For this past week, I have spent the majority of my time on these boards trying to help others who are presently in situations that I remember being in. And it wasn't that long ago. I hope that I have helped in these instances by sharing what I have gone through and what has helped my BF and I.
It's funny though (yet not so funny). I no sooner give advice about not taking things personally when here it comes again - right back at me. I recently posted a thread about missing meds and whether or not it can send someone into a manic/hypomanic state. Since I only received once response, I'm guessing that my theory was off.....?
Anyways, maybe it's just a coincidence. I want so badly to understand the patters my BF goes through so I can be better prepared. Up until a couple of months ago, I can say that I was just as much to blame. When I looked at the big picture, I was perpetuating a lot of arguments and attacking right back, never meaning to but not realizing just how caught up emotionally I was in all the rages and agitated states. I have made huge adjustments and so has my BF so things have been going very well. It was silly of me to mistakenly think that the "personal" attacks were gone. I guess it's something that will always be there and it's up to me to maintain that teflon skin as Ruth so wisely put it.
Last week, I urged my BF to see our GP (who is awesome by the way) because of the sudden increase in migraines he's been getting. Long story short - he has an old head injury which calcified on the left side of his brain which resulted in him being in a coma a few years ago. Since these sudden migraines are on the same side, he agreed he should get it checked out. Of course I'm worried. We initially agreed that there was nothing that I could do for him during his MRI so I wasn't going to miss work. But the more I thought about it, I thought it would be a good idea that I go with him anyways because if it were me, I would want him there. So I surprised him by telling him I took time off (it would only be 2 hours). He got so upset with me that I would change something that we agreed on and got so hung up on that. I thought, gee, here I am trying to do what's right and be there for him. I couldn't understand the anger and I was only trying to do what I thought was right.
As it turned out, I had to go for a mammogram at the same hospital so we ended up going together anyways. It was a long day and I thought it would be nice to go this scenic way home since it was rush hour and we had listened to the traffic report which revealed all the major highways by the hospital were jammed. I asked that if he knew how to get to his knee surgeon's office, we could go from there. And so we went. I jokingly asked, are you sure you're going to Dr. XXX's office because I had a feeling he wasn't. He said he was. When we drove by our GP's office (which is not Dr. XXX's office and waaaayyyy out of our way), I looked at him and told him that's not Dr. XXX's office. At the same time, we both cracked up laughing and joked back and forth about it (I was proud of myself for being able to laugh and not making him feel bad because he hates making mistakes). He then started going to one of the highways and I said I really didn't want to go on it and be stuck so I told him to go another way to attempt to find this other way home. Well, I made a mistake and it put us out of the way. And guess what? He totally lost it on me because I made a mistake. I'm thinking, you've got to be kidding me! And we got into a big fight.
I know this is long but I'm not looking for advice this time because I think I already know. I guess I just want to share with others who are in similar circumstances as I that this is what happens. This is an example of what can turn into big blowouts if you're not careful. As personal as this feels (yes, after all this time, it still does), it is not. I never used to get an apology from my BF, never saw any compassion, and he never admitted there was a problem. He does now and it makes all the difference. I want others who are not yet in the place I am with my BF to feel the reassurance that it's not you - and it's not your SO either. It is the illness and with patience, time and space, it will pass.
Sometimes it's not even the BP, it's the personality of the SO. I'm the one with BP, but I've found that my DH is the one who gets bent out of shape when things don't go right.
As someone who has BP and is on the fast track to recovery (for now), I question how much of my behavior is driven by BP and how much by my own personality. I now have to go through the petty differences that normal couples go through because I'm no longer in crisis mode. This forces me to deal with issues that my DH and I had put on the backburner for so long.
Could this be what's happening to you and your BF?
Location: Minnesota, just moved from California where I lived my whole life.
Re: Why Can't I Heed My Own Advice?
I think Z-baby is right, it's more about your bf's personality than bipolar. He is a man after all, right? And they are so flawed, but they won't admit it ~ they can make mistakes, and then turn around a minute later and jump all over us for making one. I know, I know, it's rediculous, but Men are just so like that. My hubby drives me crazy doing stuff like that, too. Not all of them are that way, but many are, and you just have to be able to accept them and their 'quirks'. ( no coincidence that it rymes with jerks )
I wish you the best of luck with everything, and, believe me, I know relationships are hard, but you just gotta let all that little stuff go, and not get hung up in it. ~ venting's good though, sometimes you gotta!
Hey ZBaby and Heather-look - I'm on the boards on the weekend!
I know exactly what you're talking about - I realize that there's alot of behaviors that can be confusing and could very well be his personality. But I wasn't clear about what's been going on this week (well, since last week) only because I didn't want to make my thread/posting any longer than it was.
As I've said, my BF has been much more open about what he's feeling which has helped tremendously. About a week or two ago, he told me more than once that things were getting worse, the racing thoughts were intensifying, more things (little things) were bothering him, etc.. At that point, though, none of the increased rage and agitation was directed towards me. He just wanted to give me a heads up because he could feel it coming. Still, it doesn't prepare me. You think it would.
This week, Tues. night I believe, is when he had well, I called it an anxiety attack but I'm probably wrong - and it was the second one in the last couple of weeks. He was describing that his thoughts were worse - like someone took a scrabble board, with the letters representing words and thoughts and picked up the board and scattered the whole thing and he was trying to make sense of the jumble. The speed at which he was seeing/feeling thoughts were much faster. I made sure he wasn't in self-hurt mode (he never has been since we've been together) and since then, he's been on a rage. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is helping. He just wants to be left alone and I'm trying my hardest to respect that even though it's killing me inside.
I commend him for trying to control the rage because I can see it, see it in his clenched fists, his eyes, his face. The poor guy has all this stuff bottled up and there's no release. I'm really hoping the new meds he's on will help.
I know personality traits are there first and then there's the illness. And I know what bothers him, personality-wise. It is when he snaps on a dime that I know it's not just him any more.
We're still barely talking. He just can't get out of this when usually he does pretty quickly. It's just so incredibly hard. But I will say, it's nothing like before. I think we've both learned and that's a good thing. We know what each of us needs to do (not that we're doing it perfectly )
I just want him to find some peace and I don't just mean for selfish reasons. I can see now why it's so frustrating for all of you to try and try again with med combinations.