Did I do the right thing?

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LLEAKY
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/27/2007 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Everyone.  I am new on here but have been reading your posts for a long time mainly to help deal with my now ex boyfriend.  My problem is whether I should have left him and if he gets into difficulities should I go back and help him once again.  I do love him.  He has been totally honest since I met him about his illness and does try to deal with it on his own and keep me sheltered from it, saying I shouldn't have to deal with it and even expects all his girlfriends to leave him. He can be so kind and sweet and yet I know how manipulative he can be too. The trouble is he drinks heavily and won't take his medication when he drinks.  This means he spends most of his time hypomanic which is why we have had an off/on relationship for the last 11 months.  He becomes very selfish and just wants attention from everyone that I get left behind and sometimes forgot and he seems to go his own way yet when I leave him he turns to drinking constantly and often in his texts will tell me he is drunk again which is nearly every day which is his cry for help for me to get him out of the pub and back on the meds. He introduced me to someone as his girlfriend who has helped him through a lot of difficult times. I have just left him again and he is seeing a married woman (not the first time I have had him back after going with someone else and when drinking heavily) putting this down to being manic and drinking heavily again. He has asked me twice now if we can still be friends and I'm worried that he will just be using me as a crutch each time he gets into tail spinning mode with the drink and am so unsure as to what he really feels. He has said he loves me but don't want to settle down. Yet other times he says he don't know what he wants. I know he was hurt in his mariage break up.  His wife didn't stand by him when he got ill.

I have printed off items off the posts to show him that I do understand what he is going through and hopefully to help him with the drink and get him on the meds etc.(which I am so grateful to this site for).  I saw him the other night and he made out he was having a great time getting drunk every day but when I said you are not coping very well are you?   He said no and said he had cried all day saying he had had enough of being bipolar and his married woman had said he drank too much and he couldnt get anyone to stand by him. I felt so much for him but didn't want to be taken for granted and try and help him again. i tried to talk him into getting back on the medication (which makes him very tired, the doctor having putting him on a high dose I think because of his drinking) an he said he would try next week.  When on the meds though all he does is sleep and this really does him in so he goes back on the drink as he likes to be doing things. I explained if he kept off the drink I would go to the doctors with him to see if his meds can be altered so he is not so tired.

I just don't know what to do.  He seems to push me away but all the time but I get the feeling he is constantly asking for help. ( I know he finds it difficult to ask for help.  Thinks he can do everything alone).  I know his family will take care of him but if should I go back again if it gets to that stage or leave him to sort himself out? i feel so guilty for leaving when I feel I should have stood by him.  

I'd just like to say how grateful I am for this site and has given me such an insight into bipolar and all its difficulties.


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 8/27/2007 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
LLeaky, I know you love this person, but I have to be honest and ask what is going on with you that you want this level of drama in your life. If he is now an EX-bf, there should not be a debate about going back. If he has troubles in his life...they are his to resolve. If he doesn't...he doesn't. You must ask yourself why you want this situation back. You are not here to save him. Forgive me, it sounds like you need to focus on you here and look at what is going on with you. I know you must be a compassionate woman, but then ask yourself what about compassion for yourself. Will being encumbered in this mans life allow you the life you want? What does it give you? Don't you want a man who can have a functional, healthy relationship with you? Perhaps marriage, family? Don’t you want a balanced equal to be partnered with? Do you really think this gentleman can provide you with that? And if the answer is no, then why would you make any bargains with him or try to step into this situation again. Be a friend to him certainly and tell him the truth...He needs help. He should go to the doctor and tell him all this. Or find a new doctor if the one he has doesn't listen and help him. But he is a grown man. If he really wants help, he will get it. Otherwise, it is just his pattern. And perhaps yours too - as the rescuer? Is that what you want to be? Focus on you, let him focus on him. Wish him well. Pray for him. But – get honest with yourself here.

Scared_Wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 8/27/2007 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
LLeaky, although I completly agree with Loving frustrated wife, I too argue with myself everyday and come up with excuses to NOT take her advice. "Cause he's sick and I need to help Him"

I am not sure it is Bi-Poler that I am dealling with in My Husband of 5 years, but know it is something. He too is loving one minute and cold as Ice the next... All my friends and even his own mother have said exactly what LFW has said to you, to me in one fasion or another.

But yet here I am everynight looking for the anwser to help "fix" him. Logically I know he needs to want to help himself... But My heart Just won't let me stop fighting for the Man I love.... SO, In Short I don't have any advice... But I understand your need to Save him....

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/27/2007 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Scared and Lleaky,

Both of you know that people don't need to be bipolar to cause chaos in dysfunctional relationships. It just gets a whole lot worse when they do have a mood disorder because it adds a layer of guilt for the partner they're upsetting. But just to repeat what Loving said, we are talking about Grown Men here. They know what they need to do to make their lives better. They know they need to go to the doctor, stop drinking, behave more responsibly to their family and loved ones, and take their medicine. They are choosing not to do that. It's not easy to have a mood disorder and always behave responsibly and rationally. I won't pretend it is. But unless you're having a psychotic break, you're still in possession of your own mind and you are making your own choices.

You ladies get to choose how to respond. I too have a lot of experience trying to "fix" impossible relationships with family members and romantic partners alike. If you haven't yet, check out the classic "Codependent No More" by Melody Beatty. It might offer some comfort and strength and help you let yourselves off the hook a little bit.

I wish you both luck and peace,
serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 8/27/2007 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Lleaky and Scared, any and all advice that any of us give you are yours to take or leave. But know that we share much of it from personal experience. The “been there, done that" variety. Think this way about it, you can tell kids to not put their finger in a light socket because YOU know they will get hurt. Some kids will listen and some won't. They need to put the finger in and experience it for themselves. The choice is yours. Just know, that when things go badly, you have been sucked dry....you will have to look to yourselves as the place to blame, not the bf's or husband, because you have heard the truth and chosen to look the other way in the name of "love" as you put it. Believe me, I LOVE my husband, and I do thank God he is on the mild side of this condition in comparison. But he is no easy man to live with or love. If it was worse, with substance abuse of any kind or violence, I would leave. It would be painful, my heart would say to keep trying to help him...but I am to old to have rose colored glasses on, and have lived too many of my own mistakes to be that foolish with myself and my young children's lives. You see, those are the places I draw strong lines. I would also separate if he refused to take his meds, see his doctors, or work to understand himself and his BP better. Grant you he is slow and stubborn about it, but he does do it, and with a decent level of consistency. Plus, our marriage isn't overshadowed by the constant crisis of it all. They are however, my conditions with myself for staying. But make no mistake about the fact that I KNOW I can not do this for him. HE has to do the work, not me. HE has to (in the end) own his own condition. And again...I can say he is on the milder side of the BP2.

Also Scared, you have yet to rule out a brain tumor or true physical ailment causing this polar shift in him. And no matter what is wrong with him, first and foremost, that has to be determined. But either way, you can NOT save him, he must or he is lost to you anyway. If he comes and acts all sweet, it only works if you buy in. You already know the outcome, so stop living in hope. IF he finds out what is wrong, gets the help he needs from a physical or emotional stand point, THEN you can try and reconcile if you wish. But right now...you are choosing to play the game WITH him and it won't stop for you as long as you do that.

I wish you ladies luck on making smart choices. I hear you love your men. Just learn to love yourselves MORE! And I am sorry if you feel I was too honest and straight. I don't think we serve each other to not be here. But I do feel for you both... LFW

LLEAKY
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/28/2007 2:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you all for your comments, thoughts, understanding and straight talking which I really don't mind and maybe is what I need. It is going to be really hard to leave the man I love behind especially when I feel he needs someone to help him but I suppose I know that I will suffer if I go back to the close relationship that we had.  He said last time we got back together that he was really ill when I left because with me he feels normal and he hasn't felt normal in such a long time. He always tried to keep off the drink when he was with me and I managed to get him to take his meds for 2 weeks (Yes I know its not a lot but it was the first time he had taken them for that long, so big achievement for him).  He also said I never take any rubbish from him and I can control him and he needs someone like me to keep him off the drink but was it love or is he looking for a mother figure?  I am 10 years his senior.  Suppose I will never know.   It's these things that break my heart but I know I have to do it and it is up to him to sort his life out, illness or no illness.  I have given a lot of my time and love to him to try and help him achieve what he wants but if he relentlessly goes back to the drink and good times, manic episodes, then it is now down to him. I will just be grateful for all the laughs he has given me as when things were good, they were very good. We had the same tastes in everything and got on really well.  

I will stay a friend to him but keep my distance which will be really hard as I really love him (he has such an unselfish nature in some ways and such kindness in not wanting me to suffer too) and it hurts to see him at the moment as a just a friend but will try to help him in that way if he needs my help.   In the meantime I have to move on and get on with my own life and like you all say, look after myself and what I need out of life.

Thank you all so much.

   

 


LLEAKY
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/28/2007 4:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I would like to ask just one more thing though and hope someone can help with this one.  My now ex boyfriend was always full of life and loves socialising (whether it be due to just the hypomania I don't know or part of his personality) and one of his main reasons for not taking his medication was that the people at his group were always so sedated and they never wanted to do anything. He said he didn't want to be like that! He wanted to enjoy life and just didnt want to be like them sitting there with no life in them. Life was for living.  He loved music and dancing and the pub life (which was one of the reasons it was so difficult for him to give it up.  He had been brought up around pubs and clubs).  He is also a big family man spending days out with his large family and children which he enjoys. If he does take his medication and gave up his drink would his life be like that? After reading some posts on here I didn't think it would be and medications can be changed (although I do understand this can be difficult) but after what he says aabout the people in his bipolar group could he be right?  And how would he change if he did go on the medication?  Would he realise the life he has been living with no responsibility was wrong? (Sometimes he even convinced me that his life was right.  Just enjoying yourself with no worries.  Could I blame him for thinking like that?). Although I do realise he is basically just hiding and running from all his responsibilities with the drink and I have told him this instead of facing things and maybe his illness.
 
Could someone give me some idea as to how he would change with medication?  I suppose I only ask as if I am going to be his friend in the future and at some point he does decide to change I would hate to give him wrong advice.  I have told him that things would probably all make sense if he took his medication.  That he doesn't have to live like a zombie if he takes his medication and he can still enjoy life but just on a more even level. That he would be less likely to get into trouble (as he has had a few scrapes in the pub, once landing him in jail for the night and he said I just wanted a quiet game of pool).  I would like to see him take his medication but I wouldn't like to see the life go out of him. I hope this makes sense to someone and I don't offend anyone by asking this question.
 
Thank you.              

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/28/2007 7:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Lleaky, It's not a bad question at all. It's not offensive at all. We talk about meds here all the time. :)

No. He absolutely should not live his live like a zombie. If he is zombified by his medication, he's on the wrong one and he would need to see his psychiatrist and try a different medication. (Right Ellie?) There are many different medications and many different combinations of medications that psychs have to choose from and they work to tailor those to each person's needs. Everyone's chemistry and bipolar symptoms are a little bit different, so what makes me feel relatively "normal" might make someone else feel like they're jumping out of their skin or unable to get out of bed. But you should never live with intolerable side effects. There are lots of options.

Now, if you read back through the boards, you'll see that searching for the right combination of medications can be a really long and frustrating process and some people give up. But I can only say it works very well for me and I would probably be dead without my meds. Mine don't zombify me. They make me more even and actually help me enjoy myself much more because I'm not freaking out. I don't have the wild energy if mania but my moods are steadier, less spastic. I definitely enjoy my family and friends more, I'm more dependable, and while I don't think anyone on psych meds is supposed to drink much, I can still go out for a drink with friends if I want.

I can't tell you what will happen with your ex, but that's my experience. Not everyone has such smooth stories, as I expect you'll hear...

serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


LLEAKY
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/28/2007 7:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you serafena for that. Its good to hear. I was telling him he didn't have to live like a zombie and was really hoping that it was true (I had read a few posts on here). Really worried that if he did try he might give up and lose faith in what I say so really good to hear. I really think thats what puts him off trying especially as he has tried a few times and just sleeps constantly. Obviously the doctors have told him they won't change his medication until he stops the drinking and that part is up to him. Well I will print off your post and if ever he decides he needs help at least I can show him there maybe light at the end of the tunnel. I suppose all he can do is try. Obviously I don't think it will be until a long time yet or until he gets himself into trouble again but at least I have it from the horses mouth so to speak and can't thank you enough.

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 8/28/2007 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Lleaky,

I wanted to welcome you to the HW family, I am glad you found us.  I hope you find the support you are looking for here.



Olivia
Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar 1, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/28/2007 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
No problem, Lleaky. You're undoubtedly right that his drinking is what makes the medication especially sedating for him. Again, not your problem -- his. Like I said, I can have a drink -- like one. More than that and I too start to get sleepy. But I can go out and laugh and have a good time with my friends and dance, and I don't need to get rolling drunk to do that.

Of course, I've never been much of a drinker anyway. :) I grew up in a family of alcoholics, so the idea that drinking heavily is all about joie de vivre has never really worked for me. In my mind (and I'm not saying this is the case for your friend) getting good and drunk isn't just about having a good time at the pub. It's more about losing your inhibitions so you can't be held accountable, or --more importantly-- can't hold yourself accountable for the stupid crap you do while your inhibitions are down. Sleep with your best friend's wife? You were drunk. Get in a fight in a bar? You were drunk. Leave your kids with a near-stranger? You were drunk. Pass out on the lawn? You were drunk. Lose your job? You were drunk. No romanticism for me, I'm afraid.

My stepmother had to leave my father two years ago because he had been so severely alcoholic for years that his life was falling apart and he refused to even admit there was a problem. She didn't necessarily want to leave him, but in the end it was what she needed to do to save herself and her daughters' lives from going down the tubes with his. It was also the best thing for him. It took over a year, but he finally got help and has been dry for 9 months. I recognize it's hard to leave someone who's suffering, but maybe by taking care of yourself, he'll get the hint and take care of himself.

serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


LLEAKY
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/29/2007 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
OOC - Thank you for your welcome. Nice to be able to actually ask qustions and get answers from people who understand and has been a big help not only to understand bipolar but even myself.

Serafena - And yes I can understand the problems of drink too well as my son has also had drink problems together with anxiety disorder having to throw him out eventually after nearly setting fire to my house twice whilst falling asleep with food on the stove after drinking. Not an easy thing for a mother to have to do but has straightened himself out and is now in control of it and at least keeps a roof over his head and pays his bills.

Unlike your grandfather my ex knows he has a problem. He explained on the first date (he was always honest to a fault) that he was an alcoholic. ( I should have known better then shouldn't I? But he was so funny, charming and honest- by the way I have ordered the book 'codependant no more' thank you. I realise I do tend to attract needy people and maybe need to look at myself in that department but I am trying to change). He used to drink but only went to the extreme when he became ill. He spent a year just sitting at his sisters after his marriage broke up and she threw him out and told him to go sit somewhere else like the pub. So he did! All day, every day for about a year until he was finally diagnosed as bp and put on medication when he managed to get his life a little more together but think he is still struggling coming to terms with his illness and handle it responsibly. Instead he uses it to his advantage as and when he feels like to get himself out of trouble like 'I was in the pub because I'm bipolar and I can't make rational decisons', or 'if I get into trouble I will just say I'm mental and they will let me off' just like a child with no sense of resposibility.

His sister says he went alittle weird when his mum died and sometimes said to me 'you will take care of me'. Looking for a mother figure? Em? I advised him to get off the drink, sort the meds and then maybe sort a couple of issues he has with his mothers death and his marriage with his psychotherapist when I left.

Good news is he has contacted me saying he has been off the drink for 2 days (like he said he was going to but maybe cause he hasn't any money but we will see. Don't hold out much hope. I am going to caryy on and keep my distance. I have already refused to go round making excuses and said I will probably pop round in a month. If he thinks I am losing interest (I think his sister too is giving up on him) maybe he will learn he now has to take responsibility for his illness, other people and his life. Hope I don't sound too hard but I refuse to be his mother! Thank you the posts. I have found them of great help.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/29/2007 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Lleaky,

He married his therapist?!?! <Laughing> That's not really funny, I know, but it seems so ironic.

You are very brave. I hope you do well and thanks for giving us a chance to be helpful. I hope I could be a little. It's good to know that some good may come out of all the crazy things we experience. Please keep us up to date on how you're doing.

serafena.
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


LLEAKY
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/30/2007 12:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry he didn't marry his psychotherapist, I meant see his psychotherapist about his marriage. Think I worded it wrong.

Anyway, thanks a lot and will keep you posted.

Take care.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/30/2007 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, I see. Thanks. No, I think I read it wrong. <Laughing again>
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

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