The very nature of being bipolar is a contradiction of moods. The depths of depression contradict with the mania of the highs. The good contradicts with the bad. In many cases, with mixed states and rapid cycling the contradiction is simultaneous. For myself, the contradictions are obvious and many.
How can I be so smart yet do so many stupid things? On the whole, people with bipolar disorder tend to be smarter than our peers. Not to blow my own horn, but I believe that to be the case for not only myself, but all the others I know who are bipolar. I have succeeded beyond my capabilities, I can relate and interact with others who are far more educated and accomplished, and I can grasp difficult concepts quickly and easily. But I do very stupid things. Things like writing my blog at work instead of doing what I’m paid to do, which puts my job at risk. Deciding to go off my meds when I know that I really am not doing as well as I think I am, and that I have to depend on them to maintain my mood. Trying to deal with the extreme highs and lows on my own when I know that I need the help of others. And I do many other really stupid things too numerous to mention.
How can I be so accommodating yet so hard to live with? I’ve lost most of my relationships because my partners find it so hard to live with me. But I’m a very easy going housemate. If I don’t like the fact that they leave dirty dishes in the sink (OCD symptom!) then I just make sure I go behind and wash them. If they have a particular way they want to decorate the house, I never disagree. I look for ways to make life better from always taking out the garbage when it’s needed to putting the toilet seat down, every time. I’m always the gentleman… I open doors and carry packages and generally treat my partner like a princess. But it’s never enough, and contributes to the problem I have with keeping a relationship.
How can I be so committed to a relationship yet have so many that have failed? When I’m involved with someone, it’s always 100%. I throw myself into relationships without any reservation or hesitation. While I’m in the relationship I try to do everything I can to take care of my partner. Yet, none of the women I’ve been involved with to date have stayed committed to me. Even though I’ve sometimes chosen to end a relationship, it’s only after it’s become apparent to me that I’ve lost the commitment of my partner.
Why am I so loving, yet keep choosing partners who seem incapable of love? Particularly with my marriages, by the end of the relationship I find out that there has never really been any love from my wife. It seems like with all four marriages their motivation was based on how they were treated, or how good a husband I appeared to others, or even just the financial advantage of being with me. When I love someone it’s 100%. But in my relationships I’ve never felt 100% loved, at least not for the long term.
How can I be so intolerant of others yet expect everyone else to accommodate my needs. I do not suffer fools kindly. I have a tendency to hold everyone I interact with to my own high standards, and am irritated with they don’t meet my expectations. I get very annoyed when the person driving in front of me is going too slowly, or I’m going to slow for the person behind me. How can I expect my extreme behaviors to be acceptable, yet be so impatient with others who may be dealing with their own issues?
Being bipolar is definitely a challenge. Part of my challenge is to deal with the inconsistencies and contradictions in a way that’s fair and reasonable. I need to learn how to hold myself to the same level of expectations as I do of others. I need to learn to be tolerant of others opinions and perspectives.
Now, I’ve taken the time to share my feelings and I know you will all understand and agree with my position. I expect no less, and only an idiot would disagree.
Or maybe, just maybe I need a little more work.