I was thinking the other day about how grateful I am for my husband, who is my #1 supporter. I just don’t think I could do this thing without him. He doesn’t just love me as his wife, but he cares for me as a bipolar supporter should, and that really helps me.
But there have been times in the past when I’ve gone without support for my bipolar disorder, and there have been several reasons for that.
One of the reasons was my pride. I was just too proud to ask for help. I thought I could do it all by myself. Needless to say, all that got me was all alone, facing a bipolar episode all by myself, which didn’t do me any good at all.
At other times it was self-pity that kept me from reaching out for support. I simply felt too sorry for myself. I thought, “What’s the use of asking for help, when they probably won’t help me anyway?” I had such negative thoughts back then.
And negative thoughts were definitely another reason why I didn’t get the support I needed. I hadn’t yet learned in therapy how to turn negative thoughts into positive ones, and so I still suffered from having those negative thoughts that stopped me from reaching out for help from other people. Thoughts like, “Who would want to help me?”
Sometimes I was just too depressed to reach out for help. I could barely get out of bed and, if I did, it was only to make it to the couch, where I would stay for days or weeks. I was just so sad! But if you asked me what I was sad about, I would probably just tell you, “Nothing.” I didn’t know the answer myself.
One big thing that kept me from getting the support I needed was that I expected my supporters to be mind-readers and to simply “know” that I needed help when I did. That really wasn’t fair to them, or me. And it certainly didn’t accomplish anything.
The thing is, you’re lucky to have a supporter. But you can’t expect them to be a mind-reader. You have to tell them what you need. And that you need help when you need it. They can only help you if you ask for help.
You can’t let pride, self-pity, negative thoughts, or depression keep you from reaching out for the support that you need, either.
You have to swallow that pride. Push down those feelings of self-pity. Replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts, and reach beyond that depression.
Sometimes it may be a struggle. It may take a lot of willpower. But you still need to do it if you are going to get the help and support that you need in times of distress.