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Lessons From a Bipolar Artist

When you have a bipolar friend, your feelings about that friend are also kind of bipolar, too. Your feelings are usually not in sync with their cycle, but you definitely experience your own feelings about your friend that range from love and concern to, at best, indifference to downright revulsion. No matter how many times you tell yourself, "It's their disease that's doing this" you still can't separate the disease from this person that you care about and love who is saying and doing hurtful things to you, their family and friends. And so, to protect yourself, you attempt to cut them out of your life (which ultimately fails, because you still know that the person you care about is still in there, still fundamentally has a tender heart, and is suffering).  And when your bipolar friend dies, have these words/phrases at the ready to explain your feelings to people who either didn't know them, or didn't share your experience with them: " conflicted "

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