Wednesday, May 11, 2011


  Being bipolar makes it difficult, though not impossible to understand people's questions the way they ask them.  Add to that the fact that I'm not naturally inquisitive and that I lack social skills and you get lots of misunderstandings.  The challenge to me is to learn to recognize when a question seems to not make sense to me.  I have developed a lifelong habit of assuming I understood the question and answering it the way I think it should be answered.  That often leads to further misunderstandings.  I might seem rude, mean, hurtful or stupid when I do that.
  I need to see that if a question doesn't seem to make sense to me, there's a connection that I'm probably missing.  If I ask the person to clarify, then perhaps I can answer the question in a way that is actually helpful. The other day, I was asked if some newspapers should be put in the recycling bin.  My answer was, "All recyclables go in the recycling bin."  That didn't answer the question that was asked.  The real question that was being asked was 'is paper recyclable?' but I didn't hear it that way.  If I had noticed that the question seemed a little odd, at least to me, I could have asked for clarification, but I didn't.  I only gave the answer that made sense for me to give, which was was belittling and hurtful.
  On a side note, I've started recognizing some of the different feelings and thoughts I have when I'm manic, depressive, or none of the above.  When I'm happy, that is a none of the above emotion.  When I'm feeling down on myself, that's a depressive emotion.  If I'm hating God or the universe or people or the world, that's a manic emotion.  A typical thought when I'm manic would be, 'The problem with the world is people.  God created people.  If God didn't exist, I'd be happy.'  That's the grandiosity that comes with the disorder.

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