Just found this site and am in awe of all of you who are willing to be so honest about your struggles. As the partner of almost 20 years of a husband who has probably been bipolar the whole time but only diagnosed 2 years ago, it is refreshing to read frank accounts of what it is like to be there.
I can never fully understand what it's like, but I have lived with bipolar for 20 years as well, on the outside. I have watched my best friend want to kill himself, drink himself into a stupor, and make decisions that are irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and completely incomprehensible to me over and over and over. I have been blamed, been worshipped and been relied on for everything, including giving him a reason to stay alive - a pretty tall order.
I have also watched a proper diagnosis, with good medications, make a world of difference. I have heard "I feel normal again" and then watched him jeopardize this with ongoing alcohol use.
I work in the field, but it is so different to "live it" - no one can know what is the right path for someone else, and I am appreciating the non-judgemental and friendly tone of this site.
I am currently in the process of kicking my wonderful partner out in the hopes that this will finally make him realize that he has to choose between alcohol and our family (2 little boys aged 2 and 5). He is being VERY nice to me currently and trying to show me that he can stop drinking without me needing him out (strange how he wasn't able to do this last week, before I finally said "enough"). I did this before, and it was very successful - regular AA, and almost a year of sobriety. He returned home after 3 months last time, finally got a good diagnosis, and all was wonderful for a time. Then he decided he had only used alcohol to self medicate and now didn't need to do this any more, so he could drink socially. He continues to take his meds, but his occasional drinks have turned into more than 24 beer a week. And with the medications, he is intoxicated after 2 or 3....(if that's accurate - I can never be sure how many he's had as he is adept at hiding them).
Hopefully he can move out, stay sober, and we can rebuild our relationship. I'm worried about the kids' reactions, but he has an open invitation to visit them any time as long as he is not drinking (with me supervising....). Last time he was here almost daily, even if only for an hour or two, and that was great as we got only "good time" with him - all the frustration, anger, and other stuff was his stuff, and he kept it away from us. The kids actually benefitted as they had his undivided attention when he was here, and when he wasn't, they weren't dealing with his moods or the "why won't daddy play with me?" feelings. Kids amaze me with their ability to adapt but I still worry.
I apologize for the long post, but that's my reason for being here right now.