I live with my son (24) and daughter (26) who are also bipolar. (Their father left when my son was born and I suspect he was bipolar, too, based on his behavior.)
We struggled for a long time when they were younger about whether or not they were bipolar. They thought my suspicions were merely a case of misery loving company. But when symptoms became difficult to manage, when they were around 20, they acquiesced and sought help. One had to be hospitalized, first. She is now on medication. The other is not on medication, but is followed by a psychiatrist. My son paces and listens to music...a lot. He has not been able to keep a full-time job so he has the ability to flow with his moods and pace all night if need be.
My daughter's moods were volatile. Even on meds, she can explode. My son's moods are more internal...brooding and cynical. My moods manifest themselves in a more physical fashion...tremors, tics, busy-ness, creativity, sleepiness, aches, and pains. We have shifted into a place where we understand and accept what is going on. Well, accept isn't quite the right word. We know what is happening is a manifestation of the disorder but we expect a certain amount of responsibility from the other person. In other words, get a grip. If you have missed your meds, find them. If you need sleep, get it. You may be feeling bad but it is not nice to tell me to shut up.
We have had a bad day today. I'm crashing down from 7 days of mania. My kids are prickly and defensive for whatever reason. Maybe my not doing well makes them nervous...still. I tend to suck it up and stay out of their way. That is not the best thing to do. After all, their rights end where mine begin. But when you are dealing with three adults, with fluctuating moods, in a small house, you have to expect a certain amount of friction.
It's quiet now. My son has gone to work. My daughter is sleeping. The sun is setting. I'm sitting in the twilight, typing. This isn't an easy situation we have here but I prefer it to one where the other members of the household have not a clue what I am going through. Besides, when I give serious thought to what my life is about, I find consolation in the hope that I am in some way helping my children find their way.