Well it's probably been close to 5months since I've been about on this board and so much has happened to me in that time.
I had been stable for an extended period of time completely (probably -months without any depression or mania), so I decided that I knew better than the doctors and took myself off my carbamazapine (tegretol 600mg daily; 30mg mirtazapine daily). I quickly showed what 'the doctors' were claiming were signs of mania (although I denied every bit of it)- I commenced an affair with a colleague and was spending money like water. However, this relationship blossomed quickly and within 6 weeks I had left my house, my longterm partner - everything I had except my job. I moved in with my new partner and things changed mentally. I swung into bouts of depression, cutting myself in 'my' usual manner. I tried olanzapine but it just made me into a zombie.
Throughout this all my new partner (who I had been completely honest about my BP right at the VERY beginning of the relationship) stood by me through it all - never judging and even asking me to marry him. I got through the depression with his help and decided for us both to go back on the carbamazapine - within a week i was stable again. I will NEVER come off it again.
HOWEVER, the main reason I am writing this isn't to inform you all of my mental health but to tell you that having this period without the drugs, this break in what had become my 'routine' gave me the power, the basic ability to see what my life had become. I could see that I had become trapped in a relationship where i was inferior as a 'patient' and my old partner had become the excessively dominant 'carer'. It wasn't a relationship of love, it had become a (sometimes physical) relationship of dominance and control: and I knew I hated it- this mania trip gave me the power to escape it.
So looking back I clearly see the non-compliance as being responsible for my relationship breakup, BUT I also clearly see it as offering me a key to the rest of my life with my current partner who is there for me through my BP but doesn't want to own me.
I think one thing that made it all work is that I told my new partner EVERYTHING about me, including hospitalisations, diagnoses, pills, doctors, self-harming, EVERYTHING in the first week of knowing him - that way he could make an informed decision to stay with me or not. I fully expected him to walk away, but he didn't, his view was that it was all part of me.
Gosh i am VERY lucky for this to have happened to me and to have met such a wonderful person. Now fully stable again I look back with no regret of my mania and depression bout, but wtih relief that it did actually happen.
A very happy little Nut;