Let me ask you something.  Before your loved one was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was every day a walk in the park for them?  Did every day spring up roses for you?  I know I may be sounding a little "out there" here, but I’m trying to make a point.  NOBODY has an absolutely perfect day, every day of their life, whether they have bipolar disorder or not.

Be realistic.  Life itself is just not sunshine and lollipops for ANY of us!  It just was not designed that way! 

Because it is through our trials that we learn; through our struggles that we become overcomers; through working together as supporters and survivors that we become stronger and more able to manage bipolar disorder together!

Be realistic.  Even people who have never even heard of bipolar disorder have bad days.  They get in bad moods.  They may even get depressed sometimes!  And that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have bipolar disorder – it just means that every person is going to have to deal with the daily ups and downs of life. 

That is just normal.  In some 12-Step Programs, this is called “Living life on life’s terms.”

Be realistic.  Just because your loved one has bipolar disorder doesn’t give you the corner of the market on self-pity.  Unfortunately, self-pity isn’t a luxury you can afford, and believe me, I feel bad for you for that. 

I know it sounds harsh, but remember – I went through it myself in supporting my own mother with her bipolar disorder.  Even when things were at their worst, I still couldn’t afford to feel sorry for myself.

I had to be realistic.  It’s really hard sometimes to support a loved one who has bipolar disorder; I know how discouraging it can be to be the one in the background, doing all the hard work to keep your loved one stable, when sometimes you wish they would just wrap their arms around you and give YOU some comfort!

But be realistic.  There are also those times when it is all worth it.  There are also those days when things go good as well, aren’t there?  And it is for those days that you need to work – for those days that you can hope – for those days that you can wish for when you wake up each morning.

Be realistic.  There are more good days than bad days, aren’t there?  Keep your mind on those days.  It will help you get through the bad days.