Despite everything I planned to write in this post, none of it is here. I planned to write about how I managed to find out what was wrong from my partner and help him through it. But the truth is – none of that happened. Instead things just settled down for him, before picking up when my bipolar went insane and sent me off all over the place on an insane emotional roller coaster. So here is what both me and my partner have and are going through, and how we help each other.

We are both students, with the strange UK April holidays we were only at school for five days in the entire month. My partner didn’t have time to settle back into ‘school mode’ and as the deadlines began to pile up, couldn’t cope. He snapped. He wasn’t at school as much, he went to work instead because when he was there, everything was fine and relaxed and he was told how good he was rather than having teachers on his back from the moment he walked in to the moment he walked out telling him he had 24 hours to do this, 3 days to do that and sitting around in a toxic atmosphere of worry and panic as every student in the room began to doubt their own intelligence. Then it settled down, it was good. But the something had snapped inside my head and a few weeks later my bi-polar has spun wildly out of control, as an emotional wreck my partner began to doubt if we could get through this, with me refusing to tell him what was wrong.

So my partner hadn’t told me what was wrong because he locks himself away, as I do, we both wouldn’t talk to each other, and it hurt the other one. Our loving relationship was balanced on a knife-edge, and nothing was certain. We have come through and although it’s not over, we are getting through it day by day together.  So here is what I’ve learnt, and what my partner does to help me, in the hopes it might save someone else the confusion of this situation;

  1. Give them space. When people are upset, they need you to be there, but they need space. Keep trying to find out what is wrong, be persistent, they will tell you, but don’t be forceful or overbearing, this will just make them retreat further inside themselves, so be firm and persistent, but give them space to tell you.
  2. Be Patient. When things get tough we need to be more patient with each other and hold on to the fact that it will get better. This isn’t a permanent mood, respect the other person will do stupid things and remember this is not them. Don’t get angry or frustrated, just be patient and ride this through with them.
  3. Never let go. Yes, it’s hard, yes, this is not what you want and yes, it is daunting when you don’t know whats wrong and you can’t find out. But don’t let go. Whoever it is who is upset, whether it is a friend, partner, family member, by holding on to them through this will make your relationship so much stronger and when this is over, you will be able to look back and laugh together because you will be that much closer, that much stronger and you’ll be able to face so much more together. As my partner told me; “…with me by your side you’ll be invincible”
  4. Don’t keep this as a private affair. As difficult as it is, the more people who know about it, the more people can help. My partner’s boss realized something was very wrong with my partner and began talking through his problems, it turns out his boss has been through the same situation with his bi-polar fiance and they got through it together, so now he can help my partner with me, my friends are there for me, they know my partner is amazing and how much he does for me, as do I, when things get tough they’re there to help support me, and as me and my partner share quite a few friends, it means they can see both sides of the story and help both of us. You never know where you might find help.
  5. Don’t shut up – keep talking. When my bi-polar kicks in I don’t want to talk and when my partner is upset or stressed he doesn’t either. But find a way to talk. I find writing things down in letter form (I write what’s wrong and my partner talks to me about it, with me writing my responses) helps and with my partner you just have to keep on asking what’s wrong and gradually we peel back the layers to find the problem. Talk things through because the more you tell, the more you can  be helped with.
  6. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Look at every single element of the problem because something that seems insignificant may become a huge problem later on. Get this problem sorted as soon and as meticulously as possible.
   Having read a book called Shoot The Damn Dog – A Memoir of Depression by Sally Brampton (Brampton’s story of getting through depression and how she copes) some other things I learnt are:
  • Relate to the person. Find a similar situation you have been through yourself and talk about it to them so they know they are not alone.
  • Don’t leave them alone. By this is don’t mean literally never leave them alone, I mean when they’re depressed or down, sit with them through it, just to know someone else is there can be the greatest help.
  • Don’t expect immediate results. Take it one step at a time, remember; three steps forward, two steps back is still progress
Some of my own techniques are thus;
  •    Remember the power of silence. I have found that just to sit in silence with someone’s arm round me is extremely helpful
  •    Don’t be afraid to accept help. Help may come from anyone, don’t reject it. If things get bad enough that you need professional help (as I do) don’t be afraid of it. It doesn’t mean you are giving up or unable of doing anything independently, it just means you are dealing with a problem with professional guidance, your situation needs it and therefore you are taking it.
  • Never lose faith. You can pull through this, it won’t be this hard forever. Keep holding on because at the end of the day, when everything else is gone there is always hope.
”When one door closes another one opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us” — Bell, Alexander Graham
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.  ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959
Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.  If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.  ~Norman Vincent Peale
People are resilient.  After all, every person born has recovered from nine months on life support.  ~Robert Brault
Every evil is some good spelt backwards, and in it the wise know how to read Wisdom.  ~Coventry Patmore
The darkest hour has only sixty minutes.  ~Morris Mandel”Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”
If you’re going through hell, keep going.  ~Winston Churchill
The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.  ~William Shakespeare, Othello
Adversity is like a strong wind.  It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.  ~Arthur Golden,Memoirs of a Geisha
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.  ~Barbara Bloom
But ne’er the rose without the thorn.  ~Robert Herrick
I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss
Never Give Up Faith