Hello,

My partner of 4 years lives with Bipolar 2. At the hardest times, he won't get out of bed without me asking him to. I have to prompt him to brush his teeth, take a shower, every single task throughout the day. His depressive times last for so many months and get so severe that he is often close to catatonia. He is very proud and stubborn and won't admit that we both need professional help. I do all housework, paperwork, phone-calls. Whenever I need to leave the house, I call him at least once an hour, he calls me just as often. He is frightened of what he might do and says he constantly needs me nearby for reassurance. He suffers from severe anxiety and panic, as do I. I lost my job because I was checking up on him more often than my bosses liked. I haven't worked for several months now. I offer my partner 24/7 emotional support to the point where I have no time for myself, the idea of going back into employment scares me because I have no idea how he would cope without me. His family make light of it and will not accept how serious things are, his friends are scared and unsure of how to behave around him. I worry that I have allowed him to rely on me too much. I also worry that he has figured out how to manipulate me into giving him my undivided attention. I don't want to lose my own identity in caring for him. Where do I draw the line? The romance in our relationship, which can be wonderful when he is feeling like himself, is slowly disappearing. Everything feels like a grey area. Carer or partner or both? How do I find a balance? Is it even possible to find a balance.

I am so, so tired, so lonely and completely lost.

Any advice or empathy would be really appreciated.

Thanks.