Michael and I have been together for almost a year and living together for the last 5 months. He is my best friend and I love him but his mood swings are more than I can bear. Going off his medications does not help our relationship nor does it help his work. He’s spiraling out of control. I plead with him to go see his doctor but he refuses. He rather self medicate by drinking alcohol and smoking weed. He’s also smoking cigarettes again, something I detest.

I try to help but he pushes me away. Even when I try to talk to him calmly, he rolls his eyes, abruptly gets up and walks out of the room, slamming the door. It has reached a point where I realize no matter how much we love each other love isn’t enough to keep us together. Looking back at our relationship it has been rocky from the start.

We’ve had our share of fights. I know I’m not an angel and my insecurities in the past have caused a lot of grief but I’ve worked on it. I know now he would never cheat on me but I don’t know what is worse?  One who cheats with another or leaves emotionally?

I know he’s really been down since he has writer’s block so I tell him about a creative writing course at the local college, which could help him with his writing, something which he is passionate about. Oh my, it’s almost as though I insulted him.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” he screams at me.

“Michael, I just thought”.

“You think I can’t write?” he says as he jumps up and comes towards me his eyes showing his fury.

“No! That’s not what I said! I said” but he cuts me off again.

His face is inches from mine. I can see his anger as he shouts obscenities at me, telling me to fuck off and mind my own business.

“Know what Michael? Fuck you! I’m done with this so called relationship. You’re a fucking limp dick!” I scream as I jump up. “Fuck you Fuck you Fuck you! Asshole!” I yell as I give him the middle finger.

I grab my jacket, cell phone, pocketbook and keys and run out jumping in my car. I peel out of the driveway. I don’t care if anyone hears me. I drive for a while too mad to go anywhere. My phone is ringing but I refuse to answer it. When I’m really mad I can’t talk, what’s the point? I drive for a few hours with the music blaring. Finally I see a Holiday Inn Express sign and pull in. I can’t go back to him, so I book a room for the night and turn off my phone.

Once inside my room, I strip and take a long hot shower trying to clear my head. The hot water feels good against my skin and I start to relax. The last couple of months I felt as though I was walking on eggshells with him and now this fight is the final blow. I can’t do this to myself anymore. I just can’t.

I dry off and get into bed but my mind starts to race. I love him, but I realize I love myself more. Finally, I drift off to sleep. When I awake it’s 9am. I stretch and get up. I turn on my cell and scan the messages. Fifteen voice mail messages and ten text messages, all from Michael. The first few messages he’s telling me to fuck off, but by the end he’s apologetic: Passive Aggressive.

I know I can’t be with him anymore. I can’t be with someone who is bi-polar. Finally with resolve I drive back to our home. As I pull into the driveway I feel a sudden sense of dread. I unlock the front door and walk in. Michael is sleeping on the couch, dozens of beer cans are scattered on the floor. I watch him sleep. He looks so peaceful. I’m afraid to wake him not knowing how he will react if he sees me.

As I turn, I hear him stir, but he doesn’t wake up. I tip toe to the bedroom, grabbing my suitcases from the closet and I start packing my belongings. Lost in thought I’m startled by a voice and jump.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know why I jumped down your throat” he says with pleading in his eyes.

I look at him warily. “I love you but I can’t do this anymore.” I say as I continue to pack.

“I know, I need help. I will do anything to keep you from leaving me”

“Michael. I think we need time apart. You’ve got to find a way to get better on your own. You’ve got to do this for yourself.”

“I know but please stay.”

“I need to move out. I’ll arrange for a mover to take my things.” I say with resolve avoiding his eyes.

“I’m sorry” he says as he looks at the floor.

“You know I love you, but I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t”. I say as I walk over to him and hug him.

“I know”. He says as his voice trails off.

We hold each other tight for a while before we let go and look at each other. My heart goes out to him. I just want to hold him forever, but I know he will relapse into his own world. It’s best that we go our separate ways.

I pick up my suitcases and walk to the door.

“I’m leaving town for a while to help my sister, Julia. I think its best if we don’t communicate. I hope you find your way Michael, I really do.” A smile escapes my lips.

“Take care”. I say as I walk out the door.