The problem is not that you are bipolar. The problem is that you use your illness as an excuse to justify your poor behavior. I’m not insinuating that you don’t have a legit diagnosis, and I’m also not trying to say that you can control your behavior. I know that you can’t.

What you could do is be proactive in your own self-care. What you could do is try to learn strategies that will help YOU to function better in your day-to-day life so that your own behavior isn’t your biggest barrier. I mean, aside from the fact that I can’t talk to you about anything real, and you cut me out of your life and the lives of your children without so much as a second thought, your demons don’t hurt me the way they do you.

As your friend I want better for you, and as a person with experience in dealing with mental health issues, I know that there are more options for you than you will consider.

Knowing that this unwillingness/inability to help yourself is actually a symptom of the very problem I want you to get help for, I have offered to help you. I have offered to do the legwork, make the phone calls, come with you to appointments. I even offered to go with you to the hospital and sit in the emergency department for two days so you could have your meds monitored and adjusted when your ‘idiot doctor’ had the nerve to leave you in his waiting room for too long, and you left the office in a huff without getting the prescription that you needed to function. And then I listened to you complain three months later when you still hadn’t resolved the issue on your own.

You have a diagnosis and you think that’s enough, but it’s not. Your meds clearly help to some degree, but they aren’t going to teach you the skills you need to maintain your interpersonal relationships.

If at any point you would like to get off the roller coaster that is your life, you will have to actually face yourself. You create chaos because that’s what you need to feel grounded, and you refuse to get actual help because you don’t want to do the work that helping yourself will entail. It’s hard and when things get hard you would rather walk away than problem solve. I’ve seen you do it over and over in your life; you want to take the easy way out and it leads to more work for yourself.

Okay, fine, whatever. Keep half-assing it. It’s not for me to judge your life choices, and I’m not. The problem is that I can’t tiptoe around you on these eggshells anymore. If I thought there was an end in sight, maybe. But, unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that until you get real help and change your patterns, we are always going to end up at this place where you see me as the enemy. You get mad at me for knowing that you could have a better quality of life, and even madder when I try to help you achieve that when you start spiraling out of control. I don’t know what to do with that anymore.

What you don’t realize while you’re busy being mad at me for giving a fuck is that you’re breaking my heart over and over again. You’re making me question my sanity. You’re separating me from your children whom I love dearly and have tried and succeeded to make meaningful relationships with, and every time you cut me off they feel abandoned by me, while I miss them and all of their important milestones until you decide I’m not the worst again.

It’s not just you in this and all the time that you’re not actually dealing with or managing your illness, my place in your life is precarious, and no matter how many ways I try to tell myself, “It’s not her, it’s her illness,” it comes back to the fact that, as long as you are not dealing with your diagnosis, you are your illness, and your illness is kind of an asshole to me.

by Tia Grace