Bipolar and Love

Do they go together? Love and marriage – horse and carriage? – does it work with Bipolar?

Well I’ll be straight with you, for many years I doubted it. I was not an easy guy to live with – no doubts on that score – but I now realise my partners were not right either. That’s not some convenient airbrush of reality looking back, because both reverted to what I might call ‘street prejudice’, that is, vaulting too quickly to the default ‘you’re just a nutcase’ position. And looking back that treatment is not just plain unfair, but it makes the condition much worse, because you become convinced you are perhaps useless at best, and at worst, an evil lunatic.

When you have Bipolar you spend far too much of your conscious moments reliving bad times, bad moments, what you said, how you acted, and often there was actually no need to paralyse yourself with introspection. So when someone who is supposed to care hits on you with regularity, you begin to doubt if you have any sanity at all!

Little wonder that as many as one on four sufferers do in the end commit suicide.

And truly, but for the grace of God, I might well not have been here to write this. I felt like a tent peg that life had knocked flush with the ground, where I became unable to move, and where I was no longer visible.

Miraculously, I survived, and I now like to think it was so that I could spread a little love around and help fellow sufferers with, well, not wisdom, but give Bipolar a lighter touch, and add humour where I could. And in getting some meaning into my life, I learned to love again. There is someone out there maybe, but it’s not just about getting love from your partner. That’s just one type of love. Since coming out about Bipolar and writing about it, I’ve had love come at me from all over, every country and just about every type of person. It’s been a revelation and has taught me that love is not a right – even for those not troubled with mental illness – and as the Bible exhorts us ( and I am not at all spiritual or religious ) love thine enemy. Well it doesn’t need to be so stark, but since I started putting something back in, the ‘feel good’ I get in return is love – no doubt about it!

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