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He would always come out the other side grateful that I had let him work through it on his own. I was much happier once I realized that his depressive moods didn’t mean I had to be miserable to match.If he didn’t want to go out, I didn’t have to stay in to keep him company.However, sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to just be there. Before or after depressive episodes, people with bipolar disorder get episodes of mania or hypomania.For my ex, these were periods of great excitement and focus.Here are just a few of the lessons I carry with me: You can’t make someone happy.Whenever my ex was in a depressive state, I would try to make him happy by offering to watch his favorite movie, go to his favorite restaurant, or give him a back rub.
Instead of getting caught up on the moon he’d just been in or worrying about when the next change would strike, I just cuddled up to him and enjoyed the moment we were in.Suffering from mental illness isn’t an excuse for bad behavior.When someone has a mental illness, it isn’t their fault, but that doesn’t mean their behavior is okay.However, I eventually realized that it’s not my responsibility to shoulder all of that alone — there were doctors, therapists, family and friends he could lean on for help, too.Eventually things just got too hard and I knew I couldn’t stay.
I searched obsessively for ways to help him recognize his moods and ways to reassure him about medications and their side effects, but nothing I said convinced him in the slightest.