How does one “help” someone
or bipolar disorder,
I mean, really, really help them?
Quit trying to fix them.
There is no panacea.
There are no magic words to say,
no kiss on the boo-boo,
or pat on the head,
or cup of goddamn coffee
that will make everything better.
Stop saying things like,
“Just cheer up!” or “Put on a happy face!”
or “Maybe you should try a sugar/gluten/meat-free diet!”
or “Well, hello, grumpy-puss, who peed in your coffee?”
or “Why are you always so gloomy/hyper/sleepy/talkative/shy?”
or, “There’s always someone worse off than you,
so get over it.”
Get over it. Right.
It’s like people think a depressed person doesn’t want to feel better,
be “normal,” just “get over it.”
Of course they do.
Or like someone saying those things could really make it better somehow?
All it will do is make them feel like no one
understands and make them more alone than ever.
What CAN a person do then? So much:
Be a good listener, be there for them.
Don’t judge, accept; do your best to understand.
Be respectful of their feelings.
Make sure they know they are important to you.
Invite them places. (They may not come, but at least someone asked.)
Don’t tip-toe around their illness like they are a circus freak.
But don’t be so obnoxiously full of questions, they feel like one anyway.
Let them know you aren’t going anywhere; you aren’t going to abandon them.
Remind them this is not their fault. they didn’t choose this.
Tell them you love them.