I have electro-convulsive therapy as an out-patient in a hospital in Brisbane (near their home). When Daniel has to go back home to Chinchilla for work, Terry transports me to hospital every two days for treatment and then cares for me at home after treatment, which is quite a responsibility to take on. Managing my medications, helping me with my memory problems, ensuring I eat, sleep and take care of myself (personal hygiene etc). His care for me is in fact better than I get in hospital! My mother-in-law, Margaret, takes care of my every need too, ensuring there is food prepared for me to eat/drink, keeping my bedroom clean (just like a hotel), ensuring there are clean towels for me to use, my clothes are washed and folded for me, you get the picture – she is an angel! She even takes care of feeding and cleaning my animals and their cages when I am too unwell, her thoughtfulness and generosity knows no bounds.
My two closest friends, Tash and Chelle, keep me sane (pun intended). They help me with my memory problems. They treat me like I’m normal even when I’m not, not in an insensitive way, rather in a way that reminds me I will soon be normal again. They contact me daily, no matter what, and I cannot tell you how precious that is to me. Knowing that no matter what is happening in my life, what professional help I am seeking, medication changes I am undergoing, etc etc, no matter what, they will check in with me and let me know they care, even when things are not great in their own lives their friendship never wavers. I treasure their friendships so deeply I cannot even express it properly in words, words do not do it justice, they are precious, kind, loving, thoughtful, astounding human beings and I could not live without them.
So I hope that gives a little insight into the kinds of behaviours that are precious to a person with Bipolar, if you have any further questions please message me and I will do my best to answer them.