You know how some things change?  Sometimes they can be small changes, and sometimes they can be big changes.  Some are easier to get used to than others – but they all involve going from one "normal" to a "new normal."

 

Small changes might be just buying some new clothes, or something like that.  That doesn't take a lot of getting used to (unless it's because your loved one is buying a LOT of new clothes during a manic spending spree!).  However, big changes can take a lot of getting used to – like buying a new house when you've always lived in apartments, or buying a new car when you've always driven second-hand ones.

 

It's the same with bipolar disorder.

 

For you and your loved one, getting used to the diagnosis may be a little difficult at first, but then you make the adjustment, and it's not too bad.

 

But getting used to living with the disorder might be a little more difficult.  Just the fact that changes in lifestyle have to be made might be very hard for your loved one to get used to – a good sleep schedule, a new way of eating, maybe exercising when they didn't before…

 

Getting used to taking medication might not be so difficult (although for some people it is)... But the side effects may be a little harder to deal with.  (But after time, even those can be dealt with, especially with the doctor's help.)

 

But I'll tell you what is one of the most difficult changes of all:  Getting used to a "new bipolar normal."

 

In the beginning, your loved one struggled with their bipolar disorder, and you struggled right along with them.  Getting everything in order, making all the changes that needed to be made, then getting used to all of them.  Things definitely weren't normal for awhile, were they?

 

But now your loved one should be more stable, and have reached a "new bipolar normal" for them.  And that may not be as easy as it seemed at first.  Some things may seem quite new, actually.

 

At first, your loved one may have had more episodes, and you had to learn to deal with them.  You also had to learn to deal with their bipolar behavior even between episodes.

 

But if they have been doing what they need to do in order to attain and maintain stability, they aren't having those episodes nearly as often.  And the two of you should be living a relatively normal life.

 

That's what I mean by getting used to a new bipolar normal.  A new normal loved one (stable) and a new normal life (without an episode around every corner).  It may seem different at first, but you can get used to it!