Sometimes, if you leave a problem alone, it will resolve itself. Things just have a way of working themselves out sometimes. It’s not my situation that has changed, but my approach to it has changed.
I go back to my AA 1st Step: I am powerless over people, places, and things.
I have no control over my friends or what they decide to do – but I do have control over my reaction to what they say and do. And I hate confrontation. So I will stay who I am, remain quiet about the conflict, and hope that everything will work itself out without a confrontation.
There are times when we will have to rise up against confrontations and defend ourselves, but most of the time, that isn’t necessary. People are going to be people, and sometimes they won’t understand your differences, or your bipolar disorder.
You may even have to give up the friendship if it is reflecting bad on you – if it is causing negative thinking, causing you to doubt yourself and your stand on things, and especially if it is making your bipolar disorder worse.
There are just some people who are “toxic people.” Toxic to you, anyway. They can be a negative influence on you, and you don’t need that kind of friend. You need to surround yourself with positive people who are on your side. People who lift you up when you’re feeling down. People who accept you just the way you are, and don’t try to change you.
We have enough to worry about with just managing our bipolar disorder. We don’t need to be worried about attacks that come from people we thought were friends. We need to work on improving ourselves and our disorder and, ultimately, our lives.
We need to stay away from disagreeable people, because they will just bring us down. And you know how I’m always talking about being positive. I mean that. Negativity can cause you to get sick – I don’t mean just to go into a bipolar episode, but you can get physically sick as well – migraines, stomach problems, etc. And we need to take good care of ourselves, so we need to avoid toxic people.
It’s harder when it’s a friend or family member, but the rules are still the same. Stay away from toxic people, as they will make you sicker. Try to get along with everybody, and avoid confrontations. Yet speak up for yourself if you feel that it is your character or ability that is being challenged. After all, we are not DISabled – we are disABLED!
Unfortunately, there are still people who will look at us as our disorder, and not as ourselves. If that is happening to you, take it as sure knowledge that you shouldn’t be friends with this person. Or, if you want to keep that person as a friend, you need to educate them about bipolar disorder.
Concentrate on your other, more positive, friendships. Those people who build you up instead of try to take you down. Who understand you and what makes you who you are. People who are agreeable toward you.
And don’t even deal with those people who are trying to “push your button,” or have a negative influence on you. We already have enough stress – we don’t need it in our friendships or relationships, too.