bipolar guilt by association

There is no denying that it is a hard, hard road, loving someone with bipolar disease. There are times when you want to scream, days when you think you can’t do it anymore, weeks when you know you haven’t made a difference and only wish you could, moments when you want to turn your back on it. It is their problem, not yours, and yet it becomes yours if you love the person suffering from it. You have no choice. You must stand by them. You are trapped, as surely as the patient is. And you will hate that trap at times, hate what it does to your life, your days, your own sanity. But hate it or not, you are there, and whatever it takes, you have to make the best of it.
(his bright light – danielle steel)

Words like those in the quote are true and loving – and unfortunately, they help me as a bipolar person, feel that the world would be better without me in it. Of course, there’s a whole book there proving that people are loved and wanted – it’s just that it’s a common caveat and depressed people attach more weight to one negative word than a million positive ones.

I wish people would talk about people with physical illnesses the same way they do about allegedly mental ones. I’m sure everyone’d feel better. 

Cancer patients! What a pain in the ass! But whaddya gonna do? *plays a teeny violin*

I’m oversimplifying. I’m guiltily irritated. I’m tired of hearing how difficult I am. I’m tired of sucking it up. I have learned to bend over backwards trying not to cause grief, to the point where I’m frequently told I am far too harsh on myself. But how else??


Nick Traina, Danielle Steel’s bipolar son, killed himself when he was 19. She wrote the book to highlight the dangers of bipolar (she says one to two thirds of bipolar patients commit suicide – I’m not sure where she gets that from), and to try to help other families. That’s a very good thing indeed. I follow two blogs by mothers who have lost bipolar children to suicide and it’s heartwrenching. I do not believe there is any pain greater than that of a parent who has lost a child.

I also follow blogs written by women who have been abused, betrayed, wrecked by bipolar husbands. I’ve read so much about the effects of bipolar people on the people around them (neurotypical or not), that I feel a collective guilt on top of my very own historical guilt.

I’m guessing this is bipolar-normal; we have that extra empathy thing going for us. That’s probably also part of why so many of us off ourselves. It isn’t just that we are batshit – we do actually see the damage. I’m not the only one, right?

This post is a bit confused. I’m just thinking aloud.

It’s just that, well, it’s just as difficult for the bipolar person, you know?

Rest in peace, Nick.


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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

6 thoughts on “bipolar guilt by association”

  1. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. I think when it comes to being with someone who is bipolar, you make sacrifices and you educate yourself. I’ve been around bipolar people all my life and I have to say – the ones that abuse others are abusive people who just happen to be bipolar. They are not a cause/effect relationship. The label of disease helps give them an excuse for those behaviors – like my alcoholic 1st ex husband blamed the alcohol for his blackouts. It was still his choice to be abusive in the end.

    Loving someone who is bipolar is making the choice to be their anchor. It means “just taking it” when times are tough – not in an abusive way, but in a way where you flow with the ups and downs and making sure they have somewhere for their feet to land.

    You and other bipolar folks who are taking responsibility for getting better and know what love can actually be – y’all shouldn’t feel guilty by association for even a single heartbeat.


    1. \o/ thanks – I totally did not expect that! Wow. And thanks again. And wow.

      Everybody who reads this, pls go and buy this lady’s books. I haven’t read any (sorry) so I have zero idea what they’re like, but just do it anyway. She’s cooler than Danielle Steel.



      Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep feeling so guilty that I only got to know my brother whom I so greatly loved was bi-polar just a lame 2 months to his death. He started off with epilepsy 18 years ago, oh gosh. I had to harass those who were with him in the US just to find out. The stigma, shame, secrecy, religious and traditional beliefs in Africa are doing worse than the side effects of the cocktails dashed out to mentally challenged ‘guinea pigs’ like us. Thanks for being one of my recently discovered bloggers I will now follow with ‘devotion’.
    Light and Peace, M

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Marie Abanga's Blog and commented:
    I lack of appropriate words to comment on this post. Yes, I will be denying it if I say I don’t feel guilt at my brother’s suffering and demise. There are so many ifs, I know several will say it wasn’t my fault but then if only if…


  4. But look at it from another perspective. If it wasn’t for your affliction you wouldn’t have met many fascinating people from around the world. Understanding people also gravitate towards you because they want to understand, and they will carry this knowledge onward :)


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