Today I'm having trouble coming up with some moving, intellectual, quotable words of wisdom for you to take away with you that would change your lives for the better!  So, instead, I'm going to use someone else's words:  "It's not the answer that really matters, but the search itself that makes us who we are."  Roberta Croteau said those wonderful, inspiring words.

 

Why do I say wonderful and inspiring?  Because, as you know, I am not only a person with bipolar disorder myself, but I also support a husband with the disorder.  And this saying has helped me quite a bit.

 

I'll tell you why.  I tend to be a perfectionist and, therefore, sometimes I try to wear a big "S" on my chest and play Super-Supporter for my husband.  In fact, sometimes I put his needs before my own.  Then, when I feel so tired, I wonder where all my time and energy went!

 

So what does this saying mean to me?

 

"It's not the answer that really matters…"

 

Well, to me the answer is the cure for bipolar disorder.  It doesn't matter to me any more that there is no cure for the disorder.

 

I've accepted the fact that there is no magic pill for my husband that will keep him from occasionally becoming depressed (or even manic, although that rarely happens with him).

 

So, answer aside, let's be realistic and work with what we've got – the search itself.

 

To me, the search is the day-to-day living with bipolar disorder.  The bipolar disorder in someone you care about very much.

 

To live with someone so close to you, as I do my husband, and watch them struggle every day with something they can't control, is so very difficult. 

 

I know he tries so hard to control his bipolar disorder, but it is still a chemical imbalance, and that part he has no control over.  Those chemicals can fire off any time they want to, and then he experiences those mood swings and, even my "S" can't help him then.

 

"…but the search itself that makes us who we are."  We are supporters of a loved one with bipolar disorder.  That's all we are called to be, and that's all our loved ones expect of us – our unconditional love and support.

 

They may act in ways that they can't help sometimes, and they may even go into bipolar episodes (sometimes requiring hospitalization), but if we are behind them 100%...

 

Like Roberta Croteau says, "It's not the answer that really matters, but the search itself that makes us who we are."  And we are supporters first and foremost.