I am so sorry to hear you’re going through this. You are actually amazing for having the ability to deal with all of this so maturely and with such strength. Your fiance’s treatment sounds absolutely horriffic – are there any other centers you can use? I don’t know how you’ve managed it – I know two people who are bipolar and I wouldn’t cope nearly as well as you you. I should also point out that neither have ever expressed any inclination to hurt anyone other than themselves (not that that’s good either – but you know what I mean).
The first is married, and her husband has done a phenomenal job of doing what he needs to do but it’s a lot to take on (he’s also managed it when they’ve had young children etc). She is very good about taking her medication, which is very important, the medication makes a big difference (her episodes have been when she’s been taken off them by the doctor), but has never felt suicidal. When low she said she understood why people wanted to, but has never wanted to herself.
The second is a grad student and she only very very recently (like 2 months ago) accepted she’s bipolar after a very bad manic and then depressive episode. She tried to commit suicide in the peak of her mania (like your fiance, mostly superficial cuts) and was taken to the ER but discharged and became very, very depressed. She also said she basically couldn’t remember the cutting, it’s like she was in a daze. She’s living with 3 other people and they essentially became her carers which was hard for them. It was sorta the wakeup call for her and she’s been SO good now with living by a timetable routine and religiously taking her meds (also easier on her housemates!). She still wobbles and sometimes feels a bit funny/in her head/down, but she is about a million times more stable than before. She was worried that taking the meds would make her feel nothing but now she feels more like they’ve just eliminated the extreme highs and lows. It’s early days for her, but better days than before for sure.
Sorry for the rambling – I just wanted to point out that it can be managed (obviously cases vary, but just in my experience), but it’s definitely not an easy task. In my experience, taking the medication has been the best way to manage the symptoms but of course situations differ for everyone. Do you think your fiance can do this? (Once he’s got the right meds of course if lithium is causing hallucinations).
It’s so much to take on, and as I said before, I am genuinely in awe of you. While you’re doing an amazing thing though, you also need to look after yourself. You absolutely shouldn’t feel selfish – you’re doing the most unselfish thing in the world right now! Selfishness is very different to self preservation.
If it were me, I would really really struggle to stay with Paul, but of course you love him and you don’t want to feel like you’re abandoning him. I guess you also have to evaluate whether, somewhere along the line, this will ever cause you to feel resentment? If there are no good groups in your area, I would also suggest the internet – look at how much support you’ve got on a random wedding website! I’m sure a targeted site would be even better.
Best of luck – don’t forget to think of yourself!