“I lost my temper with a bipolar friend. He spent months texting every day and wanting to see me every couple of weeks. Overnight, it all stopped. I was lucky to get a weekly text and if I text him, I felt like an inconvenience. After a month, I had a major op and he knew this and ignored my texts. This hurt as some nights I had been up until 1 am talking to him.I understand from research that this is common in bipolar. I suppose my question is should I apologize or leave it? I don’t want him to think I have deserted him.”
First off, you are not at fault. Many friends and family of people with Bipolar disorder get neglected and treated poorly off and on. Seems like you have gotten caught in the battle of his disorder. I could not count the numerous times I have been overly involved in my friends just to turn around and not want to see or contact them for weeks or even months at a time. It’s always hard for us to exactly explain why we recluse and retreat into solitary activity, but we do. Of course, it hurts you and you automatically feel that his actions are because of you but honestly, it could be his way of not hurting you. People with bipolar disorder tend to leave friends feeling smaller than an ant one day and be the absolute life of the party the next. This is all granted to how our illness works. I could go on and on about the triggers and brain science of the disorder, but that would take forever and still not answer your question appropriately. So without digressing, I’ll just say that you seem like a very amazing friend. I say this because not many of my old friends would have cared enough to seek help about my dull friendship concerning my illness. You seem to really care about him, and that most likely shows through to him. Instead of hurting you, he may be shutting you out to protect the friendship. We all know and understand that our close friends can only take so much of a verbal beat down, and that can break a lot of relationships. I cannot say why he chooses to isolate himself from you. I cant even say that my understanding of it is exactly what he’s doing. There are so many experiences and issues I would need know to make a more concrete answer. I can say that no matter the issue or situation, or even with or without him having bipolar, that you should express your concern to him. Let him know you have noticed a difference in your friendship. Explain to him that you care, and if he needs you that you would like to be there for him. Expressing that will let him know that no matter what he is going through that you are a good friend and you would like to try to understand. Don’t be too pushy about it because force can sometimes ruin a perfectly good friendship without that intention. Stay available to his needs, but do not allow him to walk over you, or keep your relationship on the back burner. If there is more to this than the illness and symptoms, that is something both of you will need to address eventually.
Best of luck.