Being a Friend

I talked last night to a lifelong friend of mine about her daughter’s friend who was recently diagnosed as bipolar.  The daughter is listening to her bipolar friend talk about things that are distressing.   She doesn’t know how much longer she can be a friend and watch this girl spiral into self-destructive behaviors.

I do not know what advice to give the girl about being friends with someone who is diagnosed bipolar but is resisting treatment.  None of my friends knew how to handle the news of my diagnosis either.  I remember being on the phone with a friend the first time I tried to run away from home and him trying to talk me out of killing myself.  He managed to convince me to go home and tell my husband what was going on. But that is not something I should have made him responsible for doing.  He has his own problems up the same line.

My husband has borne the brunt of my illness more so than my friends.  He has shown more patience that I ever thought possible and he says it’s because he loves me and he took a vow to do so in sickness and in health.  I think it helps that I have been compliant with treatment and have shown that I want to be better, to do better.  There is only so much you can do to help your bipolar friend if they won’t move to help themselves.

I prayed a long time last night for the bipolar girl and her friend.  Sometimes that is all we can do.



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