3 Ways I Know I'm Loved When Bipolar Disorder Makes It Hard to Love Myself


I have bipolar II. It seems like it can make it hard for people to like me, especially in moments when I don’t like myself. I have lost so many friends throughout my life. I have very few constants. I find people seem to have more trouble “dealing” with me because of my bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder can cloud my vision. It makes me question myself, and it makes me so insecure. People who don’t have bipolar might think it’s just mood swings, but it is so much more. It’s definitely mood swings, but they are not just happy or sad. They are happy, angry, numb, furious, sad, depressed, suicidal, anxious and jealous. The list goes on and on.

My point is, it can be challenging to love me. I am only speaking for myself, but I find there are three things that show me people do love me, even when I feel like they don’t:

1. They are patient.

Patience is a virtue not everyone has, but I think people who care will make sure they have it. When I say patience, I mean a lot. I know someone cares when I have said something I don’t mean and they don’t walk away. They don’t get up and say, “She’s not worth it.” They don’t leave. I know someone cares when they sit there and listen to me talk, without getting frustrated with me. The people who are close to me know when I get in a bad place, I say things on a whim and get myself in trouble a lot. Then, I start panicking, thinking I’ve ruined a friendship. But they always tell me, “It’s OK. I’m not going to not be your friend because you were in a bad mood.” Patience is necessary.

2. They reassure me.

When I’m in a low mood, I think horrible things about myself. I tell myself I’m not pretty and that I’m worthless and stupid. It’s hard to explain because I know I’m not any of those things but when my mind is bogged down and I’m not thinking logically, I do believe those thoughts.

This is when I need someone to grab my hand and pull me out of this hole I’ve found myself in. It’s so easy to reassure someone of how great they are. It can just be a nice text. It doesn’t have to be a present or anything extravagant — a note, a text or just a smile and a hug. I need someone to tell me that everything will be OK. This also comes in when I am questioning any kind of relationship. I need those people to reassure me we are still OK, especially if I feel that I’ve messed up.

3. They give me their time.

I am a person who loves to spend time with other people. It is so important I do because it can lift a bad mood almost instantly. If someone is willing to carve time out of their day to spend time with me, then I’m on the road to being happy. I need people to want to spend time with me. I know I can be a pain and I can be a downer, but when people are willing to put time aside, I feel loved. We don’t have to go out to a restaurant or a club. We can sit in sweats and a t-shirt and watch movies at someone’s house. I don’t require much. I feel like most people are that way. To me and others, time, no matter how it is spent, is a huge sign that people care.

Patience, reassurance and time. These are the three things that show me someone truly cares about me. That’s all I’m looking for, as someone with a bipolar disorder. I am not hard to love.

TOPICS
, Contributor list
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Bipolar Disorder

woman flexing her muscles standing on a rock

My Psychiatrist's Perfect Advice for Opening Up About Bipolar Disorder

Today, I am a version of “normal.” I have all my hair, all my limbs, and all of my communication skills. I smile. I walk. I laugh. I dance at the party. I cheer at the game. I raise my glass to the toast. I look alive. Yet, unknown to almost everyone, this is an illusion – something [...]
Woman doing yoga in the water

I Thought I Was 'Too Pure' to Take Medication for Bipolar Disorder

I was living in Nepal and had just turned 19 when I had my first manic episode. It wouldn’t be for another five years, when I was 24 and admitted to a psychiatric hospital, that I was diagnosed with bipolar and finally understood what happened half way around the world years earlier. What I know [...]
People walking through a revolving door

The Never-Ending Dizziness of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder certainly compares to the ups and downs of elevators and roller coasters, but, for me, it’s more than that. It is dizzying and feels like the constant round and round of a revolving door. As a kid, I would spin around and around in the grass, staring up at the sun until I [...]
woman sitting on bed with head between her knees, overwhelmed by racing thoughts

A Letter to Myself When I'm Manic

Okay, it’s happening again: the “high” of your bipolar disorder. Don’t worry, you’ve trained yourself for this. You know the early warning signs, and, well, here they are again. You’re becoming irritable and impatient. You’re feeling a little too good, and have too much energy. The to-do list you’re making is little too unrealistic. But [...]