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Thriving with a Bipolar Friend . . .

24 Jun

Thriving with a Bipolar Friend . . .

P.S. As a post-script to yesterday’s post on Shapeshifting People, in which I surmised that many such people might be bipolar, I thought to present my credentials, which are not professional, but rather personal.

I believe that several of the most intense friendships I have ever enjoyed have been with bipolar people who were probably undiagnosed at the point in life when I knew them.

There are many good discussions of bipolar disorder on the Internet, one of which I may post one day soon, but the personal impact is that you are usually confronted with a person who is sweet, deep, intense, and very, very interesting. The range of interests may be almost as high as Mount Everest and the person will know a lot about all of them.

That can come from the manic phase, when they sleep very little and, in fact, are in a constant state of 100mph motion, and thought.

Bipolar people are probably over-represented among geniuses. They can be true jewels as friends, as you will learn much, and be challenged.

What they teach about friendship, though, is that they can very seldom maintain anything that remains consistent for more than a few months. They thrive on drama and, unfortunately, unless they learn to recognize their disorder and what it does to their relationships, they will create drama with everyone, even the people they call their best friends.

You may find they stop speaking to you, midsentence, for no reason at all.

They may then bound back into your life five months or five years later, as though nothing happened.

Or not. They may just vanish forever, again with no explanation.

You need to learn to not take these things personally. Once you do, you can have a very successful friendship with a bipolar person.

More than any other person, a bipolar person will teach you to hold your friendships loosely, the way that Christ taught us to count on no man except Him alone! It is a good lesson, actually.

If you befriend a person who is diagnosed with bipolar or whom you suspect has bipolar, just be prepared to be on a wild ride.

Hold on tight! And enjoy the rollercoaster.

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