Hi, I've had bipolar disorder since 1996. I truly need support from my friends, family, treatment team and support group. I also need to take initiative to do more than just taking my meds. But sometimes, when I'm at my worst, I feel I have no support from my family. It's then that it's hardest to keep fighting for stability. I've learned, though, that my family needs just as much support as I do. They never know who they're coming home to, and they always worry about me hurting myself. In the beginning, they read every pamphlet and book available and spoke with my treatment team often. They also spoke with other families, although that didn't seem to work. After all these years, they're tired, just as I am. I leave relevant articles around the house, but they are rarely read. When my husband sees them, he says all I think about is myself. I love my family dearly and I hate that my illness constantly jeapordizes our family. Can anyone else share similar stories? I just feel so alone.
Support does indeed go both ways. I think it's healthy that you "think about yourself" as your husband put it. If reading those articles inspires and educates you, don't let your family's lack of support deter you from continuing to read them. It is NOT selfish to want to enlighten your loved ones about the things you go through that may not be so obvious and logical to them. When you're excited you just want to share it. It can be discouraging when loved ones don't reciprocate the love and care you give to them freely without reservation. Don't let their lack of interest deter you from casually leaving literature around the house. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink (unfortunately). You don't have to force your family to support you, but that doesn't mean you have to stop requiring it because support is vital. I have known people who were not supportive of me because they didn't know how to be or because they weren't comfortable with mental illness, and I just had to rely on the people in my life who were. Rely on the people in your life who are eager to be supportive. I have also had to get very snippy with my S.O. when he was not supportive, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I thought it would have an impact on how I'm treated. Moms (and I am assuming you are a mom) do a bajillion things for everyone ELSE everyday and are often left in last place. Moms hardly complain because moms love their jobs, but this can be damaging if they are Always last! Every blue moon you will need to be taken into consideration...and with love, your family should be waiting patiently for you to cater to them as usual. Never stop taking care of yourself because if you don't take care of yourself, you won't have anything to give to your family.
The following user gives a hug of support to CM0608: mom18 (04-18-2013)
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