New here & just lost

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/12/2009 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
My partner is bipolar - untreated.  For a bit of background, I've known her for 7 years and we were always just best friends - although I've always been in love with her.  We went for a period of about 4 years where we didn't talk - that was me because I just didn't know how to NOT be in love with her.  We started talking again about 6 months ago and, yes, I was still very much in love with her.  This time was different, though - she told me she felt the same for me.  We lived in different states so we talked on the phone multiple times a day.  She moved in with me roughly 3 months ago.  It has definitely been a roller coaster ride. 
She can be the sweetest, most thoughtful person I've ever known - and can turn around and be the nastiest, most hateful person I've ever known.  It's like I'm living with 2 different people and it's making me crazy.
She has a background of abuse from a very early age and has been through more than anyone else I've ever met.  I'm actually amazed she's as "together" as she is most of the time.  She was diagnosed bipolar when she was very young and has been in treatment centers several times.  She was in a relationship prior to ours where she was very happy in the beginning and decided to stop taking her meds.  Now with all the major life changes she has just made (quitting her job, moving to another state, leaving her relationship, etc.,) it's like it set something off.  We'll go for a few days with no issues and then out of the blue she's just very, very angry.  I have my own issues and anger is something I have a very difficult time dealing with anyway - but this is like nothing I've ever experienced.  And, of course, it's always directed at me for imagined wrongs I've done.  Normally, she would tell anyone that I treat her like "a princess" and she's very happy with me.  I'm not perfect by any means - but I do pretty much cater to her.  However, my big issue is codependence so I have to try to keep that in check as much as I can but it's extremely hard for me to do with her simply because of the level of feelings I have for her.
She knows she needs to go get help - but it's been about a month since she first stated that and still has not done anything.  I feel like it's HER journey to make and I can't "own" it if for no other reason than my own well-being - but she is going to have to make steps or I feel like I am going to have to end things - which I don't want to do.
The question is - is there a way to "gently" steer her towards taking the actual steps she needs to take without it coming off as an ultimatum and, equally as important, without it compromising my own needs?
Sorry for the length of this - but thanks for any input.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/12/2009 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi KK2002,

Welcome to HealingWell and the bipolar board. You're in the sticky position of a partner to a bipolar person. Many people on this board will attest to how hard that is. You're wise though. You admit to your own issues right up front.

You should feel okay gently reminding her that she needs to see a doctor. I only urge you not to do this when she's angry. Not during a fight, not when she's mad or anxious about something else, not when she's telling you something in confidence. The best time is when she's calm(ish) and open. I know that can be tricky. But when you find a good moment, tell her you're concerned about her health, you just want her to feel better, and you think she'd feel better if she saw a psychiatrist. And if you can get her talking, try and talk her into therapy too -- something I believe is just as important as medication in the long run.

Now if she refuses, and you can't live with that, you have some hard choices to make, but we can talk about that if it comes to it.

Hope that helps,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/12/2009 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Serafena - I'm certainly hoping it doesn't come down to me having to make those difficult choices.  But I do think that's what has me so down today - that I feel it coming.  I would be more than happy to stand beside her through everything every step of the way - as long as there are steps happening.  I will wait until she is in a more stable mood and talk to her about it.  I appreciate the feedback.
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