First and foremost I apologize if this is the wrong thread to post in. I also don't mean to bore many of you with the information that I'm going to post, but I could really use some advice on the situation at hand. I plan to write alot, but it feels better to speak about what is on my mind in hopes that someone can possibly give advice or help.
I've been dating my girlfriend for 8 months now. I'm 30 and she's 31. We met at my first job when I was 16 years, I had a crush on her at the time, but with her dating someone, I had no chance of getting with her. I lost contact with her over the eyes, until last year I came across her on facebook and began talking with her. She told me she was nothing like the way she was when she was young, with no only having boyfriends that put her thru hell, but also her family as well. Her mom is a alcoholic and suffers from some mental issues. I'm unsure if it is bipolar or some other mental instability. My gf told me that she was bipolar and that she suffered from alot of insecurities, this being a warning sign to me, I was stubborn and felt that I could help her come out of her shell and overcome these insecurities. She told me she developed bi-polar around the age of 22. Not only does she suffer from bi-polar but social anxiety disorder as well.
Our relationship started off pretty good, but after about a month or so is when things began to become rocky. She didn't act anything like I thought she would be, as she mentioned she had changed over the years, from developing bipolar to drug addict boyfriends to also having a messed up family, I can only being to think that she is broken. Stupid of me I didn't think of what mixing alcohol and her meds could do to her until I saw her under the effects of both. Me and her have been back and forth over the months, many times I've tried to break up with her only to come back to her with a fear of not only being lonely, but feeling that I can still do something to help her.
I feel now though that I've reached the point where I can't help her anymore. I've done so much for her and I feel that our relationship is one sided. She's under alot of medications which include: Lithium, Klonopin, Ambien, Oxcarbazepine. She also goes every other week to get a anti-psychotic shot. She is by far different from when she was younger. To me I don't think her bi-polar is what is causing problems between me and her but her social anxiety disorder though is. I've always wanted to be with someone that is outgoing, has their own goals, has their own life, pretty much someone who is independent, but also has that loving side to them to be able to help me out when things get tough, like a support to make me feel better.
As I mentioned, I've caught her in a couple of lies, and just recently I found her huffing air duster. That being my last straw with her I broke up with her, took her home and told her it was over and to just leave me alone. It's only been a day, but right now I feel terrible, I've never been a person that's good at letting things go, but I feel that nothing is going to change between us. Were both upset, I told her she needs to seek help and go to rehab, along with seeing her therapist. All this stress is beating me down, because I not only work a full-time job, but I also go to school part-time, so I practically lack sleep. She lives with her dad and just sits home and does nothing really, she lives like a slob, I feel bad just telling all of this stuff, but I can't live like this and the more she says she's going to change and things will get better they don't.
Don't get me wrong, she has improve slightly, I told her she needed to see a therapist about overcoming her anxiety, but I don't know if they are even doing anything on helping her, or if she's not helping herself. She's practically obsessed with me right now and keeps saying she won't give up on us, but at the same time I don't want to be with someone like that.
I don't know what to do, and it does kind of scare me to lose contact with her, because I don't want her to do something stupid. I feel as if I have false hope in her.
I appreciate any advice or similar stories anybody might have on this issue.
Hi Ruboxxx ~ No need to apologize....it sounds as if you pretty much know that this isn't the type of relationship you can be in and are allowing the guilt to get the best of you.
Bipolar is a chronic illness that requires ongoing treatment with meds and therapy. And as you indicate, often it has other conditions associated with it whether it be drug/alcohol addictions and/or other conditions such as OCD and Social Anxiety.
What you need to figure out is what type of relationship you want with this young lady who seems to still be trying to figure out how to treat her BP and other conditions and find the best stability for herself.
You can't fix what she has going on, it is up to her to work on finding the best meds and treatment for herself.
To put yourself in the situation of trying to change things and fix things is unhealthy for your own emotional/mental well being.
There is something called the 3 C's when it comes to situations such as you describe in caring about somebody with a Mental Illness.
You did not Cause it
You cannot Change it
There is no Cure for it
The only thing you can do is control your own response and reaction to what is going on.
Ultimately you need to realize that as in any chronic illness your abiity to support your GF is in healthy decisions when it comes to her illness and allowing her to be responsible for her own Mental Wellness.
You can point her in the direction of healthy resources and ultimately it is up to her to utlize them.
So....bottom line you need to figure out what your relationship will be with her and what is best for your own mental well being.
Can you be a friend to her which she probably can use but without being co-dependent in the relationship which is unhealthy for you and for her in terms of a relationship??
What you need to realize is that being in a relationship with somebody who has BP has it's challenges especially if that person is refusing to take care of the disorder.
Stability is key to the success and happiness that one with BP can have in his/her life.
You mustn't put yourself in the role of "saving" your GF....the success in her reaching stability comes from within herself and her wanting that for herself, not in you or anybody else wanting it for her.
I hope that some of what I share with you helps in some way for you to figure out where to go from here.
Thank you Ivory for your response. I really do care about her alot, on top of working a full time job and going to school part time it is alot of stress to deal with. I've pretty much pointed her in the right direction for all the help that she can receive, but lacking a car it is hard for her to get to these places. Her dad helps out when he can, but her mom in my eyes is a very bad influence on her. Whenever she contacts her mom for help, it's almost as if her mom always has some sort of excuse to tell her why she can't help her out, but as soon as her mom needs help she gets the help she needs from her daughter. It is very tiring, she says I'm hurting her but in what way I don't know how I am, I am only defending my own feelings. I really don't know what else to do. I'm trying to focus on myself and my life and I told her to focus on her and her life. She used to be a young beautiful girl, and I'm not saying that she still isn't beautiful she can be, but it hurts to see her when she doesn't take care of herself. Her parents have babied her, her whole life, so I can see how it might be hard to be independent on her part not only because of that, but also with the fact of having a mental disease.
I don't want her to bring me down and I want to see her getting help, but as you said I can only suggest her getting help and point her in the right direction, it is her, herself, that has to utilize the information that I give her. I feel bad for her and it's heartbreaking to see that both me and her come from two different backgrounds, I was raised in a family that always showed love, and she was raised in a family that seemed to lack that, minus the love she receives from her father.
Your outlook is a healthy one in the sense that you are realizing that you cannot change what is happening, you only have control over how you respond or react towards what is happening and how it affects you.
You need to pretty much take care of you and allow your friend to take care of herself.....many times in such situations you can enter into a co-dependent relationship which is very unhealthy.
You need to make sure that you are not enabling her as well and pretty much detach with love....support her healthy decisions and don't support her unhealthy ones.
If you can do that then you can have a relationship with her but if you end up spending most of your time trying to change or fix things it's not healthy.
Sure if she wants to get to the help she needs and you could assist by giving her a ride that would be good because you are supporting a healthy choice in her life.
Sad that her mom won't help out more but again that is something that you probably won't be able to change.
The Serenity Prayer often comes in handy during such times and I would encourage you to say it whenever you are having a tough time figuring out what to do.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Keep posting here knowing that you are not the only one struggling through something like you are and that there are others who "get it".