I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I haven’t been that open and vulnerable with my writing lately. It’s because I’m cocooning.
Think back to the last time you were really hungry. I’m talking like, stomach-eating-your-spine hungry. You can’t even think straight until you get your mitts on some food. Or think back to the last time that you had a poo literally almost coming out of your bum and you had nowhere to go. The cold sweats, the bum squeeze, the arched back, the clenched teeth, the furrowed brow, the panicky prayers. In both of those circumstances, your brain literally shuts down everything except the emergency at hand.
If you were to nearly escape starvation or soiled pants then you would then accept the sobering reality that you nearly died physically or socially and in an attempt at future self-preservation you would begin cocooning, or gathering the essentials (maybe some saltines, some juice, a couple cans of Alphagetti). Or you’d stay close to a toilet, some wipes, and a Ziploc baggy of anti-diarrhea medication. And then? You’d spend the following days/weeks/months protecting yourself and your pile of goodies from any type of threat, like a virus, or bathroom door handles, a desert, or a traffic jam. That’s cocooning. Cocooning is protecting.
Loving someone with bipolar disorder requires cocooning skills. It requires the ability to know boundaries, lines that differentiate between what will hurt us and what will love us, and then it demands that we set those boundaries because that’s what love asks us to do sometimes.
Loving is protecting with hope, not fear.
For a deeper piece of writing, I posted a piece of writing on Instagram today that I had written 3 years ago. You can find it here.
I know I have some new readers… do any of you guys have any experience with bipolar disorder? Tell me more! Feel free to email me if you’re more comfy with that.