Monday, January 21, 2013

Bipolar, psychotic & manic

Last week was an eye opener. My body got assaulted & mind verbally (severely) abused. By a friend, of all people. I won’t get into details, as this is not about how he hurt me. This is about mental illness.

One of my best friends is a psychiatrist, for clarity, lets name her “G.”. I told her about everything that’s happened in the last week & really, last 2 months or so. She was obviously worried for my physical safety, but also my mental energy & how this person is draining me. My friends illness is draining my energy & time, that I need to fight RA. He is also draining me of energy & time that should be left for my son – he should get the best of me! Lately I’ve been too exhausted to be the mother I am, because of my friends’ constant demands for help. I’ve wanted to help my friend, because I’m all he has left. Which on itself, to be honest, concerns me.

 I’m not making excuses for my friend, but he’s clearly ill. After I told G about everything he had said & done, she diagnosed him as Bipolar 1, manic & psychotic. It hurts me so much, someone I’ve known for 3 years & know to be a good person with a Big heart, is under so much stress, he’s gone this deep :( 

I’ve been hurt & I can no longer trust him - but I can’t help it - I miss the good times, I miss my friend. I know he’s not well, but I’ve been told the best way to help him is to let him be & cut all ties to him. To let him hit the rock bottom. I’ve protected him, and really, I’ve done him disservice. I’ve hurt him, by protecting him. G said my friend would eventually do something that will get him arrested & then hopefully into treatment. G said, it would be obvious to health care professionals that he needs to be “taken in”… I am the only constant/consistent kind person that’s left of reality for him & me trying to help him is causing him to escalate and further spiral out of control. Next thing you know, my own life is in danger & when you have a child, putting your life in danger (voluntarily) is just not an option!

I don’t expect any friendship/relationship to be all good times. However, my friend has gone so far beyond, that me being in his life is a deterrent for him to get help (or be forced to get it). I’m contemplating on, if I should even send him a letter, to tell him in writing, what I think. For him to know, I love him & I want him to get better, but that we can’t be in contact until he gets help. To let him know that I’m a deterrent to him getting the help he so desperately needs. My friend, of course, is in denial about his mental illness – he thinks “it’s everybody else”. I’ve brought it up a few times in the past 2 months & he has accused me of having some kind of multiple personality disorder or me being bipolar. I’m not passing any judgment on anyone mentally ill, but I’m sure G would’ve said something by now, if any of this was true!  (I’ve known G for 10 years!) I know if you’re in that delusional, psychotic state of mind, you’re not thinking clearly, hence, you won’t know there’s something wrong with your brain! (= not something wrong with YOU, but your brain)

The reason why I want to send the letter… He may not understand what I say or be able to take it for what it really is, but if/when he gets better – he will have that letter to go back to & know that I was trying to help him, not abandon him. I usually talk to him every day & I’ve experienced LIFE with him, he has taught me so much, I miss that person. I pray he survives and gets better. 

I will use this time to improve my own life & especially my health. While I hope he gets better, I will try & do the same: I will drag my behind to the gym pool 3 times a week. I wanted to do the same last year, but I never did. One of my brothers is getting married in June, so I have a huge incentive to get back in shape. Even if I don't lose any weight, I want to tone my muscles :) As of today, I’m down to 2.5mg’s on Prednisone & that my friends, is something to celebrate. Still continuing taking Enbrel, 25mg, twice a week - preservative free injections. RA is 70% under control, not as well as I’d like, but much better than I was before Enbrel :) I have number of side effects, but for now, I’m dealing. My friend, G, signed me up for Best Year Of Your Life –class, so that will also keep me busy.

A dramatic sunset from "our rock"
But I do miss my friend. Hope I’m able to stick to my guns & not be in any kind of touch with him. Let it be the measure of my love, not being in contact until he has gotten help.

Our favorite flower