Friday, September 23, 2011

Love Has Its Ups and Downs by Bonnie Rice

Bonnie Rice is writing from the heart about being married to a husband with Bipolar disorder and what it takes to stay married and raise a family in the chaos of the illness. She deserves much credit for putting this together in such an honest, concise and practical way. This is one of those books that I had to stop myself from underlining the whole thing; there is just so much good advice for living with someone with Bipolar illness, and I should know because my mother had it and I became her emotional caretaker until the day she passed away. I wish someone would have written this book earlier; it would have made my childhood and adulthood a little less stressful. In the very least it would have given me some perspective. I didn’t learn some these things until later in life. Saying that, still Bonnie gave me a few “Ah Ha” moments: for example, when the person with Bipolar illness says something mean and hurtful: to remember that it’s not about you—it’s about them. Another one was that “Bipolar affects memory.” There is nothing more frustrating then to be the one still reeling from a manic episode while the Bipolar acts like nothing happened.

Love Has Its Ups and Downs is a great reference book for anyone who has a relationship with someone with mental health issues, and those who want to understand Bipolar illness. Bonnie uses humor in some places to illustrate facts, and her end of chapter questions and worksheets are very helpful. In one of the questions she asks you to remember a funny thing your Bipolar family member said: here’s a classic thing my mom said the first time I talked to her about boundaries, she said, “Boundaries are meant to be broken that’s how new countries are made.” In hindsight it’s funny, at the time not so much. This isn’t a one size fits all manual for marriages surviving Bipolar illness, but it is a starting place to help understand the necessity of boundaries, team support and putting together a workable plan for the health of yourself and your family. 5 stars. I read this on Kindle.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I'm happy to read that my book is helpful to people who come into life with bipolar from other angles. I married into it, so that's what I wrote about; but the information must be general and accurate enough to work in other situations. Thanks,

Bonnie Rice