For all of us friends will come and go throughout our lives. Some will stay longer than others, some we outgrow, some we fall out with, some we just drift apart. But how many of us can say w have lost friends purely down to our illness? Most bipolar people I have known throughout my life suffer with the same problems I do. Now as a teenager I had a fair few friends. More acquaintances really. I had a couple of friends and we all hung around in a bigger group. Now I socialised with these people but wouldn't have trusted them with my secrets or anything. When I was 17 and first got real sick, I lost a lot of my friends. They either thought I was crazy or simply didn't know how to handle someone who was mentally ill and locked up in a pscyh ward. During that time I'd say 3 people stuck by me, to different degrees, but they are still my friends now. Why are people so scared of mental illness? These people I thought were my friends stopped talking to me because I was sick. I thought that would be the end of it and any new friends I've made along the way I've always been open with about having bp. As I got older I thought that my adult friends understood. Sometimes I don't want to talk, sometimes I don't want to go over for coffee, sometimes I won't answer the phone. I truly believed they all knew the reasons behind this. And yet again I lose more friends to being bipolar. This last time I was in hospital someone I thought was a friend abused their position of trust with me. He manipulated me into believing tings he said to me. I thought I could trust him and instead he called me a freak. He used to call me at the hospital pretending he cared and then when I came home I found out what he was really like. I'd been home maybe a few days when we had a heart to heart conversation over MSN. He said he wanted to learn more about my life not only where bp was concerned but where my physical disabilities where concerned too. So I sat down and I told him how my life was affected. How sometimes I needed someone to put me in the shower, some days I don't get dressed, some days I can't cook or even walk to the shop because I'm in so much pain. He acted like he understood for a while. Then one day he used it all against me. He said that I was a freak of nature. The reason I couldn't do things for myself was that I was plain lazy and not sick. It hurt for a few weeks but then I realised something. Why should I put up with this from someone I thought was a friend? So now, I'm a stronger person. It's with thanks to this 'friend' that I am the person I am today. I no longer let my 'friends' walk all over me. If they want something from me, I expect the same in return. Sorry this was such a long rant, but I just had to get it out.