Have you ever lost a friend because they found out you have bipolar illness?
Yes I did lose a friend because I have Bipolar Disorder and after nearly 10 years it still hurts.
Losing a friend under any circumstances is always painful, but to lose a friend because I have an illness that in no way did I cause or have much control over at the time, for me is not only painful but also so unnecessary.
“Joan” and I met in 1995 where we worked in the same Mental Health facility. We were both single moms…she had one daughter, I had three daughters and a son. All the kids got along well, but “Jane” and my “Sally” were very close.
Joan and I hit it off from the start. We did just about everything together. We would take the kids on picnics, to the beach, to the zoo and so many other places. We were basically one big family.
Joan and I seemed to be able to talk about anything and everything. She literally held my hand at times in court relating to my divorce. My ex husband and I were already divorced but she helped me to find the courage to go back to court to get child support and a more fair visitation schedule. I was very intimidated by me ex at the time and she helped me through a tough situation.
I stayed with her when she had to have
Surgery on her foot. I could go on and on…..we were always there for each other.
We also enjoyed going out together (without the kidlets…lol) as well. We were both single and we always had so much fun! We went to concerts, out to eat, shopping (ALWAYS FUN) and we both loved to dance, so we did some (Oh alright….a lot) of clubbing. Just FYI… we usually had someone drop us off (if we didn’t have a DD) then take a taxi home. Both of us are almost all Irish…..we could hold our liquor. LOL We always had fun and had each other’s back so nobody (men) could try to take advantage of us. I will always remember this period in my life very fondly as we really enjoyed each other’s company and had lots of fun. Neither of us realized at the time that I was in an extended mild manic episode.
But as most of you know…what goes up……must come down. Joan started noticing some signs of depression I was exhibiting so she went with me to my
GP and she diagnosed me with depression and put me on an antidepressant…Zoloft and told me to check back in s few months.
So, I stayed on the Zoloft, got check ups every few months. I felt AWESOME!!! I could get anything and everything done. I was working full time, doing OT, taking my kids to sporting events, concerts…..you name it we did it.
Then very slowly at first, I started coming down…… then BOOM! I was self medicating with alcohol and marijuana ect… this is when my daughters went to go live with there father. I continued with my self-destructive behavior and hit rock bottom. I made a very lethal suicide attempt when I was sure no one would be home. Well my boyfriend at the time came home early found me called 911 and they had to resuscitate me as I was in full arrest.
Of course this landed me in a psychiatric hospital where I was correctly diagnosed with Bipolar1/Mixed.
My friend Joan was extremely angry calling me a coward, selfish, a weak person and how dare I do that to her and the kids. My psychiatrist tried talking to her about Bipolar DO and the dangers of just being on an antidepressant. She didn’t want to hear anything about it at all!! She just said it was all an excuse to get attention. She said Bipolar DO and Borderline Personality DO was the same thing and she couldn’t stand either type of people! I was devastated! At a time when I needed her most she walked right out of my life without looking back.
Just looking back on it now and writing about it still hurts more than I thought it ever could.
So yes it can happen. You will/might lose friends over your mental illness, but I truly believe it’s important to stay true to yourself and most importantly take care of yourself. Your true friends will stand by you no matter the circumstances….