Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love. ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
I used a fine toothed comb for this one. Actually that’s bullshit, it was a machete. I weedwhacked my way through lots and lots and lots and so many articles about how to date someone with bipolar disorder. How to cope, when to break up, how to break up, some were kind, some were sensible and some were downright vitriolic. While I can totally see the need for education about bipolar and relating to us, it dominates the scene completely. What about us? We are who we are, we have a genetic, neurobiological, trauma activated or postpartum or whatever flavour, of a disorder. We didn’t ask for it and we didn’t ask to be treated like shit for it either. Fuck that. (Pro tip: I hear Julie Fast’s guide to how to love us is really good.) it all turns into a them and us concept, but we gotta work with what we got.
How should we navigate their planet, when we don’t have any maps? The answer is simple; we take wisdom from the collective conscious of our own tribe, we learn from each other’s experiences and we curate that information. And it isn’t only in the links I’ve dumped here today. It’s in books and blogs and conversations and lives – just like everything else. We should all write about it too, populate the Internet with views from our side of the line and give Google’s little crawlers more to find than zomg whut don’t date a bipolarrr, or if you really must, get a rabies injection and a hazmat suit.
They’re as fucking weird to us as we are to them, we need to start shrugging off some guilt and blame. What’s even more weird is that I am writing this post at all. I’ve sworn a vow of celibacy, hermitry and all the other trees.
If you only click one link, make it this one. It’s by a bipolar guy called Gregory who really gets it. Hallefuckenlujah.
Bipolar disorder, dating and relationships: I have learnt, the hard way, that to be forgiving of others indiscretions, their aggressions, is a hugely worthwhile discipline. I am a fighter. After each break down, or set-back, I recrystallise, and attempt to rebuild relationships with family, lovers and friends, forge ahead with my work. I’ll never give up and for this I am proud of myself (it’s important to focus on such things when you have a guilt-sheet as long as your arm).
I have bipolar, will anyone ever love me? People fall in love with people with bipolar disorder every day. Seriously. I’ve seen them do it. People fall head-over-heels, emotional faceplant, birds-are-chiping in love with people with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar and relationships – Kerry’s story: Waking up on a Saturday morning, the sun beating it’s way through closed curtains. the smell of freshly cut grass from the park outside, and the man I love draping his arms around me. For most couples today means a picnic in the park, a day at the seaside or relaxing in the garden, but I just crawl back under the duvet, the familiar dread consuming me once again.
Love Rollercoaster: Dating with Bipolar Disorder: It’s easy to confuse love with mania — the trouble is that love is fleeting. There’s no cure for bipolar.
Bipolar Disorder: the guide to dating. “I know my bipolar disorder can be scary and I know it can make people leave and I’m always scared people will leave me because of it,” she said. “It has happened in the past that people have left me quoting the reason ‘bipolar.’”
The dating game: Bipolar may up the ante in a new romance, but success still boils down to finding a good fit. A person that lives with Bipolar Disorder or Depression comes to learn loss intimately. It is a constant battle in our mind to try and avoid tearing our lives, loves, and friendships down to the foundation. No one is perfect. We will periodically lose that battle and burn bridges. It is an unavoidable fact of living with a mood disorder or mental illness.
Internet dating with bipolar disorder: not everyone needs to know about my disease.
Dating and mourning and bipolar:
8 tips for telling your partner a health secret (I wish they wouldn’t talk about confessing the fact that you’re bipolar, confession is for sins and crimes tyvm.)
When your dating profile includes mental illness
Cracked had the following to say about the previous link.
Something about 9,000 bipolar/schizophrenics assembled on one dating site just seems like a problem waiting to happen. Don’t get us wrong, it would be more than awesome if scientists discovered that when two crazy people mated, each person’s crazy canceled out the other person’s crazy thus rendering both of them uncrazy. If that was the case, NoLongerLonely.com would be one big e-cure for mental illness.
Fuck you, Cracked.
Here’s something a whole lot nicer.
For women who are ‘difficult’ to love. (Warsan Shire)
you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do, love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.