You are here

Am I Worth Loving?

It’s hard being in a relationship and having bipolar disorder. My disorder played a key factor into why I had a few relationships fail. Sure, we weren’t meant to be, but what I put them through didn’t help. I will say that I honestly didn’t know about my mental illness until after I married my husband, Sean. 

I got diagnosed six months after we got married. It was rough getting the proper treatment and medication, but Sean always stood by me. He says one of the things that helped so much was the fact that I wanted help. That’s something that people with bipolar disorder need to know, if you want to make a relationship work, you’re going to need to accept help. 

Recovery is not easy and your partner should be sensitive to that. It may take a few tries to get the right medication and you might even have a stint in the hospital. It’s OK, a lot of us have been there, too. If your partner isn’t willing to hold your hand through this, then you need to be the brave one and cut ties with them, because it’s not fair to either one of you to stay in a relationship where both are unhappy. Also, the most important thing of all is you getting better. 

That may not always be the case though. Your partner may be very supportive, but may also be just clueless as to what to do. Try going to therapy together, let them know anything that could possibly be a trigger for you, and don’t be afraid to let them know somewhere down the road that you take medication. 

Speaking of medication, that leads me to another thought, if your partner has a stigma against medication, then that’s a giant red flag. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for treating your illness. Medication gets a bad rep and there are sadly going to be some people that will be judgemental. If your partner is one of them, then either have a few calm heart-to-hearts with them, and/or consider finding someone with a more open mind. Remember, your partner is not your doctor! 

Sometimes couples don’t need to break up, but just need to take a little time out. That’s OK. You may need to decide with a therapist how long you may need and how to go about it. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you both are 100% on board and one isn’t doing it just to be nice to the other one while it’s making them secretly miserable. 

Sometimes you might be in a relationship where your partner knows your condition but doesn’t quite understand what they’re getting into until they’re already in a relationship with you. If you feel like your illness is something that your partner will not be able to ever understand, then once again, you might need to rethink the relationship. You deserve someone who is going to love you for you and not love you in spite of your disease.

Oh, don’t worry about finding someone. As long as you do your very best to take care of you, then chances are, you will find the right match. Anyone who is willing to take care of themselves that much is definitely worth loving. 

Sarah regularly blogs for IBPF and has done some YouTube Videos for their channel. She now writes on a regular basis for the Dallas Morning Post as well.  

Comments

I was too at thus point. And unfortunately I had to leave the relationship of almost 3 years. My partner was unsupportive, didn't believe in medications, nor believed in me period. I was put down for having depression and boderline bipolar. Like it was my fault and that I wasn't strong enough. And I'm glad I got the courage to realize that I was more important. Thank you for sharing this. I do feel like there's love for all of us.

This is a great post. I had a few relationships before I was diagnosed that were long term but all involved drug abuse. At the time of my first manic episode I was engaged to a co worker at my radio station who had acute, end stage alcoholism and I was drinking too, but wasn't alcoholic (yet). I was shipped to inpatient, so lucky to get that level of care. I was not able to tolerate lithium, which for me what good luck. I resumed my radio career in the same city as the hospital. I was single for about three years and doing well when I met my ex husband, a record promoter. He knew I had bipolar disorder but was doing so well on my protocol, and in alternative music, stuff like mental illness was accepted, even looked at as an advantage in creativity. But the antidepressant stopped working and I didn't realize other options existed so I went back to self medication and he left me. Having seen me at my worst he decided he didn't want a life with someone with bipolar disorder. Nothing personal, simple as that. He left and that was it. I think that motivated me to make my mental health high priority. I've had bipolar depression relapses that lasted long periods of time. My current husband was involved with a woman who had bipolar disorder before he met me. She was 'using' and died of an accidental drug overdose. He's really supportive of me. And times have been hard in the fifteen years we've been together. He does not have mental illness by the way...is a sober alcoholic. Thanks for your post. It was courageous.

The article is extremely constructive. Relationships, even non romantic, are a struggle. Sometimes are easier than others. I think the foundation is: you have to be your star player; you have to be your wisest coach; you have to be your loyalist & saavyist franchise owner. I think this is key to being the paragon of you! This is the way that special someone can see the real you. Don't fake it; love yourself. Be in love with yourself! It's not a matter of if, but when. Knowing yourself and ruling your life will make you so attractive. I'm alone because my ex-wife didn't do these things. She used my illness to subjegate me. And you know what? It's better than ok because when my worthy lady finds me, I'll be just what she's looking for. If I don't find her, I'll still be with someone who fully appreciates me:me. :)

Add new comment

PLEASE POST COMMENTS ONLY. If you are in need of an IBPF resource, please contact Aubrey @ agood@ibpf.org. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.