I love you and I wished my thoughts stopped there, the fact is I so often don’t know how I feel. This sounds like a major problem in a relationship, does it not? Cheyenne, it’s just a mood disorder. OK well then you should understand why my moods change.
(OK some weird interior monologue going on there. Bear with me.)
The thing is everyone experiences this. 20 years into a marriage and you can’t stand the sight of the person. The way they walk the way they take so damn long to chop up vegetables. I’m not 20 years into a marriage, I’m only saying this because I don’t want any of you to thinking I believe my feelings are exclusive. We are all falling in and out of love. It’s normal.
My main point is actually how there’s more work to be done than just taking your meds. There is being as empathetic and understanding as you can with your partner. It’s knowing what you should say and what you should wait at least 24 hours to say. Bipolar or not there is such a thing as oversharing. I’m talking emotional oversharing. The impulse to break up with someone without giving it any thought, the impulse to be honest but there’s a difference between honesty and wanting to free yourself of guilt. (I often times feel extremely guilty anytime I think of ending things.)
This is mostly directed at myself so simmer on down. In my youth (har, har) I felt the need to be absolutely transparent with people (mainly the teeny boy boppers) The moment I felt unsure of my feelings or had even a speck of doubt I’d tell them. At the time I sincerely thought it was the right thing to do but dear God! the emotional toll it must’ve taken. Especially when you’re a teenager. This sort of behavior led to me going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
I was exceptionally melodramatic too but given some hypomanic and depressive episodes I can better understand why I wrote breakup letters (more like novels) ya know pouring out my heart and soul AND in fairness that’s what it felt like. It took me a while before I realized I wasn’t the darling little angel I thought I was. There I was being emotionally abusive granted I am being overly critical of myself, I can at least acknowledge why my behavior was unhealthy and extremely hurtful.
That’s why today I am cautious (maybe overly cautious) of expressing my feelings. Now don’t worry I’m not hiding anything or stuffing things down but I am staying as aware and mindful of my thoughts as possible. Before you go to tell your partner something I want to ask you to really think about what you want to say. Is it really about wanting to be honest? Really ask yourself this. Is it something that is necessary you tell them/ for them to know?
I understand how vague this all sounds. I’m really only addressing the type of thoughts we all have when we aren’t feeling our best. Sometimes it can’t be helped but when it can be I think consideration for your partners emotions is absolutely vital.
In truth I use the 48 hour rule. If I have a feeling or desire such as wanting to break up I give it 48 hours before I make any real decisions. Also it’s a discussion that would need to be had and 48 hours is the minimum.
It’s not easy knowing what feelings to trust but I have done the work to know when my fight or flight response kicks in. I realize that sometimes I am going to be apathetic and un-involved but I know how I truly feel. It is about trusting the process. Although I may hate the process of my dearly beloved Depression I know I love my partner and I’ve finally accepted that sometimes I won’t feel like I do.
Also if you have the type of relationship where your partner would prefer complete honesty, and they are aware how you function emotionally then I guess if it works that’s great. I’m just a firm believer that while we all want to know the truth sometimes it’s better to distinguish (for the sake of the one you love) between over heightened emotions and the truth. They may logically understand you don’t mean it or didn’t mean it but it would still (imaginably so) be hard to hear from the one you love most.
ALSO I apologize if I am striking any personal chords. We are imperfect by design and while I may be the author of this oh so enlightening post, that doesn’t omit me from being a hypocrite in the future.