Lack of discipline & alcohol

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Qquecaa
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/28/2017 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm New to this site.

My partner of 7+ years is bipolar. I have been to hell and back in this time. I am doing my best to educate myself about the condition. I think I have truly done my best for him under the circumstances. Most people we know are quite surprised how I have stood by him. We lived together and 4 times I was kicked out.

He's finally agreed to taking lithium and he is doing much better. At least his mood swings are not so extreme.

My main problem is alcohol abuse. He drank heavily when we first met. In fact I thought he was an alcoholic until his psychiatrist explained he was self medicating. Now he's more settled he doesn't drink as much. If he does drink, even just a little I can tell immediately. He gets aggressive and slightly manic. When manic he drinks more. It's a vicious circle. He once beat me up when drunk and manic so I'm very apprehensive of him drinking.

I've put my foot down to him not drinking and compromised saying 1 glass of wine. We still had problems so I said no wine try beer. I can only. I also suggested he should try spirits if well diluted and just 1 glass. He has promised so many times but never keeps his word. I have to watch him like a hawk and often if he starts drinking he often goes over his limit. Then he moves away in his anger. I react in my way and we keep away for days. This hurts us both very much.

At the moment we each have our own home but he's at my place almost every evening. For various reasons we're planning to move back together. He's had to sell his house and living with me his life is more balanced. I make sure he has regular meals etc. As well as we need each others company and generally we get on very well.

I'm now concerned I cannot have my life controlled by alcohol. I'll help him with bipolar but I feel he knows alcohol is a trigger to his problems so he should control and discipline himself.

Am I asking the impossible ? At the moment I've put my foot down against alcohol and his empty promises. He says he's considering giving up alcohol completely. Another empty promise?

I know we're both upset that we're not together at the moment but I just feel I have to have my boundaries and he can not have things 100% his way. I've given up a lot more than he has to make our relationship work.

Am I right? Should I call it a day or am I just handling the issue badly?

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1098
   Posted 6/28/2017 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I think it’s good that you reached out for help.

I am bi-polar and take Lithium for the mania and an anti-depressant, Mirtazapine, for the depression.

You can look up the ailment on the search engine, by typing in “bipolar” and find out a lot about it.

You said, “My partner of 7+ years is bipolar” and that “I have been to hell and back in this time.”

You said, “He's finally agreed to taking lithium and he is doing much better. At least his mood swings are not so extreme.”

So he was diagnosed as bipolar over 7 years ago, and has been taking Lithium for what, a year or two?

Since he also has depressed cycles, he’s not taking anything for depression? Does he get depressed, doesn’t want to get out of bed some days type of behavior?

You said, “He drank heavily when we first met. In fact I thought he was an alcoholic until his psychiatrist explained he was self medicating.”

In my amateur view, he could be an alcoholic. According to webmd.com, signs of that are:

• Drinking more, or longer, than you planned to
• Tried to cut back or stop more than once, and couldn’t

• Spend a lot of time drinking, or being sick after drinking
• Want alcohol so badly you can’t think of anything else

• Have problems with work, school, or family because of your habit (or being sick after having alcohol)
• Kept drinking even though it caused problems for you with your relationships
• Quit or cut back on other activities that were important or enjoyable to you, in order to drink

From what you say, his behavior matches some of the above signs of alcoholism.
• You said, 1. “He has promised (to stop drinking) so many times but never keeps his word.” (That seems to match the above, “Tried to cut back or stop more than once, and couldn’t”

• You said, 2. “I have to watch him like a hawk and often if he starts drinking he often goes over his limit” seems to match the above “Drinking more, or longer, than you planned to”

• You said, 3. “Then (when he goes over his drink limit) he moves away in his anger. I react in my way and we keep away for days. This hurts us both very much” seems to match the above, “Kept drinking even though it caused problems for you with your relationships”

You noted, “We lived together and 4 times I was kicked out.”

You also stated, said, “He's finally agreed to taking lithium and he is doing much better. At least his mood swings are not so extreme” and “My main problem is alcohol abuse.”

You said, “If he does drink, even just a little I can tell immediately. He gets aggressive and slightly manic. When manic he drinks more. It's a vicious circle. He once beat me up when drunk and manic so I'm very apprehensive of him drinking.“

As for Lithium and alcohol, webmd.com says: “Do not drink alcohol if you are taking lithium. Lithium can hide the signs of alcohol intoxication. Your blood alcohol levels could become dangerously high if you drink while taking this medicine.”

On quora.com, it says: “Depending on you and the other meds you are on, (Lithium) and alcohol is dangerous.”

This person twice says about that combination, “You may end up toxic” (deadly) and “then it can become toxic (deadly) in the kidneys and blood”

You say, “I'm now concerned I cannot have my life controlled by alcohol. I'll help him with bipolar but I feel he knows alcohol is a trigger to his problems so he should control and discipline himself.”

You say: “At the moment we each have our own home but he's at my place almost every evening. For various reasons we're planning to move back together. He's had to sell his house and living with me his life is more balanced. I make sure he has regular meals etc. As well as we need each others company and generally we get on very well.”

From my bad situation of a marriage, one of the problems I had was that we were both paying for the house that we lived in. Meaning, if you decide to break up, it’s harder to do so with joint property ownership such as a house. It can be done, but it’s harder, I believe.

So, of course, you two aren’t buying a home, he either owns his house, or has sold his house that he owned. So, that’s no problem there, actually.

But living in separate houses could be a help, because of the difficulties. You can just each go to your own house. Living together, which you do a lot, could be more difficult.

You say, “He's had to sell his house”? Is he in financial trouble, and he’s looking to live in your house for free? Does he work? Do you work?

I would be cautious if he’s sold his house, is moving into yours, and may have no job.

He may be looking to you to pay all of his bills.

Also, living with an alcoholic (in my view). You’re going to have to look at that. That’s trouble from the start, in my view.

Can you make it on your own? Or are you co-dependent, I think it might be called, he’s dependent on the drink, and you’re dependent on him, is my guess what that means.

Can you break from him if you feel it’s best? What would your life be like without him?

My wife was a sex-alcoholic, and I lived with her for 42 years, so who am I to talk about breaking away from anybody?

I just think this guy is treating you very bad. I think you, like me, are allowing it.

These are all my views and opinions as a bipolar. What do think about this?

Qquecaa
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/28/2017 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your quick reply. Ill try and answer your various comments which made a lot of sense to me.

We are both retired as we are over 60. I'm financially independent and live in my own home. The house we are thinking of moving into is mine. I insisted on buying the house because of the security it would give me. Having been kicked out of his house in one of his bipolar moments 4 times I'm very careful I don't put myself in a vulnerable position. He is selling his house because he was given an offer he would have been stupid to refuse by developers. It also helped him financially as he has blown his money in various manic episodes. If we live together he will contribute to expenses. We have agreed on this and I will not allow him to live off me. Living with me will mean he will live a more structured life. Proper meals at the right time. Company Etc.

He was diagnosed as bipolar several years before he met me. The first signs were terrible depression. Then some manic episodes. His medication was tweeked often but he was never stable. No medication seemed to agree with him. He refused lithium and was only persuaded to take it about 8 months ago of course with anti depressants. He is very careful about taking his meds regularly. His docs try to keep him out of depression but of course mania is more dangerous. I consider myself to be well read about the condition and keep myself well informed. I believe one never knows enough so keep trying to educate myself further.

I believe he is an alcoholic and alcohol has been the cause of his many problems of course added to bipolar but his doctor doesn't agree with me and insists he is self medicating.

Yes I agree alcohol and lithium do not go.

I think to an extent I might be slightly co-dependant. Although, I have been to therapy and she doesn't think so. It's more likely he is. I do love him very much. I know he feels the same. He is also very aware that I am the only person in his life who has bothered to get educated about bipolar and truly get to understand him and his condition. I can live alone. Due to his severe manic episodes I was often alone for months and doing well. He always came back when his mania passed and realised what he had done. It exasperated his depression to think how much he had hurt me.

Understand he once went through 6 months alcohol free. He can go through weeks drinking sensibly but suddenly abuse.

My original question was: is this lack of control on alcohol due to his bipolar? Can he control himself if he put his mind to it? Or am I just wading against the tide in vane?

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15294
   Posted 6/29/2017 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I am not a medical dr by any means. I do have some experience with a niece that is bipolar. I have a great deal of experience with alcoholism in my immediate family. My thoughts are if he was not taking his medication as prescribed by his dr, yes, I would agree that he is self medicating. However, if I read your post correctly he is on his medications & seems to be holding his own in that respect. Therefore, I do not believe bipolar is making him drink. Can he control himself if he puts his mind to it, NO. Not unless he admits to himself that he has an alcohol problem & wants to help himself. You cannot fix this for him. It is very much like when he was dx'd with bipolar, you have to accept & come to terms with the diagnosis & get help to make yourself better. Even though I grew up with alcoholism in my immediate family, I do have an occasional beer if I want one. This may be 2-3 a year, lol.

Sounds a lot like he is a ticking time bomb. I realize you love him & want to help, but you yourself have admitted he may be co-dependent on you. Sure the drs can say what they want about your relationship, they are not with him as much as you & see everything that is going on. It is not my place to say what I would do in your situation, but I think the roller coaster ride will continue.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1098
   Posted 6/29/2017 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your reply.

From your post, you noted:

1. The house we are thinking of moving into is mine. I insisted on buying the house because of the security it would give me. Having been kicked out of his house in one of his bipolar moments 4 times I'm very careful I don't put myself in a vulnerable position.

2. Living with me will mean he will live a more structured life. Proper meals at the right time. Company Etc.

3. I think to an extent I might be slightly co-dependant. Although, I have been to therapy and she doesn't think so. It's more likely he is. I do love him very much. I know he feels the same. He is also very aware that I am the only person in his life who has bothered to get educated about bipolar and truly get to understand him and his condition. I can live alone. Due to his severe manic episodes I was often alone for months and doing well. He always came back when his mania passed and realised what he had done. It exasperated his depression to think how much he had hurt me.

4. You say: “Understand he once went through 6 months alcohol free. He can go through weeks drinking sensibly but suddenly abuse.” (As for can alcoholics drink, I don’t think so. And if I lived with one who thought they could, and then abused me, I’d get out of there.)

5. And “My original question was: is this lack of control on alcohol due to his bipolar?” I don’t know anything about that, but there are alcoholics who lose control, and there are manics who lose control, and the combination could be worse.

6. And, “Can he control himself if he put his mind to it?”
In my view, if he had a positive frame of mind, he would stand a better chance of controlling himself.

One thing is, you can’t control what he does, you can only control what you can. And you can choose to stay away from him. You aren’t entering that equation into the picture. It’s always, can he do better?

You’re leaving yourself as defenseless. You’re not. Because of his hundreds of miss-behaviors, you can choose not to not let him into your house. Once he’s in your house, he rules, and you’re back to asking questions, can he improve? My question is, can you get away from him?

7. And “Or am I just wading against the tide in vane?” I think with him, you’re in a hopeless situation. But I think you can’t stand to be away from him. But I’ve been in the same situation, so I can’t blame you but I can pray for you, as I wished someone had been praying for me when I was in a similar situation.

8. You said, “Although, I have been to therapy and she (therapist) doesn't think (I’m co-dependent).” What are you in therapy for? What are you like as a person? Are you dependent? Are you submissive? Are you clingy?

I’m the male version of all of those. If so, we’re setting ourselves up as bowling pins, and yet we need people. Tough situation to be in.
On the issue that he hit you, what’s preventing him from doing that again?

In the step by step process, you’ve let him reach that step (as I let my wife cheat on me, step by step). How far is that from him doing that again, and your excusing him once more? How far from that, to where he does that 10 times a year?

From hitting you, what if he almost kills you? What if he gets you down mentally and physically, to the point where you can’t get out? Gets your confidence so low, you don’t know if you can make it on your own (as my wife was trying to do me, and was to a degree successful)?

He could be buttering you up until he moves in. Then the drinking, the bad drinking, the verbal and perhaps physical abuse starts to creep in. You might be afraid to tell him to leave cause he might beat you up.

If he’s got a lot of money, he can buy his own house. I wouldn’t let an alcoholic, bipolar who has no intention of getting help, for he drinks when he takes his Lithium, move into my house. I don’t care how many promises he gave to quit drinking and hitting, so he can get his foot in the door.

I would say to him, improve over at your place, then tell me about it.

That’s his problem. What’s your and mine that we allow this?

You’ll have to make up your own mind, and until you feel it yourself, it won’t work.

Plus, even if you dropped him and got someone else, the other person could be worse.

But it is troubling to see how you and I get mistreated, and we come back for more.

My grown son mistreated me too much 6 months ago, and I quit having anything to do with him. By then, I had good support around me so that I could call on other people if I needed help. So that may have had something to do with it. But I can tell you, he went over the line as far as mistreating me, and I have had nothing to do with him since, even though we live only about 5 miles apart.

My wife abused me, and I do better now without her than I did with her. She died of a long illness about 7 years ago, and I’m making it on my own. How is your confidence level? Do you have a support system?

In your first post you said: "I make sure he has regular meals etc. As well as we need each others company and generally we get on very well. "

"I'm now concerned I cannot have my life controlled by alcohol."

"Am I asking the impossible ?"

"At the moment I've put my foot down against alcohol and his empty promises. He says he's considering giving up alcohol completely. Another empty promise?"

So we "need eacy other's company" is going up against "I'm now concerned I cannot have my life controlled by alcohol"

The question is, which one of those will win? And you're the judge. It's up to you. You and I can ask others all the questions we want, but in the end it's up to us, and that's the part we don't like.

"We are the captains of our soul, the masters of our fate."

Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 6/29/2017 4:00:37 PM (GMT-6)


Qquecaa
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/30/2017 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
i'll try to answer your posts. Thanks for answering mine, all your comments were very interesting.

STRAYDOG:

Yes I agree he is very dependent of me. It's part of the bipolar. As I said I am also the only person in his life who has ever bothered to understand him and bipolar. Of course I love him very much and I'm a very caring person. I find it very difficult to turn round and walk away when I know he has no one else to turn to. His so called friends take full advantage of his spending sprees when he goes manic and of course he's great fun when manic.

He has agreed several times that alcohol is the problem but wont do anything about it. Or at least doesn't keep to the resolutions he makes. He went through a period at AA but the people he made friends with there caused even more serious problems for him.

TIM TAM:

He abused me = hit me once. Only once and never got even close to it again. He was extremely manic and very drunk. I never saw him in such a state again.

Yes my question was can he control himself? I think he can. But then it is difficult for me to judge as I am a very strong character with a lot of self-discipline.

No he doesn't rule when in my house. We are both very well educated, polite peop yearsle. He knows his place when in my house and I when in his.

Yes I can keep away from him. I have. But as I said above I feel a sense of duty and loyalty as I know there is no one else to care for him.

I was in therapy because like many I needed to clear my head on many past issues. My marriage broke up many years ago and I practically brought up 2 daughters on my own. I was running my own business as an interior designer and working at my art, I model in clay and have taken part in some very good exhibitions. As I said above I have a very strong character. Quite confident. Once the girls flew the nest I travelled extensively and still do. I don't think I'm submissive or dependent. On the contrary. I do have a good circle of friends and a social life but I also love my own company. I s'pose in a way I'm moody as well. I can be very gregarious but then can lock myself up and have to really make an effort to socialise. I've been a diabetic for 19 years which I control mainly without medication. Correct diet and exercise. I do suffer the mood swings though.

I think you're going a little over the top about him hitting me. You make it sound like he hits and drinks every day. That's not the situation at all. As I said above. He drinks more when manic. He rarely loses his temper. At least not a screaming, shouting scene. Sarcasm yes when he's been drinking. I would say his behaviour is more like a youngster who digs in his heals to get his way. Bringing me down, not really. I know who I am. I know what I'm worth to him. I know he's the loser if I walk away. He may pick other women of course. The question is will they tolerate him the way I have? Most of them think he's a good time rich guy and are out for fun. Until they get to know him better. He's not rich and not fun once depression sets in.

You said: He could be buttering me up until he moves in. Then the drinking, the bad drinking, the verbal and perhaps physical abuse starts to creep in. I might be afraid to tell him to leave cause he might beat me up. No we have lived together most of the 7 years and I have never had this kind of problem.

He doesn't have a lot of money - he will be comfortably off - He can live alone, he has many times. But when we live together we have a more structured life as I mentioned before which helps him feel settled and secure.

Yes I agree it is my problem that as you say ' I allow it'. No, I don't allow it but I keep trying to help him. I know, only I can help him. Yes the day will come when my cup will brim over and I won't be around any longer.

Again, as you said: 'Plus, even if you dropped him and got someone else, the other person could be worse.' Better the devil you know smile Because people like us tend to gravitate towards difficult characters.

I'm sorry to hear you have problems with your son. My partner has to. We live in different countries and due to his bipolar the son doesn't understand his father's bad behaviour. The aggressive emails he tends to receive and the verbal abuse he gets from him. I have learnt how to ignore them when they're thrown at me.

In fact his present drinking bout brought on by mania is due to the fact that his son is due to visit next week with his new wife. My partner was asked not to attend the wedding. He's never met the wife and hasn't seen his son for about 3 years. This has happened before.

Quite honestly the easiest is to turn around and walk away.

Morally I feel duty bound to try and help him. I also believe in love and commitment. I must say all the hurdles we have been through have brought us a lot closer. I know I have helped him in many ways and he knows it and appreciates it. It all depends who you are discussing with.

Today he over drank again. Of course he's not at my place. You must understand we live in the Mediterranean. I think it is typical of our culture, probably in most of Europe, people do not understand how dangerous 1 extra drink can be. They don't seem to appreciate some people just do not do alcohol. He drinks wine but anything over 1 glass is too much for him. I've emailed his psychiatrist so at his next meeting due on Monday he will be aware of the situation because of course my partner will not tell him all.

This conversation started because I wondered if i had the right approach towards him. If he could discipline himself. I am well read on bipolar but I never know enough and I am not sure if his lack of discipline is because it is the easy way out or if it is bipolar.

Thanks for all your comments. I have read and reread your posts several times. It has helped me of course. Any further comments are more than appreciated. They educate me further on a very complex condition.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1098
   Posted 6/30/2017 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I’ve sorta misfigured you and I’ve sorta misfigured him.

You’re not the whimp I thought you might be, and he’s not the monster I conjured up.

From the start it seems you’re wondering what part mania plays in his drinking.

I’m manic-depressive but I don’t drink.

Before I was on Lithium to slow down my manic, what was I like when I was manic? My mind would race, I would go from project to project, I would be angry, I could not complete a task for my mind would be racing to the next thought, almost before I could complete the first one, part of time thinking, I need to see a psychiatrist, then thinking “Maybe I don’t” never getting anything done.

I didn’t have a desire to drink during my mania. Maybe manic/alcoholics do, maybe that can be looked up on the net.
I think even if he was not bipolar, just an alcoholic, he would be drinking just as much.

You said in your most recent or third post,

1. “In fact his present drinking bout brought on by mania….”

2. In 2nd post you said: “My original question was: is this lack of control on alcohol due to his bipolar?”

3. In your first post you said, “You said in your first past, “When manic he drinks more….”

This is one of your themes, your wish. You are going to out-think the problem. Out-smart it.

I think you want it to be that his alcoholism is caused by his bipolar, for bipolar can be treated with medicine, and alcoholism cannot.

Alcoholism has to be treated by willpower.

I think you’re thinking if he can get his bipolar treated, he will stop drinking. I don’t think so.

Also his drinking stops any chances of treating his bipolar, for you cannot drink and take Lithium, or any other med, in my general view.

With alcoholism, what I think can help is a positive attitude. I used to have a negative attitude, and couldn’t figure out what or who was tripping me up all the time. A lot of it was me.

Then I read something about being positive when going into a problem, and how it greatly increased your chances of solving it.

Because, with a negative attitude, you set out to prove yourself right that you can’t solve it. But with a positive attitude, you set out to believe that you can solve it, and it opens up more positive areas of your brain to get you to look at various ways it can be solved, not just one.

Is he negative? If so, that may be tripping him up as much as his alcoholism.

Alcoholism in its purest form is a problem. And being positive going into a problem increases the chances that you will solve it. So it’s not the problem, it’s our attitude toward the problem, and toward problems in general.

Once I changed my mind about problems, I became better at solving them. I took my negative self out of the equation. And a lot of times I only had to be positive for a few minutes, until the problem was solved, and then I could go back to being myself.

My dad quit smoking by willpower. He was negative, but he didn’t want to go get his cigarettes, so he didn’t. He just sat there in his easy-chair.

Then he wanted to see how long he could go without a cigarette. It became like a game, probably.

And he just kept extending it day by day until he quit. He shelled and ate pecans instead.

So, it is your boyfriend negative or positive?

The bipolar can be handled with meds. But the alcoholism is defeating that.

Some sites on the web say you can drink with alcoholism, and some say you can’t.

www.verywell.com says:

“The vast majority of alcoholics who talk themselves into thinking they can return to "normal" drinking find that they quickly return to unsafe or binge drinking.

"The problem is that by the time they find out that they are not capable of moderating their drinking, it is too late. It takes many of them years to find recovery again and unfortunately some never make it back.

“If you quit drinking because your alcohol consumption became out of your control, chances are you will not be able to control it if you pick up the drink again. If that's the case, it might be too much of a risk to take.”

One way to view this is to look at how well or how poorly your boyfriend has done when he tries to drink. From what you have said, he doesn’t do well at all. So there is your scientific study, right there in your living room.

His challenge is not to drink. Not to see how he does once he has taken his first drink. He simply cannot drink.

And he either solves that problem or he doesn’t. Plenty have solved it and plenty have not. And maybe that’s where the willpower comes in. It’s up to him, it’s not up to you.

And that’s where the co-dependency may come in also. And the enabler. A term we haven’t used. You may be enabling his drinking, giving it a place to live, making sure it’s well-fed. Taking the blows.

With your only concern being that he gets 3 square meals a day, and a structured environment. Exactly.

I helped a couple recently. After about a month, I was told they’re on drugs. I quit helping them, for I knew all I would be doing is making it easier for them to buy more drugs, and enabling them to keep taking them. Where the goal is to get them to stop. Stop enabling them.

All you’re doing is making it easier for him to drink. You’re actually killing him. You’re killing him with kindness, exactly.

I know, you can’t deal with that. But that’s what it is.

All of these are my views as a bipolar.

How did I handle it when my wife cheated on me, even before we were married? I kept dating her. How did I handle it when she kept cheating on me after we were married? I stayed married to her, for 29 years even though I knew she had cheated for 16 years of those years.

Why? As bipolar, I had emotional problems, had a young son and a house, and also felt I wasn’t able to make it on my own.

I couldn’t keep a job, and she made a good salary, which paid the house payment and the food. I knew if I stepped outside that door, I would be dog meat.

She died 8 years ago of a long illness, cancer, she smoked. So, how have I made it for almost 8 years since she passed away? I’ve done pretty good. I surprised myself.

One reason I stayed was the house we were buying. It made no sense to leave what would one day be a paid-for house, and go into an apartment I couldn’t afford in the first place.

By staying, it actually paid off. I’m now living in that same house.

But I paid for it, for she was emotionally abusive, and was trying to destroy me. That’s why I was cautioning you about letting yourself be beaten down, and lose your self-confidence and perhaps lose your ability to get away.

So, in a way, I stayed for the house, and her salary, for I couldn’t afford to leave.

What benefits are you getting?

Qquecaa
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/1/2017 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Aha, so I was correct! My partner is back in the psychiatric short stay unit as from this afternoon. He hopes to be there for a few days as his son visits on Thursday. I doubt it his friend and I are such hawks on him we get him into the clinic at the first signs of mania and it develops further while he is in. Very often it will get really bad and he will be in for 6 weeks if not longer. I just hope this time Lithium will prevent it from going as bad as usual.

When I saw him yesterday evening I was really upset as I always walk away if alcohol is the problem. I called his closest friend, he doesn't have many, but got no reply. Late this morning this chap called me saying he saw a missed call and presumed it was to do with my partner. He too realised he was drinking more than usual and it was probably due to his going manic. He discussed this with my partner and persuaded him that he should go back to the clinic. He also called the clinic to let them know the situation. As you can imagine he's a very good friend. He and I are the only carers really. Unfortunately due to some 1/2 truths he was told by my partner he and I were not on speaking terms. You must know I don't 'fight' I walk away. My partner does not lie he just says what it suits him to say leaving out the rest. Also typically bipolar he tends to interpret things his way which are not always absolutely correct. As I imagined he said he is feeling stressed because his son is coming to visit this Thursday. Have I mentioned JP? He's a French friend who moves here in the summer. Bipolar, but refuses to admit it or do anything about it. His wife, who is an old school friend of mine, refuses to have anything to do with him and the same with his 2 daughters. Last time he was here in October my partner, let's call him Bo, he's British, helped him with some financial scam on his computer. The incident sent them both manic. Bo blames JP. JP blames Bo. Obviously the kettle is calling the pot black!

On the lighter side, last summer I had them both to dinner. The Frenchman insisted speaking English. The Brit insisted speaking French. Both the worse for alcohol and manic. I sat and watched amazed at the mad scene I was witnessing. At least I have a sense of humour.

Now to answer your email:

Thank you very much, no I am NOT a whimp and he's not a monster, if anything he can be a whimp smile

As I told you in some previous email. When I first met him I thought he was an alcoholic but the Dr. said he was self medicating. This was verified by various things I have read. For a fact he drinks more when going manic. As he settles he reaches out for the bottle less.

Yes I know what a manic mind is like. Bo starts to talk at 10 to the minute and his mind will obviously be racing. He has had some really good business ideas but unfortunately he did not organise well and couldn't keep up as his mania subsided.

Once he had a bright idea to bring tourists in the shoulder months to do activity holidays like landscape painting, photography etc. He paid for the prospective lodgings and teachers before he even had a web site organised to start marketing the project. Of course he lost lots of money. I'm in court about it. I have power of attorney.

Another time he decided he was going to rent apartments which he would then sub-let on airbnb. Brilliant idea. But he rented 3 places which were all illegally built with no permits. He also paid cash for 3 years in advance. No receipts to prove he had. Court for this too.

To answer your points.
1. Yes I believe mania makes his drinking worse. see above.
2. Yes see 1.
3. Yes see above.

No I don't think I'm going to out-think or out-smart the problem. See above.

I do not think his alcoholism is caused by bipolar but mania does make it worse. I suggest you look up dependency on alcohol and street drugs related to bipolar.

I have seen various good films: Nina Simone. Hemingway. to mention 2.
There are also many very informative books. Diary of a bipolar by George Ison. Loving someone with bipolar disorder by Julie Fast. and loads more.
There's also a lot on Youtube. Look up Steven Fry

I agree bipolar can be treated with medicine, but it is very difficult to find the right medicine and dosage and has to be tweaked constantly.

Alcohol can only be treated by willpower.

His psychiatrist has told me that if the bipolar is under control he doesn't drink as much. He's proved it.

I agree he shouldn't be drinking and taking meds but.... Personally I don't think his Dr is strict enough with him.

I agree a positive attitude would help. More security would help. I also believe sagas in your past life have to be addressed and all the junk has to be boxed, folded neatly and put back into the back pack with a good padlock. Not easy. Bo doesn't know how to speak about his past pains with me or his therapist. He's probably done it more with me. Obviously he hates going there. It's too painful.

Yes he often has a negative attitude and is very insecure. His past partners have never stayed longer than 18 months. He was so scared I would do the same.

Unfortunately some people always see a glass 1/2 empty others see it 1/2 full. Characters.

Yes Alcoholism in its purest form is a problem. The attitude and outlook to the problem is the answer as always in everything.

Have you heard of lateral thinking? It helps you see the same problem in different ways. Very interesting.

I have never heard that you can drink with alcoholism. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic and 1 sip is a killer.

You are communicating with someone who cannot stand people who are not in control. I agree 100% he just cannot drink. Yes it is only will power It’s up to him and him only.

I do not enable his drinking at all. He drinks and he is out of my house. I refuse to have anything to do with him when he drinks. At the moment he has been binging and I haven't seen him for 6 days. I'm not seeing him unless he can prove to me somehow that he is really not going to drink. No wine, no beer, no spirits. How this can be done I'm not sure as I don't believe him any longer.

There are NO BLOWS.

My only concern is not that he gets 3 square meals a day, and a structured environment. Living with a man who suffers with bipolar at the level he does takes a lot more than that. I can assure you.

I find your comment: 'All you’re doing is making it easier for him to drink. You’re actually killing him. You’re killing him with kindness.' Absolutely unnecessary.

I think you are still bitter about what happened between you and your wife. Move on. 8 years have passed. You chose to stay. She may have had her hang ups but you had yours obviously if you are bipolar.

I do not get beaten down and my self-confidence gets stronger as I assert myself. I'm completely independent. Financially. Emotionally, socially...etc. He knows it and is at times annoyed that I am who and what I am. In fact I often think that perhaps I may be part of the cause of his insecurities as before he met me he always had women who were very dependent of him, or at least made him believe they were till he pushed them to the limit and they walked away.

I don't stay for any other reason than I love and respect the man. We have had some very good times together and now I feel duty bound to stand by his side and help him as best as I can. I'm not a practicing christian in that I do not attend mass but I believe I am more christian than many who do. I do not gossip, I try and help people around me as much as possible as long as I don't get taken for granted and used and abused.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1098
   Posted 7/1/2017 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
There was a lot of information in your last post.

I think of these last few posts, it comes down to a few things, in my view:

One, I think he is an alcoholic.

Two, I don’t think he can have even one drink.

Three, he is bi-polar.

Four, he does take medicine for that and it does work and stablizes him

Five. His drinking from the alcoholism negates the medicine for the bipolar.

Six, the key to his correcting his condition is for him to stop drinking.

Seven, to do this he needs a positive attitude that he can stop drinking.

However, he does not have a positive attitude, you said.

So it seems to me, the key to his getting over these issues is for him to have a positive attitude for five minutes that he can solve his next problem.

If you read the list of problems backwards, from the last one to the first one, it shows that having the positive attitude that he can solve his next problem has an effect of each of the proceeding problems.

As you said, “Yes Alcoholism in its purest form is a problem. The attitude and outlook to the problem is the answer as always in everything.”

Perhaps you can help him with that, also.

He needs to see that his negative attitude is causing his problems, is landing him back in the hospital, his drinking, his negating his bipolar medicine with the alcohol.

What does he say to the “No drinking” rule? Does he see his behavior from drinking over the last few years, where it gets him?

Everything leads back to him, and he’s probably standing there looking around trying to see who’s causing him all these problems. It’s him. Who does he blame?

As to enabling, you are standing around when he starts drinking, making sure he gets his meals and has a structured life.
You probably have an idea of what is going to take place after he starts drinking. All heck is going to break lose.

You can’t stop his behavior but you can control yours. If you stay you are condoning it. You are watching as his life go in circles until he ends up in the hospital.

At least we have learned it is not the bipolar that is at the root of the problem. It is the drinking, as you have said from the first. But it is not the mania that is causing the alcoholism. It is the alcoholism that is causing him to drink, and is stopping the mania from being treated.

I did go to some Al-Anon meetings and they would tell the women who were married to alcoholics not to nag their husbands about drinking, saying that didn’t do any good. That he had to decide if and when he was going to stop drinking.

But they were married. I guess if you stay you’re going to see this 100 more times. And if you leave you’re going to be lonely.

I had the same problem with my wife and her extra marital affairs. I chose to say. And I saw that 100 more times. But that was my choice.

Glad you have seen good films. You said, “Nina Simone. Hemingway to mention 2.”

Was Hemingway a bio about his life? I like bios on TV. Nina Simone.

Who is she? Was it a movie about her, did she star in it? What was it about?

Glad you liked “Diary of a bipolar” by George Ison. And “Loving someone with bipolar disorder” by Julie Fast. “And loads more.” Glad you like to read.

You added, “There's also a lot on Youtube. Look up Steven Fry.” I will try to look up Steven Fry. I don’t do the modern stuff like Youtube, although I invite people to listen to songs I like there.

I have not heard of lateral thinking.

You said, “You are communicating with someone who cannot stand people who are not in control. I agree 100% he just cannot drink. Yes it is only will power It’s up to him and him only.”

Whoa!

You said, “I find your comment: 'All you’re doing is making it easier for him to drink. You’re actually killing him. You’re killing him with kindness.' Absolutely unnecessary.”

Ouch!

You said, “I think you are still bitter about what happened between you and your wife. Move on. 8 years have passed. You chose to stay. She may have had her hang ups but you had yours obviously if you are bipolar.”

That one hurt, also. You’re right. If I had been strong, I would bailed when she told me she had sex with another guy when we were dating. So, including the bipolar, I have a multitude of problems, which prior to my getting married, prevented me from believing I could make it on my own. Had I been positive, I might have stood a better chance.

I’m just saying, I complain about her, but I stayed. You complain about your boyfriend, but you stay. So maybe you and I can look at the positive. She was a good cook. She was a good companion. She gave me a life I never would have had. She kept me from being lonely.

What are your boyfriend’s strong points?

I think it’s good that you are looking for answers.
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