Bipolar friend/date is manic, unbearable, I got angry and blocked him - I feel ashamed. I love him

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Where to start. I work with a man who suffers from bipolar. We've been talking closely, and romantically for about 5 months. Pretty much daily. He was lovely, kind, funny, caring, a really decent guy, finally!! He asked me to go out for drinks with him and we were going to arrange it. He even encouraged me to get a new role in the firm in the same team as him which is a role I had been gearing up towards. I got the job, he was really happy. In February he became distant. Messaged less and didn't mention the date. Referred to me as a former friend on some occasions. He admitted depressed feelings on a couple of occasions, saying life would always be hard. 2 weeks ago I started my new role in the same team. He seemed more upbeat but different..... He's very flirty with the girls, they are married. He talks about sex. He talks about who is hot in the office. He does not stop talking, humming, joking. Seems to be sat on his phone all day watching videos or messaging. He's took a loan for a motorbike out, and is buying a new TV. Hes rude to me, called me a psycho a couple of times. But then he will message early in the morning or at night like he cares. My phone died one night and when I charged it I had 37 messages saying are you there, are you OK, are you upset etc

Friday was the last straw. I had to work 8 hours where he did not stop talking. To everyone but me. He commented about a girl he had a dream about in the office. He had messaged one girl to save him a seat in the office next to her. She's married with a child. He was emailing another as I saw the email on her screen. I was sat next to her. He was purposely ignoring me and playing mind games. After work I checked his Instagram and he started following the girl from work. He follows a number of scantily clad porn star style women on there which I wouldn't normally be bothered about but coupled with his behaviour I got angry and blocked his instagram. I calmed a few hours later. I unblocked him but realised he had found a way to block me while he was blocked. He hasn't blocked me on whatsapp. I'm ashamed, hurt, confused. I thought I'd found the perfect guy and I helped him through the depressed bit, picked him up when he felt down. He said I was amazing, kind, beautiful, smart. Now I'm nothing. Heartbroken and now have to work with him 😢

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  • Posted

    Oh dear what a sad story.

    It is very late on a Sunday night and i cant do you justice by replying in full now, so i will try and reply properly tomorrow.

    But for now, try not to be so hard on yourself and cut yourself a little slack.

    People who have to cope with the symptoms of bipolar disorder are faced with a miasma of difficulties, but they cannot help their symptoms, and by symptoms i mean behaviour, any more than someone with heart disease or diabetes can help theirs. Life is incredibly difficult with bipolar disorder.

    But by the same token, people with BD can be incredibly difficult to handle/live with/love and you must not beat yourself up because you have reacted to this chap. BD people can be amazing and can also be a nightmare. The best description i have ever heard is that 'they can be the best people to be around and they can be the worst'.

    It is possible to have a happy and stable relationship with someone with BD, but it takes commitment and tolerance, a lot of tolerance and you have to decide if it's worth it. For their part, they have to commit to getting well and staying well, for their own sake and for yours. Either way this person is not your responsibility unless you choose otherwise.

    Firstly though, you must realize that there is no such thing as 'the perfect guy' - they just dont exist. Anymore than the perfect woman. Don't fall into the trap of thinking anyone is perfect, as everyone will be found wanting in the end.

    Just remember your friend/colleague cannot help the way he is behaving or the way he is currently seeing the world, and none of what seems aimed at you or for your benefit will be personal, so try your hardest not to take it so. If you wish to hang in there and help him? and are ready for the rocky road? then i could give you some pointers.

    Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. I know the disorder is horrifically difficult. My cousin recently committed suicide and had the same disorder. This is why I'm angry at myself for reacting because I know better. But that 8 hours of being what I took to be disrespected and alienated took its toll.

      He's not a very forgiving person at times from what I've seen and I think family history has caused him to fear abandonment so that's probably what he thinks I have done. Last week one of our mutual friends, a male, popped down to see me at work to see how I was getting on in the new team. This caused a great deal of jealousy, though he would not admit it, and he hasn't spoken to our mutual friend since. Our mutual friend has known him 8 years but doesnt know about his condition. He said he has never seen him so angry. That was the same day when my phone died in the evening and he sent me 37 messages over an hour.

      I thought we had something genuine given how in depth we spoke to each other, and how he told me about the bipolar despite other people he's known for years not knowing.

      But now I feel like I was just used.

      He will be the one expecting me to apologise, take the blame for everything, but in all honesty, even if I did that, I'm not sure I can handle this flirting and messaging other girls issue. I lost a 5 year relationship due to infidelity and I'm not sure I can face that again.

      Everything else, I could deal with because of the lovely person he is when in a normal mood. I guess I thought the depressed moods would be the biggest challenge but its the hypomania.

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    • Posted

      I feel for you, i really do. It is a terrible illness and has such far reaching consequences for the sufferer and anyone who loves them/cares for them and beyond.

      It is such a misunderstood condition and i did pick up that you were either very well informed or perhaps had had some other indirect experience of BD. I'm very sorry to learn about your cousin - suicide of course is the utmost extreme of the illness and can be the consequence of a severe episode at either end of the bipolarity.

      This is what makes BD a life threatening illness but which people often fail to recognise.

      And yes, i would agree that the hypomania/mania is the greatest challenge for the loved ones/friends etc.

      Whilst the depressive pole is often the most painful for the sufferer, it offers those who care a chance to demonstrate some TLC, compassion, and involve themselves in practical care and support, enabling them to feel they are helping their loved one/friend, which can be cathartic, despite the difficulties.

      Not so with the hypomania. That can be one big Mind F if you'll pardon the expression. It's very difficult to feel compassion and understanding for someone who's yelling abuse at you and blaming you for everything that has ever

      gone wrong in their life, or playing mind games they don't even know they're playing based on the chaotic state of their mood.

      Please dont feel ashamed of your reaction to this man's behaviour, you are only human, and it sounds like you have worked hard at trying to care for this person and give them a chance of a relationship with someone who has some insight. A rare thing. It is just such a shame this person is not in a position to recognise such an opportunity.

      It sounds like they are too poorly to benefit from anything other than professional support, and that they are not currently managing their condition too well.

      He obviously is in need of help, but that help doesnt have to be you if you feel you cannot cope or dont wish to.

      I dont know if it would be possible to have a confidential & diplomatic word with his line-manager, so that they may approach your friend as part of their professional role and suggest they seek some professional psychiatric imput? That way you are not just leaving him to stumble along alone, which i can tell you are struggling with, but are handing over the responsibility to someone who's job it is to oversee their employees' welfare and behaviour in the workplace.

      You dont mention whether his hypomania is affecting his ability to carry out his work effectively?

      I feel very sorry for you both having to go through this.

      Look after yourself.

      You will get through this.

      And so will he if he learns to take care of himself.

      Best wishes 🙏

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    • Posted

      Hi and thank you for your kind response again.

      Today was the first day back at work for me since the blocking incident. We sat on the same desk section, just a meter or two apart. We havent spoken at all.

      He was a bit less chatty today than the very overly chatty mood of Friday. Today, more irratable.... He snapped at a colleague on the phone, I heard him get a bit funny with a client and he made a rude comment about the team leaders and company bonus scheme. Apparantly yesterday he sent an email to the boss saying he thought the bonus scheme was ridiculous and why wasn't he recognised above some of the other employees.

      He is usually very good at his job and can do it with his eyes closed. The last week or so I haven't seen him do much. He watches videos on his phone all day, seems to be doing some online shopping and messaging people. Our boss is fairly lenient in terms of checking so it will go unnoticed, so long as it doesn't carry on long.

      His old manager may know of his condition, as they were close, but I don't think the new one does. Im 99% sure I'm the only one in this team knows of the bipolar so if I flag it, he will know its me and I'm enemy number 1 at the minute.

      He seems completely focused on getting the bonus, that's it. But has virtually stopped doing the work. He had his coat on half an hour before the end of shift, playing on his phone waiting to go home. He left a few minutes early while I was away from my desk presumably so he didn't have to say goodbye to me as he left because it would be noticed by others if he didn't.

      He's also send a couple of emails today to new girls that started this week.he's never spoken to them but sent emails saying hello mate to them. They obviously didn't respond as they are new young girls, they don't know him and he's a man in his 30s in a decent position so it probably looks odd. He was bragging about doing this and one of his friends said why do you take everything 10 steps too far.... But they don't know about the illness. He's trying to arrange nights out with people when usually he hates socialising. Heard him say he was drinking wine last night too which I'm guessing won't help.

      Despite my irritation with him, I'm concerned. If he's drinking and not eating properly he will get worse. If he starts slacking more at work he might get in trouble. And he has a little boy to look after at the weekends. And for me I'm sat thinking, is he waiting for me to message because he thinks I'm in the wrong and have abandoned him and he has no one to talk to. Or is he greatly irritated and needs me to leave him alone.

      Im not worried that he's suicidal because when my cousin died he said I can see why she did it but you just can't if you have a child, and he does. But I think his life is hellish for him most the time.

      Best wishes

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