How not to handle a bipolar relationship..

The upcoming wall of text is coming from the healthy person in the relationship, dont let that fool you though, even though I was the “healthy” one I was the one who made the relationship end with my actions.

Some backstory

Our relationship started off great, she was the most wonderful person I had ever met in my life. Probably will forever be one of the greatest people I will ever get to know. This comes with a slight backside though. After about three weeks it all changed, she got depressed, suicidal and was really far down. She reached out, was insecure and otherwise in a really bad spot. I saved her from killing herself when she had made all the plans to go through with it, she reached out asking for help, asking me to watch over her so she didn’t do anything stupid that she would regret. After being awake for somewhere around 30 hours she said she was feeling better again. I still couldn’t sleep because I was afraid she was tricking me into sleeping. After she fell asleep on my arm in bed I could finally relax and slept like a baby. She woke me up with a smile and was back to normal.

I was so stoked and happy for her. We thought this was the end of it. We had no idea what was still to come. One week later she moved away to study, we handled the long distance pretty well, or, we didn’t really get to test that. Three days later, I was at work and got a call; “Please help, I’m scared I might try to kill myself”. Needless to say I left work and drove to her as soon as possible. I was there about four hours later, I stayed awake again, watching over her. I’m pretty sure many people would do the same. She woke me up with a smile and thanked me. I stayed for one more day trying to schedule a doctors apointment. It was expensive but worth it; we got one the next day, she was happy that I did this for her and I was happy she was feeling better. We ended the night with what was probably the best sex I’ve ever had (I have a feeling she wanted to reward me haha).

Doctors apointment

Long story short, she got the crisis team sent to her doorstep later that day, they diagnosed her. Bipolar disorder, bipolar type 2 to be exact. She was devestated, I comforted her telling we would make this work. It could only get better from here. Apparently she has had episodes like this before, hence the scars she had all over her thighs and arms. Barely visible, but they were there. She had earlier dismissed it as teenage angst, thats what she told me anyways. She got pills from the psychiatrist, alot of them. She got so much lithium that her immune system took a big hit, she got so much seroquelle that she slept all day and all night every day, just waking up to take her meds then go to sleep again. Her doctor was disgusted by this and corrected the doseage. But it was too late, she now had gotten psoriasis. This is not what we had envisioned; yet another hit to her confidence.

Her mental health

Her mental health reached an all time low, I had to be with her for everything, I couldn’t do anything for myself anymore, I also had to stay strong for her so I just suppressed my own emotions (Don’t do that) and supported her as best as I could. She was getting worse and worse, soon I couldn’t talk to other girls, she was wondering where I was going shopping and had to know the exact time I would be home. She started looking for cameras at home as if someone was watching her, she became paranoid. It was all going downhill, I was walking on eggshells constantly. Except on the good days, the good days were great. But I collapsed on the good days, I was tired, exhausted even. I had no energy left. Then as if nothing bad had ever happened she was better. She was fine, we made it, the pills worked! We started making plans to live together after a 2 month period (about a year in the relationship at this point) of only good days. No fighting, no unhappy feelings, just two months of pure joy! It was magic, I convinced myself that this was over and that we were free from the problems, I knew somewhere deep inside me that this was just the beginning of the end for me, but I didn’t care. I was so happy, WE were so happy!

She regained her confidence, life was good for a while. For about six months, until christmas actually.

Then once again the downwards spiral started again. Once again I supressed my emotions and was there for her at all hours. Once again, don’t do that kids, unless you know that you can handle being an emotional wreck inside. I got so tired, I was upset that she would never invite me to anything, she would never instigate anything; not sex, no kissing, no hugs, no cuddles, no nothing. I was all alone supporting her, the only times she would ask for something was when she wanted food or water. Rest of the time she would lay in bed, I was so lonely.

She had some days where she was feeling better, every time without fail she would go out with friends, in her head she probably (also told me this was the reason) wanted to go out and explore the world while she had the chance. She came home each night, not too late and she never cheated or anything. I was just sad that the one day we could spend together she wanted to spend with friends instead of me.

This continued for a long time, about three months. She realized she didn’t like where we had our apartment and i suggested she could move home while I kept studying for my exams. She agreed.

After she got home she was feeling better for a couple of days, then she became distant. She never wanted to call me, we rarely talked. She spent her time talking and drinking with friends because it was too hard to keep a relationship at the moment (That is something I figured out while reading the book: “My lovely wife in the psych ward”). I couldn’t understand though why it would be so hard to just give me an update on what she was doing. Once again she would never start conversations, she stopped giving compliments and doing the usual things she would do. I tried to talk to her about it, she was always too tired or it was me being too clingy. I got angry, I wouldn’t call it clingy. I was there for her every day for over a year. Not once since christmas had I pressured her, I did everything for her, and now when she was feeling better she would go out drinking and talking to friends instead of talking to me. The one thing I have ever asked for during our entire relationship was for her to call me once every two weeks or once a month. It never happened.

My mental health

My mental health was splendid in the start. I was strong willed, confident and everything she wanted me to be. But during this rollercoaster of emotions it got all teared up, I sacrificed myself to make her feel better. I was an idiot, the bipolar disease is ruthless and you have it for life. At least at the moment. I still pray for a cure even after our relationship has ended.

I cannot control her or decide what she should do. I can give advice and be supportive, but at the end of the day I was not her caretaker, but I did act as one. I burned myself out completely, you probably know the feeling when you just don’t enjoy your hobby anymore and you just need a break from it to regain the energy to keep doing it. Well it was like that, just multiply it by a thousand and then some. I was completely empty, I started to doubt myself, I didn’t use the opportunity she gave me to be alone and do my own things and just be myself. I used that time instead wondering why she never wanted to talk to me. I pitied myself for not having sex more than 6 times the last 7 months. And not a single time did we have sex sober since christmas. Not once. I felt undesired, she pushed me away as I kept reaching out, I became too much for her too handle. At the end I wouldn’t even want to be with myself, the last month I got clingy, I got depressed, I felt like a failure and a shitty boyfriend. So shitty that not even my girlfriend wanted anything to do with me. Which was infact true, she didn’t want anything to do with me, but she didn’t think I was shitty, she just knew that I would always be there. She didn’t tell me that though, she never did. I felt so alone, we shared friends as well, so I didn’t really have anyone to confide in, I was just all alone since all my friends would just brush it off since they had to take her side into account as well.

The end

affection beautiful blur couple
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I came home after my exams, I had told her many times the last months that I would be home at that date. The last week I told her multiple times so that she would not forget. When I sent a message to her telling her I was one hour from my house she just said ok, for refrence, it’s basically next door. I got home, I asked her if she wanted to do something or meet up for a coffee or something. After beeing away from each other for almost three months i was pretty excited to meet her again. She couldn’t though, she was tired, but she assured me we could do something tomorrow. I cried myself to sleep that night. Next day I called her, asking if she wanted to do somthing. But no she was on her way with a friend to another city to go shopping. I was so angry I just went back to my apartment 6 hours away. I called her once I arrived and just told her it was over. She cried and couldn’t understand why.

We reconnected at a party a week or so later, somehow she convinced me to try one more time. I was happy, it’s the first thing she ever asked me since she got her diagnose. I just said that we could try if she started taking the initiative to stuff. Spoiler alert, she didn’t. She invited me twice to a cup of coffee, but as soon as it was empty she had to go and meet friends. I didn’t demand to be put on a pedestal, but I wanted to be on the same line of importancy as her friends and strangers, I didn’t want to be put lower. I was devestated once again. And this time we broke up much more violently. I screamed at her to go hell in front of all of our friends. Then I left.

I later apologized and we are “friends”, but it feels like she resents me, but that is probably because I resent her, still to this day. I know it’s wrong, she is ill. But she never listened to me when I needed her, and I used too much energy on her. It was bound to fail. We talk occasionally, she got over me in about two days, it hurts so much to know this. I am still hating life as a single man about a month after the breakup. She is moving on. I am happy for her, but I hate her for it. To me, even though I know it is wrong, it feels like she never even loved me. I hope she apologizes for the stuff she did to me sometime in the future when she returns to normal and is not manic/apathic anymore. But for now I am not holding my horses.

Tips:

For the SO:

  • Take care of yourself, if you have to take a break and really focus on yourself, almost forget about him/her for a while. If you can do this then you will be invited back into the warmth after not too long.
  • Read the book “My lovely wife in the psychward”, it’s also on audiobook. It almost saved my relationship.
  • If she is being an ass, talk to her about it and stand your ground.
  • Set boundaries as soon as you get to know her diagnosis.
  • Talk to a therapist if you don’t have anyone else. I didn’t, see where that got me..
  • Go to a therapist with your SO.
  • Learn about the disease, read, look for triggers that make the relationship worse and avoid them, or work on them.
  • Write down stuff that bothers you and bring it up when your SO is able to handle it.
  • Be patient, use the time alone on yourself.
  • Dont obsess over their health or disorder, it’s important to read and learn about the disorder, but make sure that not all your conversations bring up the disorder.

For the disordered:

  • Try to not shut your loved ones out. It hurts so much more than seeing you having a bad time. It’s actually better to say you need some time alone than to just shut them out without warning. If you have ever been ghosted, imagine if that happened 1 year into a relationship. Thats what it feels like.
  • Your loved ones loves all of you, they don’t care if you are happy all the time, they will be there for you even in your lowest periods.
  • Get treatment.
  • Take your medications.
  • Go to a therapist.
  • Go to a therapist with your SO.
  • If you are feeling down, remember that you are not alone. There are always someone, even if it seems like no one is there.
  • You are worth something.
  • If something is bothering you write it down. You might forget the issues when you come back to normal or go into mania.

 

And my dear E, if you read this, I am so sorry. I still love you, I always will. I will always be there when disaster hits. But for now I will need some time to heal, I can’t handle you properly, but know that there is someone out there who can. I promise you will have a better life with him than with me. I was a disaster at the end and I am sorry for it. I am glad we are not together anymore, I am feeling so much better mentally, but my heart is hurting so much and not a single minute passes without me thinking about you, I hope you are doing well, I hope you find someone soon. I can’t, I won’t, not yet.

– Dad

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