I'm just visiting this forum (I usually post of the Ulcerative Colitis forum), but I was reading some of these posts and it prompted me to ask about a situation I had with a friend a recently. It goes like this.
She was diagnosed bipolar when she was a teenager, and told me this when we became friends. I wasn't concerned at the time because it would never occur to me to not be friends with someone just because they struggled with an issue like this. We became close friends until one day she disclosed that she had romantic feelings for me. Since I am heterosexual, I told her that I was not interested but that I very much valued her friendship. She seemed to cope with this okay, and soon we were friends again. Then about a year later she suddenly stopped calling me and talking to me. When I finally flagged her down she said that she needed space for a while because she didn't think I went out and had fun enough, that I was too boring and that she needed space to pursue friendships with other people who were more exciting (I know this was totally unfair of her, especially in lieu of the fact that my health issues are what keep me from going out alot, but I internalized it anyway because we had been close for so long). She contacted me several months later to apologize, but I didn't call her back for a long time because I wasn't sure I could just forgive and forget. Needless to say, I finally did forgive her and we became good friends again.
For several years everything seemed completely fine, and then one day she stopped talking to me again. This time I was a little bit more prepared for it since it had happened before, so I just tried to spend time with other friends and keep my mind off it. about 5 or 6 months later I saw her walking down the street and decided to call her, figuring it was time to find out what was going on. She called me back and said that she could no longer be friends with me because I was draining her energy, and that she had found better friends. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised given her abrupt termination of our friendship the last time, but it's just that we were friends for years and years. I was so upset about it and couldn't understand. I have many wonderful friends, and no one has ever told me that I "drained their energy."
I was upset about it for a long time, but now that I'm starting to understand more about bipolar disorder I think I realize that I shouldn't take any of this personally, that perhaps this behavior is the effect of the disease. Does this sound like bipolar behavior? How should I have handled this situation? Is she aware that her behavior is erratic and confusing? What should I do if she ever decides to try to be friends with me again? (I have decided I cannot be friends with her again after all of this, but how can I communicate this to her in a way that is productive for both of us?)
Sorry my post is so long. I really admire all of you for reaching out and supporting each other.
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis
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