28 Oct 2016

The empathy effect – by Gavin

Gavin set up his blog www.ilovebipolar.com recently to write about his experience of Bipolar and why he loves it! Thank you Gavin for allowing us to share your blog posts with our readers.

Empathy, commonly referred to as ‘putting yourself into another’s shoes’ is a classic bipolar gift. It’s about being in another’s thoughts and in another’s feelings. Since I have experienced the full range of human emotions from the depressive lows to the manic highs – I can imagine being in the shoes of another who is low, or high, or anything in between.

Similarly, my thoughts have mirrored my expansive feelings, and so if a person’s thoughts are racing, for example, then I can usually relate to or imagine their reality. Oh yes, what a beautiful thing it is to be bipolar!

Vulnerable people

The empathy effect has also moved me to action. When I experienced the plight of a vulnerable student in college, I took the time to sit with him; I explained a technical term; and I met up in the evening. When I felt the pain of a sick guy in the Church, I stopped to listen and I gave him a €20 note. I like to welcome the newcomer too, whether in work, at a party, or with my family. I know what it is like to be uniquely different.

Hands open

Bipolar taught me that I needed help in this world. I surrendered my hands and heart to the care of my family; the medical services; and my Church. I did therapy; I set a healthy routine; and I’ve been consistently taking medication. My empathic response is to reach out in a state of interdependency, interconnectedness, and inner beauty.

So, next time you meet someone who needs your help, stop to listen and perhaps buy them a cup of tea. Putting yourself in another’s shoes is deeply satisfying. This is one reason why I love bipolar and I love this world!


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