I saw my parents today. They came over to my flat and I made them coffee. We had a catch up and giggled at my Mum attempting to play video games.
We moved on to how well I’ve been coping recently. They told me they were so happy to see me stable and well. Then they told me what they didn’t miss about me being ill. The mania and what it often leads to; anger. They don’t hold back my Mum and Dad. They tell me how it is. Although, it’s been a long road to get to this point.
My family and partner used to creep around me when I was manic. They didn’t want to say anything that would make me lose my temper and really, just about everything did.
I used to be fully aware that everyone around me was scared to call me out on my behaviour. The problem when I’m manic is that I’m delusional and believe that whatever I do and say is right and justified. No one can tell me otherwise. Knowing they were too worried to say anything to me riled me up even more. It made me feel like a freak, someone that needed fixing and I hated that idea.
I’ve learnt to recognise it. Here’s how:
One of the main ways I’ve done it is making sure my family and friends call me out on my behaviour. I don’t mean confront me, or make negative statements. They tell me my anger or behaviour isn’t normal for me (normal for me, because there’s no such thing as normal) and I should take a step back and think about how my actions are hurting others.
The problem with this is when I’m manic I can’t be reasoned with. Everyone is wrong. There’s nothing wrong with me. I can’t see through my behaviour. There’s no voice telling me to stop or behave. No usual voice of reason we all have that says,
“Should you really do/say that?”
I’ve learnt to rely on my partner and family to be that voice of reason.
When I’m in the midst of bipolar anger there’s no point telling me to calm down. Or to explain anything really, it just doesn’t get through to me. So I ask people to tell me when I’m more stable how out of control I was. Then I’m in the mindset to say I’m sorry and reflect.
They know I need help at those points. I won’t realise it, but my loved ones do. A support system is so important to have. They keep me grounded in reality when otherwise my world would unravel.