Concluding her letter, Melissa said that while she cared about me, she could no longer be friends.
I replied with a long, miserable email about how she didn’t understand how hard life was for me—she was insensitive! Because my self-treatment plan was then at a beginning stage, I hadn’t made the connection between bipolar’s mood swings and my own behavior.
Looking back on it now, I had become prey to the typical bipolar relationship killers—neediness, selfishness, and paranoia. I guess I’m just tired after all these years of feeling like I have to continually defend myself that I don’t give you what you need. I was indignant, angry, and sad—I felt misunderstood and attacked. I was mortified as I read on: Julie, you are such a wonderful person. But I can’t be the primary support person in your life that you seem to continually want me to be. I’m 36 and I don’t want to be the caretaker I was in my teens and 20s. That doesn’t mean that I’m a bad friend or a bad person.
Selfishly, I couldn’t focus on the lives of my friends—my despair was all-consuming.
Finally, my paranoia became so intense—I couldn’t stop myself from sending long, rambling emails about how people didn’t really care for me.