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Old 02-26-2006, 08:25 PM   #1
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How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

One of the reasons I feel that my bi-polar gets out of control is that my support network is too little, which helps add to my mood swings, feelings of isolation, and co-dependency on dating relationships. When a dating relationship doesn't work out, I feel that the world has ended and I'm thrown back into feelings of "me against the world" and suicidal thoughts. When I try to extend my support network by meeting more male friends, I find that a lot of the talk is superficial and focused on sports and sex. That's why, I feel, many divorced men get married so fast after a divorce, because they feel that they can only find a true emotional connection with another woman.

So...how can someone like me successfully extend their support network so they don't feel so "alone in the world" ? I hate the feeling of being on top of the world if I'm dating someone and things are going good, and then go from that to feeling crushingly worthless, alone and suicidal if a relationship doesn't work. I would like to have my symptoms better controlled where I'm feeling well enough because I have enough friends to count on regardless if I'm dating someone or not. I'd like to hear from those who have successfully been able to achieve that. Thanks in advance.

 
Old 02-28-2006, 12:39 AM   #2
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions


Hello There,
I hope you are well today.... I was intrigued by your post as it would be something i would have written, a few weeks or so ago... Initially I would eliminate the thought that your total lifes happiness will stem from a relationship in the form of one based on sex... All that will do will heighten the negative feelings and reinforce any low self esteem you are living with.... Acceptance to us seems more important than to others without the symptoms of mental illness and that is understandable, as we strive every single day just to be us, then also try to be a fitting part of the world around us. That in itself is enough to cope with, so it seems near impossible to meet, greet, and sustain any kind of friend/relationship. All I can say is that the only way is to be yourself, have no reservations about being scrupulously honest about the real you, (obviously to the people who deserve your honesty & respect). Your intuition and experience will give you the stregnth and wisdom to know who is who... If accepted for warts and all then thats a goal, it is a partnership then and it will blosom naturally as too much thought or will to try might just aid to disposal... Anyone can go out and hook up with someone, whilst ones motives may be purely out of loanliness and the need to expand their social circle, the others may be a sheer desire for sex, nothing more... Obviously this will result in self reproach, torture and depression on top on depression!!!! You need to go to the places where it is most likely the people there might be on some sort of intellectual level as you, any group that is available, such as salsa dancing, creative writing,pottery classes, church or the clubbing scene whatever takes your fancy. I would say that the initial reason to leave the house in search would be for self satifaction, to feel wholesome and acquire just what it is you set out to... This way your path will be chosen and more or less have some shape to it, thus creating some kind of destiny for you. When coming across a new face, extract as much information, as politely and friendly as you can in order to be able to make a reasonable, unbiased, decision as to whether you think this person could be of some value in your life, and more over that you feel the want to recipricate their attention, motives, wants, needs etc. It takes time and will not happen over night, the wrong ones run, the right ones stick around. Loanliness can be a great nurturer of desperation without us knowing, and desperation can make us do, say and act as we would normally not, this is when decisions are likely to be wrong and perceptions misted behind our rose tinted glasses, simply to evade those terrible dark loanly days/nights that seem to go on for an eternity and a day. Feeling misunderstood, depressed, worthless and all the rest of the badness that goes with it.... People can sense these feelings and the wrong ones will make the situation work to their advantage not caring how much more hurt they heap on because they are the one in control and will not get hurt... You have to be as strong as you can, get out there and grab what is on offer...Due to circumstances beyond your control, you are a master of your fate and captain of your soul, so be the strictest master you can, and a determined captain with your best interests at heart.... I hope I havent preached here, I can just relate so well to you, but understand just as there are many beautiful things, places and people out there equally there are the same amount of the opposite.... Not that you dont know that!!! Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers...
xx

 
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:50 AM   #3
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

Thank you so much...there is SOOO much food for thought and beauty in your response ! I hate living with this illness that contributes to such low self-esteem.

Incidentally, my feelings of worthlessness were triggered by a recent incident that just happened regarding the on-and-off again relationship that I've been involved in which I described in another post (which you also thoughtfully responded to). The other person just finished reading the book I gave her called 'Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder', which I thought would bring us closer together. Instead, it seems to have scared her and now she has decided she just wants to be good friends. It has made me feel that somehow I am a lesser person because of this damn illness, and that I made a grave mistake in trying to reveal more about it to someone I care deeply about.

Regarding support, I have found a Unitarian Universalist church near where I live that seems to offer a lot of support to all kinds of people. I am not sure whether or not I agree with their religious philosophy, but they seem to offer more to single people and people of illness than any other church I've investigated. They have something for members called 'Chalice Circles', which are little support groups to discuss life and its issues. However, these groups are only open to members, so I have a lot of soul-searching to do before I would join.

But again, I am hurt and confused and bewildered because of how this relationship has unfolded. It was only a little over a week ago that we had our pictures taken together in one of those little photo booths with the caption that says 'I Love You' above the pictures. Now, she goes away to St. Louis by herself, reads this book over the weekend, and decides she just wants to be good friends. There was another recent incident with a female friend that I reached out to during a period of feeling suicidal and worthless. I thought she would understand how I felt because she had been hospitalized several times due to her schizo-affective disorder. Instead, all I did was scare her and she said she didn't want anything to do with me any more.

So, I guess I am bewildered and confused about how to go about building a support network and better self-esteem. But your post did give me some encouragement and things to think about. I thank you for that.

 
Old 02-28-2006, 07:41 AM   #4
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Again!!
I am very sorry to hear of your recent break up, although I must say it seems unfair that this person did not reserve judgement for you yourself and just took from a book, what BP might be about for herself in a relationship. Every person who is diagnosed yes might suffer from similar symptoms but we are all different, from looks, to touch, from heart to head etc... I say that it might just be her loss. "Confidence is the feeling we have before we understand". However I also understand from her perspective, we can be frightening difficult people to understand and as mightly as we may try to get understanding, and fair treatment it rarely seems to happen. Obviously this will create low self esteem, how can one have positive feelings for oneself when all around cant wait to get out of our reach!!! well............

"The whole problem with this world is that the fools and fanatics are so sure of themselves, but the wiser people so full of doubt"

How I can relate......
A friend is a person with whom you can be sincere, to whom you never need defend yourself. On whom you can depend whether present or absent, with whom you never need pretend. To whom you can reveal the real you without fear of betrayal, who doesnt feel they own you because you are their friend, who will not selfishly use you cos they have your confidence. I would have such a friend & be such a friend, dont be fooled by me, dont be fooled by the face that i wear for I wear a 1000 masks. Ones im afraid to take off and none of them are me. Pretending is an art that is 2nd nature to me, but dont be fooled, for gods sake please dont be fooled. I give the impression that im secure and all is sunny, I am happy and totally unruffled. Within & without that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the waters are calm & I am in command & that I need no one, but dont believe me please. My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask ever varying & ever concealing, 'neath this lies no complacence. Beneath dwells the real me, in confusion & fear & loanliness. I hide this i dont want anyone 2 noI panic at the thought of my weakness, of being exposed. That is y I frantically create a mask 2 hide behind. A nonchalant, sophisticated facade, 2 help me pretend, 2 sheild from the glance, look, stare of those that know. But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and i know it. That is if it is followed by acceptance & not rejection. It is the only thing that will ensure me of what i cant assure myself of.That I am worth something, but i dont tell u this I dont dare, I am afraid 2, I am affraid ur glance will not be followed by acceptance& friendship. I am affraid u will think less of me, that u will laugh at me & that u will c this & reject me. So I play my game my desperate game with the facade of assurance, without a trembling child within, & so begins the parade of masks & my life becomes a front. I idly chatter in the tones of surface talk, I tell u everything that is really nothing, of wot is everything, of wot is crying deep witihn me. So when im going thru my routine do not be fooled by wot i am doing or saying. Please listen carefully & try to hear wot I am not saying, wot I wud like 2 be able 2 say, for survival I have 2 do and say wot i dont want. I dislike hiding, the superficial game I am playing the phony game. I wud really like to be genuine & me. One day I will be released from my shadow of panic & uncertainty, from my loanly person. But that wont happen untill people stop passing on by or running away......

Your not alone xx

 
Old 02-28-2006, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

Wow your posts are a God-send as I've been thinking the very same thing. Granted, I'm in a relationship but he lives 4 hours away and I see him rarely. I've known him for 5 years and we've dated for awhile. Upon graduation I was so pressured by my family to find a job that has benefits so I can afford my bipolar meds that I took the first one that came to me...4 hours away. I knew it would be hard but I think that I had no idea what I was really getting myself into.
It's hard for me to make friends as it is. Those friends I had where I lived before were friends with me through all the rough patches but now I'm gone and I rarely hear from them. I've made one friend here but suddenly she wants nothing to do with me. I, like you, feel so incredibly lonely. My life has little to no meaning in my mind, which is why, perhaps, the medicines don't work. I go to work, come home, feed my cats, clean or sleep, and then get up and do it all again. When I do get to visit my family or see my boyfriend leaving or them leaving is so hard on me i'm thrown into a deep depression that takes awhile to get out of. Just last weekend he visited me and the night before he had to leave I sobbed so hard and so long it scared him, then the next day I was so down I wouldn't talk to anyone at work. I'm more convinced I need my support group and my thinking I could make it on my own and that this move would be good for me was so foolish. That's why i like this board I guess. It's better than nothing, and you understand.

 
Old 03-01-2006, 02:35 AM   #6
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Hello BPie x
Why dont you try to do ONE thing different everyday, nothing amazingly intricate or expensive etc, something which others might consider barmy, stupid..... Have you ever put your hand on a well established tree and thought just how old it is, what it might have seen, if it could, or heard if listening was possible... I know it sounds crazy but people obviously associate trees with love as lots of lovers engrave their names into trees with a heart shape around it... Nature can do alot for us.... It tells me alot that you have cats, they are extremeley intelligent, compassionate, companions. Maybe you talk with your cats? I used to, not expecting any reply please dont think me completley insane!!! It was a soft form of release for me, for the cat I knew had no real understanding but seemed so content in listening and looking at me with interested eyes... I got all sorts off my chest which otherwise would have stayed and manifested and come out in some other way which knowing me would have been rather explosive!! Its these little things that I do daily that put a smile on my face and redirect the tears down a different route.... I can be loanly in a room full of people, or sat with my husband and children... I get a crushing aching feeling inside, but I have determined just what this loanly feeling is all about.... MISUNDERSTANDING.... What more can I say? I should not have to do half the things I need to do in order to gain the general acceptance that all others seem to automatically recieve but I try, if i think it is worth it, or I have to voice my opinion!!! I hope your well and do not think I have flipped over completley!!!! All on here are in my thoughts and prayers as always
xx

 
Old 03-01-2006, 05:43 AM   #7
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

Thank you so much for your encouragment and ideas. I know things will get better, sometimes I just lose hope when I'm missing the people I love. I think I'll try that with the cats, and think of something new to do each day. That should make things more interesting. Thanks for brightening my day. Be well

 
Old 03-01-2006, 06:42 AM   #8
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

Lownly Me and Becky ---

At the very least, it sounds like you have supportive partners in the romantic relationships you hold. I'm envious of that !

 
Old 03-01-2006, 08:55 AM   #9
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

True, I am very grateful for that. I just have a problem with the distance, we talk every night on the phone but it's a poor substitute for good company. I think I just need to move back to my hometown and that will make a lot of things better. I do wish you the best in finding someone to offer you support and companionship, it is incredibly important.

 
Old 03-02-2006, 01:18 AM   #10
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

bbyko.... I should include beckie 2!!!

We all have something in life that another will envy, the blind will envy sight, the deaf, hearing, somebody physically disabled will wish so hard they too could walk and so on..... Comparing will only ever shed light on the negative things in your life as that is your frame of mind.... Me having a husband may be a blessing in your eyes, to me it is too, however when I see, feel, sense the pain and turmoil I am causing him just by being me, no I dont feel fortunate, nor do I when he reitorates the fact that he is living in fear of me. Those words are pretty profound and to be spoken from the lips of a man to a woman only excentuates my unhappiness.......
I look from all perspectives and can see just why you said what you did, as that is the main issue in your life right now hence the post you wrote....... If that came out like an attack please retract it from your mind in that way I was just trying to say the grass is not always greener, and the more posessions, relationships in life you acquire the more the responsibility.... As we have to give just as much as we recieve and knowing the mind set this illness can have you in makes it extremely difficult at times....
I hope you are both well today.

"All that we are not stares back at what we are"


"The secret to humour is surprise"


 
Old 03-02-2006, 07:09 AM   #11
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions

Lownly --- I understand very well what you are saying, and I certainly did not interpret it as an attack. I just become envious when I hear of other people who have this illness having supportive partners who stand by them. Mainly, because I am so lonely myself and I wish for that so much. But I do understand that it must be hard being the spouse or partner of someone who is inflicted with this illness. But I would say just from the surface and not knowing you or your husband, that he must have a somewhat high level of love and caring for you even if he is at times "living in fear".

 
Old 03-02-2006, 01:34 PM   #12
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Re: How does one build a support network to control bi-polar & loneliness -need opinions


I understand sweetie, I crave for more, a social circle of friends that fully comprehended, accepted and enjoyed my company etc... Life can be so loanly especially with this illness... If I was near to you I would be your friend!!!!!! I hope that today has brought a smile to your face, in whatever way that came, never examine the reason of happiness as then you terminate te pleasure!!
Take care, you are in my thoughts

xx

 
Old 03-02-2006, 08:28 PM   #13
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Thank you. Your posts always give me thoughts to ponder and warmth to contemplate.

 
Old 03-03-2006, 01:20 AM   #14
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Just thought I would say hello, and chaeck all is as well as can be with you today? Couple of quotes for you to digest today!!!.......

"Thinking is the soul talking to itself"

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunatley it kills all of its pupils"

"We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak"

"In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but we must have long legs"

so I say take the long way round, that way you get to take in some awsome scenery, experience nature at its best. You may just meet some like minded people on the way who lighten your load. In the end you will triumph from your journey and reep the goodness of challenging yourself and sucseeding, in whatever way that might be.... You are in my thoughts...

 
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