A wise man once said love is never easy. This statement is true whether you or your partner or bi-polar or not. It takes a different kind of person to stay in a lasting relationship with a person who suffers from bi-polar disorder. All relationships deal with issues such as happiness or anger, everyone gets sad or depressed at one time or another. But when you add bi-polar to the mix all those things get a lot more intense.

Imagine lighting a sparkler and it representing a quote normal relationship and its changing emotions then imagine watching a fireworks show like Thunder over Louisville and letting it represent the emotional changes in a bi-polar relationship. Get the picture?

Bi-polar people experience the same emotions as regular people but at a much more enhanced way. You donít just see and hear whatís going on, a bi polar person can feel it taste it and smell it. They become the living embodiment of what they are feeling. This makes for some interesting times.

When bi-polar finally manifests into its full-blown self it is referred to as onset. Have you ever seen one of those lightening balls they sell in novelty shops? You know the ones that follow your finger with streaks of lightening around the globe as you draw around on it. Well, pretend that the globe just all of a sudden fell off and the lightening went shooting off hell-west and crooked. Well, that is kind of what happens with the onset of bi-polar.

Imagine speedy Gonzalez on viagra and crack.

It is like nothing you have ever seen. They will out drink, you out smoke you, and out screw you! And do it again, and again. I have known several bi-polar women, I have dated some, befriended some, and just worked with some, and the same thing pretty much holds true for all of them they go through a stage where they try to figure it all out. Itís kind of like the stages of grief.

They deny it. ďAinít nothing wrong with meĒ! So no doctors, no meds, well none that the doctor gave them. Usually there is a lot of something during this time, lots of drugs, or lots of sex, or lots of crazy shit. Or a nice little cocktail of all of them.

Sometimes they realize something isnít right and go get the help they need. And sometimes they donít, and they end up in the hospital after an overdose, a suicide attempt, a beating, or a complete melt down.

Either way it usually follows up with being in and out of the hospital and running through a list of drugs a mile long trying to find the combination that works right for them. Grief and acceptance usually come in during this stage and flip flop back and forth for a good long time. So, along with all the other stuff you must learn to understand and embrace to love a woman, or a man with bi-polar

is the baggage of the past. If they find they can trust you, and love you, you will learn about most, if not all of it, and a lot of it isnít pretty. Sometimes they tell you so you can understand them a little better. Sometimes they tell you in a sort of confession of the soul. Sometimes they tell you to test you. Somethingís they regret, somethingís they donít. Above all you must remember this, IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE TO JUDGE THEM! These demons are theirs. They live with them everyday, and if you want to be part of their life you have to learn to live with them too. It is not your place to judge them; it IS your place to love them.

So if you canít handle finding out that your girl or guy has done more drugs than most lab rats, or that he or she has had enough sex partners to have earned a good living in the movie industry, or that they have done enough crazy stuff to make ďjackassĒ look like ďPee Weeís PlayhouseĒ, then you probably canít handle the daily things that they live with and you best get out now and do you both a favor.

Like I said earlier, it takes a different kind of person to have a lasting relationship with a person who has bi-polar disorder.

I have had the pleasure of finding a bi-polar woman who has set my heart on fire. I have had some experience with bi-polar women before. I had a high school girl friend and a life long friend who both have bi-polar.

While the experiences I have with my newfound love are familiar, what happens is completely different. Like snowflakes no two bi-polars really act the same, so at least you never get bored.

I am very drawn to my new lady. She is an unbelievable woman. She is smart, kind, caring, loving, and beautiful. She has been dealing with her bi-polar for around five years now and has a good grasp on what is going on inside that pretty little head of hersí.

She is currently going to college and working part time. She also cares for her child and the children of her sister. So besides the normal everyday stuff people deal with she adds a huge load of additional stressors. She does this by choice, not to be self-destructive but because of the wonderful kindhearted person she is.

She is always putting the needs of others before her own needs. She fights a daily fight for sanity in a world that offers little help and much criticism. She has little of no support from her family; they just seem to pile on more and more everyday. They pretend nothing is wrong until she, after much more than the average person endures, has a moment when things breakdown and she has a swing into the whirlwind of bi-polar, then they want to reticule her and blame her illness for her not being able to do all they expect from her.

But she soldiers on and overcomes the obstacles from life as well as bi-polar as I sit in awe of her. I offer my support and friendship and love to her. I give her what I can when I can. I only wish I could do more for her I wish I could take her away from all the problems and keep her safe. I know this is not something I can do I can only be there for her in her time of need. I try to understand that things said during these times are not directed towards me but are reactions to whatever is swirling in her head.

I pray for her and do what I can. I try to educate myself on her bi-polar so I can help when she cycles. I love her very much and am willing to endure whatever it takes to make our relationship work and life a little more easy for her, I donít always succeed but Iíll never stop trying, cause in the end thatís what love is all about.

So, sounds easy enough. Right? Not even close bud!

Imagine this; one moment your talking and you say something and youíre the greatest person on they planet. Ten minutes or so go by, you bring up what you said earlier and the stuff hits the fan and it all lands on you. You are now the worldís biggest asshole and you have no clue why. So, you try to defend yourself, .... wrong answer because now you just signed a contract to fight the world heavyweight champion and he is in on real bad mood!

What do you do, because they are coming at you from all sides and you canít seem to recover long enough to see let alone fight back? Then all of a sudden it comes to you, they are probably cycling more than likely some wicked depression setting in and fighting only feeds the monster. The only cure now is to vacate the scene. But you know what kind of hell they are going through in their head and you feel like shit because your getting ready to skip out on the person you care the most about in the world in the middle of the shit storm.

In this case it is for the better, they need a chance for the fire to burn out. I canít tell you how long itís going to take. An hour, a night, a day or two. But it will pass and you have to be there, waiting to swoop back in.

There may be an apology, and there may not, either way when you look into their eyes you can see they are giving you one and they are also saying thank you for caring.

And this scenario could happen anytime, and often, you never know when. Imagine yourself like an outfielder in a baseball game, knees bent glove at the ready swaying back and forth ready to jolt left or right.

But, donít ever look like it. After awhile it comes second nature. Donít be an idiot and try to analyze every moment, you will only find yourself second guessing things and miss the important stuff. You just have to understand this is how it is it never really going to change, can you handle it?

My girl is really pretty in control. I am so very proud of her she maintains on a level that I have never seen before. You see you could get lucky and find yourself in some full blown delusional stuff and find yourself trying to kill a room full of big hairy purple spiders, you might come in the middle of the night to find everything that should be in the refrigerator on the bed, and the bed stuff in the dishwasher, and when you ask whatís going on a pair of scissors whiz by your head.

Or even, God forbid you find them sitting on the floor in a pile of broken glass and blood and they donít know how they got there but they know that the blood looks pretty as the light hits the broken shards of glass.

I thank God that my lady doesnít suffer from these things, but my lifelong friend does. Before I met my girl, I experienced a lot of this stuff. Mainly because bi-polar has a lot of low life friends it hangs out with, like post traumatic stress syndrome, self mutilation, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. Of which my friend had them all at her party.

I went through many years of battling these kinds of things. They gave me a lot of insight into the world of mental illness. You might ask, if you knew this was a possible thing you would have to deal with if you got into a relationship with another girl with bi-polar why the hell would you do it?

Simple, I found a woman that set my heart on fire, a woman that makes everyday worth getting up for, a woman that every time I see her smile the world melts away and all I can see is her smile. When you meet someone like that it doesnít matter if theyíre bi-polar or blind, or deaf or has cancer. These things donít matter,

love is blind, and to find someone that makes you feel like that you just accept things for what they are and you do what you have to do to make it work. Because let me tell you people like her donít come around very often so when you find your special someone I could only wish for you that they are as special as the girl I have found. The bi-polar just makes things a little more exciting.

John _ 2006

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