Self respecting relationships with Bipolar Disorder

(Part two from My Beautiful Bipolar Year)

I guess the way I look at it, and it’s taken me a couple of years to get my head around it, a lot of meditation and reading is that relationships fall into two groups – conditional and unconditional with boundaries.

The first group adopt a zero tolerance policy, on both sides. If you don’t conform and do as I expect you to be and do, consider yourself cut off. Toe the line, my way or the highway. The easily offended folks. There is also zero accountability and relationship investment. I found it tends to be passive aggressive with an underlying current. If you get sucked into it, and I was many times because I needed to prove my worth by being ‘right’, it can be challenging. It also caused me more anxiety and depression that I was prepared to invest.

The second group will love you no matter what, within respected and respectful boundaries that are negotiated and discussed. These are the folks you can say no to, or they can tell you no and the relationship is respected and grudges are not held. Conversations are had and hashed out, arguements can ensue with stuff we want to hear and stuff we don’t want to hear about ourselves. They are the nurturing, fiercely loving and confronting relationships that shift and change. Dynamic. This also causes me anxiety sometimes because it pushes me out of my comfort zone.

Now the first relationship group is fine. If it complies and conforms to your values, expectations and beliefs. If they are the same, okay! But if they are not, and they are not respected by either yourself or the other party then a conversation needs to be had. Considering that it’s a zero tolerance relationship, it probably ain’t gonna happen. So you have a choice to stay or walk. There is no judgement on that choice because circumstances are diverse for everyone.

They both teach you something and are as equally valuable. They are both gifts in their own right. The first, your limitations and values and the depth of the relationship investment and the second, growth, confrontation and maturity.

I used to jump from one group to the next depending on the person. I felt like a fraud and inauthentic and not being real to who I was. It confused me, sent me into episodes and confused those around me. So I listened to myself, mustered the courage  and what I wanted and did accordingly. My society soon shifted.

Some people I let go for my soul needs and some folks let me go for theirs. We are not for everyone and everyone is not for us. That’s okay. Being ourselves is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others. We vibe with our tribe. Now who we may wish was in our tribe and who in fact are, may be conflicted. It can be a revelation, a gift and depressing at once.

This is where expectations shift and grow and acceptance develops, of ourselves and others. Where we come into Maitri – self kindness, self love and self forgiveness.

There is no one right or wrong group, not one better than the other. It’s what and how you see yourself now, at the time and in between as to how it empowers you with your tolerance levels. For me, I prefer the second group because it aligns with my personal values and my condition. Being true to myself is more important than being liked or being popular or right. ❤️ That’s what 2016 gifted me.

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