Reaching out is not something I’m good at. In fact, I have to write it down on my list of things to do so I remember to call a friend or family member. My husband encourages me to reach out to people. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t talk to anyone. It’s extremely important to reach out to friends and family, it’s a great way to take care of ourselves. Reaching out to others during every state of our bipolar disorder allows us to maintain friendships. Creating and maintaining relationships is vital to our health; we don’t have to do this alone.

We can reach out to our friends and family in many ways. Even just a simple text message to let others know that we’re thinking about them is helpful, it helps maintain the relationship. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m manic, I tend to reach out to others more often. The things I say are not always the most appropriate. Luckily, my friends and family are very understanding. One of the things I’m working on is reaching out to others during depressive episodes. It’s extremely difficult, but I want my loved ones to know that I care about them and that I’m not just reaching out when I’m manic.

When I’m depressed, I don’t always know what to say to others. I have a hard time talking to other people in general. I have realized that when I reach out to loved ones, I can simply say, ‘Just saying hello; I want you to know I’m thinking about you. How are you doing? What’s new?’ Saying something that simple to someone you love can make them feel loved. Our loved ones are usually the ones that do most of the reaching out. I’m working very hard to change that; I don’t want to be the person that never calls or sends a message. When I receive a phone call or text from someone I care about, it makes me feel really good. It makes me smile and feel loved. I want to give that good feeling to my friends and family as well.

In my opinion, I can’t expect others to always reach out to me if I never reach out to them. Relationships go both ways. I believe that I need to put more effort into my relationships. I have been doing this with a couple important relationships and it has made a huge difference. For example, I’ve been reaching out more to a family member; I email, call, and text her and she does the same to me. I’m going home tomorrow and I can’t wait to see her. Our relationship has grown in just a short amount of time and it has had a huge and wonderful impact on my life. Every person that I’ve reached out to has been a success; I’m building and rebuilding relationships slowly but surely.

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