Sometimes in relationships, the words “I’m Sorry” begin to lose their meaning and in some cases, even mean nothing when we keep using them so flippantly as a quick band-aid but yet don’t end up changing those actions or behaviors. In many situations, you can be saying I’m sorry, but you know that those words don’t mean anything to the other person anymore. Its just an “auto fill” statement that comes out when you want to just forget about what happened and move on; and heck it worked in the past, so why wouldn’t it work again? Well, you might think that your “I’m sorry,” is going to end that issue and wrap it up with a nice little bow where it will be placed deep into the back of the closet where all the other neatly resolved issues are stacked, but you can not forget that the other party has feelings too, and yes, at some point they may get tired of the standard “I’m Sorry” protocol if you begin to use that basically ad nauseum for everything and and anything.
After a long period of acting out and the “I’m Sorry,” quickly to follow, they may begin to think that the only way they will be able to feel better is by making you hurt more than you have hurt them. The other party may lash out like you have never seen before because this time, your behavior was finally the straw that broke the cliche “camel’s back.” Maybe you deserve it, maybe you don’t, but at some point, unless some serious change follows the phrase “I’m sorry,” it becomes meaningless and almost insulting when said. Why insulting? Because the flippant use can make the other person feel like their feelings, emotions or views/stands/opinions do not matter to you because nothing ever changes. Day in and day out, everything still stays the same no matter how many times or how many different ways you say “I’m sorry.”
Maybe I was horrible before I got professional help for my issues, maybe I still am horrible in the eyes of some, but the only thing I can say I am guilty of is trying to make things better and genuinely mean it, and giving my all to make everyone sees that I was a different person then and have made incredible progress from where I had started.
Unfortunately, once you break someone’s trust, or hurt them so badly, they just don’t care anymore, and when the words “I’m sorry” are uttered yet again, it no longer holds any meaning or has any effect on them.
So then what do you say or do to try to make things right? What can you say? When you are asked to admit to things that are untrue, what can you say? No matter what you say, they don’t believe you because your track record sure seems to show that in certain situations, your words are meaningless. There is no value or merit to what you say. There is no more last shot. You had it and blew it. Now it’s time to live with it.
Living with bipolar disorder, there are so many times you have to say I’m sorry.
When that certain mood comes around and turns you into this strange creature that is absolutely not the real you, it’s like someone or something has jumped inside your body and taken over. If you haven’t been diagnosed yet, that can be scary as hell because you don’t know what is going on. When you have those swings so many times, and have no plausible explanation for the chaos going on inside your head, that “I’m sorry” runs really thin, really quick.
But, when you take the time to figure out WHAT the chaos is, and finally get diagnosed, that “I’m Sorry” should hopefully, gradually become less and less frequent. You should be learning how to manage your moods and if you are in a relationship, they too should be learning what your triggers are and how to help manage your mood so that you don’t get to the point of the meaningless “I’m sorry.” It is definitely a team effort. The person who has bipolar can not do it all on their own. If they are constantly put in situations where there are lots of triggers, how could you reasonably expect them to stay calm? Lack of knowledge can really harm the relationship and learning a few key things about it can enhance a relationship so much and prevent those constant apologies.
I learned (the hard way of course) , that no matter what, “I’m sorry” wears thin and sometimes you don’t get a second chance for someone to see and accept change.
Once the words “I’m sorry” no longer mean anything, that is when you know you have messed up bad and there really is no going back. You can spend the next 5-10 years of your life trying and begging for someone to just take a closer look at you and see the difference, but, if you have broken their trust, then it most likely will fall upon deaf ears.
Some people give second chances, others don’t. You have to be prepared, at all times, for the person who doesn’t give the second chance so you don’t make the mistakes to begin with. I was very, very blessed and fortunate to have a lot of people who did give me a second chance and didn’t give up on me.
The one thing that I can advise you to not do, above all things, when dishing out the apologies, NEVER apologize for things you did NOT do or for being who you are now, because right now, you are a different person than you were 5 minutes ago, 5 days ago, and 5 years ago. Just as others change, we change too. We may have bipolar disorder, but that alone does not prevent us from changing. The only thing preventing us from changing is our own mindset and our own desire and efforts to make the changes.
“I’m Sorry,” gets old really fast when there is no change to follow.
It really is only a matter of time before your friends and loved ones just become numb, or they walk away all together. Either way, it is not healthy for either party in the relationship. My last nugget of advice is that before you start dishing out the “I’m sorry” lines, make sure that you are committed to really making the change for what you are sorry about. Actions speak louder than words. Make them both count.