Bipolar Disorder · mental health

I Can’t Be Your Firefighter

I wasn’t trained to fight fires, yet I fight mine everyday. Some days it’s exhausting. I also have my children and husband that I help fight their fires when they pop up (which is less often than mine.) Please don’t take this the wrong way but I can’t fight yours. I cannot jump into your fire and fight it. That does not mean that I don’t want to help you. I am one of the most compassionate people you will meet. I don’t care if I have known you for years or just met you, I will help you. The key word here is “help.” Do you need prayers or good vibes? You got it. Do you need chicken soup or someone to pick up your medication for you? I’ll do that. Did you get behind in your housework, I’ll help you catch up. Just need someone to watch a movie with so you’re not alone? I’ll bring the popcorn. Here is what I won’t do: I will not make any decisions for you, medical or otherwise. Don’t want to go to work? That’s on you if you don’t go. Can I empathize with you? Absolutely! There were plenty of times I didn’t want to go and didn’t. I will not be your babysitter. I am a mom, but I am not your mom. Do you want to stop taking your medication and you shouldn’t? I’ll tell you not to, but I am not going to make sure that you don’t stop. I will not condone your bad choices and then pick you up when you fall. I will help you if you stumble if you are making an effort to be well. Everyone stumbles and needs a friend to help them back up. But I am not going to dive into your path of destruction and pull you out. You have to be responsible for your own actions and face the consequences for the decisions that you make.  I am only familiar with the fires that I fight, I don’t know your demons and quite honestly, I know my own pretty well and don’t want to befriend any more. One last thing that I won’t do is be your crutch. One thing I have learned is that people with mental illness tend to wear out their friends and family. You need a circle of friends and family to help you. When you are well, make a plan of action so that people that love you and care about you know what to do with you. When you call me crying and you’re telling me you “don’t know what to do, ” I need to know what to do in this situation. Please remember that I love you and only want what is best for you. I want you to be well. I want to help you be well, but I can’t fight your battle. You may find someone who will be your firefighter, but I have to put these limitations up to protect my health and well being. I’m sorry but I’m not going to be your firefighter.


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