The key thing to remember is that the relationships have been damaged by the effects of your illness. It is not YOU and it is not your fault. These things happen, then we deal with them and move on. Today I’ll show you how to move on.

1. It takes time-repairing a damaged relationship takes time. You have to commit yourself to doing what it takes to get the relationship back on track. If you experience resistance at first, be patient but tenacious. Make the person know you are committed to doing what it takes to move your relationship back to a healthy level.

2. Encourage the person the share his/her feelings with you-this can be a painful part of the process. Sometimes during the highs of mania we say and do things that are just plain outrageous and sometimes we don’t even remember doing them. Depression can pull us away from those that are closest to us. Really listen to their concerns.

3. Don’t get defensive-during the listening phase you may feel under attack or the need to defend yourself. Resist the urge to act on these feelings and continue to listen. You have no need to defend yourself. Remember, more than likely the person on the other side of the relationship is angry with the illness and its effects rather than YOU.

4. Call the person on the phone-when you call, just simply ask how that person is doing. Encourage small talk. Try to call at least once a week. Don’t overkill this one though. You just want the person to know that you care.

5. Apologize and ask for forgiveness-whether or not the effects of the illness on your relationships are your fault, sometimes just apologizing and asking for forgiveness for the damaged caused makes the other person feel you are taking responsibility which usually will bring any barriers down. This is especially important if the other person doesn’t really understand your illness enough to differentiate between your wrongs and those brought on as a function of your disorder.

6. Ask the person out to a movie-okay, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a movie. But if you want to repair the relationship and spend time with the person, show it. If the person declines, work on previous steps until the barriers are removed.

7. Educate-it’s important that those close to you understand your illness and what it’s all about. Plenty of relationships are damaged based on lack of information. Aim to educate close friends and in the in’s and out’s of your illness. This can have the effect of preventing further issues in the future regarding relationships.

8. Use humor-humor is one of the best ways to diffuse a tense situation. If the other person sees that you don’t take yourself to seriously, a lot of times the walls will come down and they won’t be so serious either.

9. Don’t let pride get in your way-you may feel defensive and the need to be right. You don’t have to be right. There is nothing to be right about. You have an illness, it had some negative effects on an important relationship. Shut your mouth, open your ears and listen to the other person’s concerns. You don’t need to defend yourself, you just need to be patient and understanding.

10. Show them your recovery plan-if you’re at a point in your illness where you’re ready to make a sincere effort to get back on your feet and stable, hopefully for the long term, show the person how you plan to do that. And maintain integrity by following through on what you say you’re going to do. Improvement is one of the best ways to bring down barriers and open the doors of communication back up again.

By utilizing these ten , you will have a great chance, over time, and with patience of repairing those relationships that you sincerely want to repair. Good luck and let me know how it goes.


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