I’ve decided on how to approach things with The Veteran: I won’t bother trying to tell her that her brain seems distinctly wonky. Instead I’ll encourage her to get back on mood stabilizers “before” anything bad happens. She may not be able to sense when she’s backsliding, but I believe she understands the mechanism of mental illness; I believe she grasps – and can continue to grasp, even now – that bipolar disorder doesn’t magically go away and that without pharmaceutical support she leaves herself vulnerable.
Pretty sure the reason she’s unmedicated is that apparently the disability people require periodic paperwork, statements of income, etc. in order to keep giving her money and paying for her medication, and she’s gotten behind on that stuff. So I texted her saying that I really wanna help her get back on disability and back on meds, and told her what days I’m free to assist with whatever she needs for that.
She responded thanking me for letting her know my availability. That’s it. She didn’t specifically say yes to us working on her disability paperwork together, but she didn’t specifically say no to it, either.
Now, it’s entirely possible that once I actually get over there she’ll be like “Okay so help me with this wacky art project I’m doing!” and I’ll have to gently insist that we work at her disability stuff instead, and maybe she’ll get mad at that point. I dunno. But at least she hasn’t given me any pushback yet, so that’s encouraging.