Shawn in Tampa writes:
The woman I love has bipolar disorder. I was the only one who was there for her during her times of need, during which she attempted suicide and felt she was unlovable. I helped her in every way possible. I saved her life – helped her to build a new one for herself, and gave everything I had to the point where the only thing sustaining me was my love for her and her son.
Prior to all of this we had dated for about a year and a half. I would do anything to make her happy, but a few months ago, after we seemed to be getting closer than we had been in a very long time, she ran away. I don’t know why, but it has left me empty and longing for her. I want to marry her and take care of her and her son. Will I ever get the chance? I know she loves me, but something is keeping her from me. Is there any hope for us?
Your girlfriend isn’t ready to come back to you just yet, but eventually she will. Even though she understands that she is bipolar, this condition does get the best of her from time to time. While she does what she can to maintain her balance, for her, it isn’t always possible.
Right now, the thing that is keeping her away from you, is her shame. She is ashamed of not being able to control her fears, that her personal reality shifts, and that she is bipolar. She still loves you, but she has slipped back into feeling not-so-loveable.
When she comes back to you, she will be an emotional wreck. It is going to take time and your nurturing to help her find her way fully back to you, but she will. Marriage certainly isn’t out of the question, but it isn’t going to keep her from running away in the future. She can’t help it, and this is something you need to be prepared for.
The good news is she will be back around you come February. The bad news is, there is a lot of work and healing that has to take place before your relationship is stable again. In the case of you and your girl, love may not conquer all, but it is the driving force of why the two of you will prevail.