Plan to move to across the country for love. How do I tell my parents?
September 25, 2014 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Since having a manic episode about a year and a half ago, my parents started treating me like I was a minor again (I'm almost 30 now). How do I most respectfully tell them that I'm am going to move without turning it into "I'M NOT ASKING FOR PERMISSION, DAMMIT: I'M MOVING AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME"? Thanks, mefites.

I brought up the idea of moving to be with the person I love (and she loves me back) but they said "no, you need to stay with us until you finish your degree (in two years)". What I would like everyone to know, however, is that my parents are very very loving parents. This is why I want to make this happen with as little conflict as possible. I owe them a lot. Right now is probably the most harmonious our family life has been. Bringing up my plan is going to be a pretty big buzz kill. I want to do it in the next few days while my dad is still in town (he lives overseas) but I don't want him to leave with a huge buzz kill (and when my dad gets buzz killed, it affects him for a long time). The next time I see him is in January and I don't want to wait till then. So it's either tell him now or tell him a little later over the phone. I am not excluding the latter as an option.

Other details:
I am currently financially dependent on my parents (they want me to be while in school). I, however, have no problem supporting myself.
In terms of my mental health, I see a doctor, take meds and am entirely stable and have been for over 6 months. I'm definitely capable of taking care of myself.
In terms of school, I have a good shot at getting into a lot of schools in Jam's area (one has a 91% acceptance rate).

Back story:
My love interest Jam and were in a relationship together. When I had my episode, I moved across the country because my family requested that I go into treatment there and I didn't know what else to do so I did. After being released from treatment a year later, my parents wanted me to move in with them and I agreed because at the time I was in still in the mindset of "I guess I should do what my parents think is best". Throughout this time Jam and I were varying states of closeness. In the last four months, however, Jam and I have become as close as we used to be before I had my episode. I don't believe in long distance relationships work and I don't want to leave it up to chance that in two years she'll still be in love with me. This is the woman I want to marry. Also, I've lived in the city Jam lives in for many years. I had a whole life there and want to enjoy that life again. To me it's still my home.
posted by defmute to Human Relations (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think the best way to start is to indicate that you have thought about your parents concerns before proceeding. You do not HAVE to do this but if you want to try to do this without a shitstorm from them, maybe address what their likely issues are

- you have a doctor and a plan for continuing treatment when you are there and your current doctor has no issues with this
- you and Jam have a plan together and you have a support structure there including Jam (and others) when you are out there
- you have money to get you settled or you have a plan for getting money that is realistic
- what's the plan with your degree? Have you applied? What's the timeline?

So, to me, being an adult about this sort of thing means that you've at least thought about these issues. Parents are often concerned that you haven't thought things through, that you're setting yourself up for a bad fall, or that you're going to wind up back at their door worse off than you were before. While I don't share the "OMG what if Jam's feelings wane in two years" urgency of the whole thing, you have a right to make that decision for yourself since you're an adult. If your parents aren't unreasonable, they will appreciate that you're trying to take their feelings into account as well as your own.
posted by jessamyn at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2014 [22 favorites]

I moved Countries very successfully to be with the person I loved.

However, at the time I was completely done with school and financially independent.

There is so much at play when considering this choice. Currently, just based solely on your question - the timing doesn't seem quite right for you and I have a ton of questions.

Can't you move once you're done with school - 2 years will fly by.
How far would you be moving?
Have you spoken to any of the new schools to see if transferring is an option?
How are you going to financially support yourself?
What will you do if it doesn't work out?

I think you need to think about the answers to a few of these questions first before you take the plunge.
posted by JenThePro at 12:52 PM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

1. Have you gotten your transcripts together and applied for schools in her area?
2. Have you applied for any jobs there?
3. Has your doctor coordinated transferring your care to an MD in her area?
4. What will your health insurance situation be?
5. How are you affording the moving expenses?
6. Do you have transportation?
7. Are you moving into an existing person's lease and if so, is that kosher with their landlord?
posted by asockpuppet at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm imagining something like this:

Mom and Dad, I know you love me. I also know how much you've done to support me and help me recover from my incident. You supported me emotionally and financially during treatment and in the half-year since I was released. Thanks to the work I did in treatment, your support, and the medical help I've received, I have been stable now for six months. I've decided the next important step for me is to return to [insert name of city] and live with Jam. I know you are worried about me and want me to say here living with you until I've finished school. I appreciate that you worry about me because you love me. However, the next step for me in recovering from the incident is to re-build my life as an indpendent adult. I know you have concerns about me moving, but [then describe concrete steps you've taken that will show you've really planned this out as described in comments above.]
posted by Area Man at 12:58 PM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I, however, have no problem supporting myself.

I'm reading this as you have no philosophical objection to supporting yourself, but what is your actual plan for literally doing it?

In terms of school, I have a good shot at getting into a lot of schools in Jam's area (one has a 91% acceptance rate).

This made my left eyebrow go up all by itself, because it sounds like "any school, whatever", which is way less good than "this particular school or two, which have these programs/majors I already have credits towards and those credits will transfer, this financial aid available" and like that.

Basically, what jessamyn says about having an actual plan that you can present and that shows your parents you're not just flying by the seat of your pants.
posted by rtha at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2014 [26 favorites]

Best answer: If I am reading your question correctly, you were in in-patient treatment for a whole year and have been in out-patient therapy locally for six months since that time? I can understand while your parents are worried...while six months can feel like a long time, in the grand scheme of things it's a blip.

That said, I think the best way to handle this would be first to approach it with your doctor/therapy team. Aside from all the "normal" logistics that this type of move will take, you also need to make sure you're doing in a way where you can stay stable and healthy so that you don't end up back where you were and put your parents through this again.

Then I think you can present things to your parents in a way that they may not be gloriously happy about, but can at least feel more comfortable with. You can lay out a clear plan, say "the doctor's signed off on this, I've gotten accepted to school X which will be starting on date Y, and while I know I don't need your permission, I would love to have your blessing and support in this."

Of course, you are an adult and do not need ANYONE'S permission to live wherever. But, keep in mind that the past couple of years have not only been traumatic for you but ALSO for your parents. In respect for the support they have given to you during that time, I think it is appropriate not to "ask permission" but to go to them with a clear plan and make sure they're feeling comfortable as much as you can.
posted by rainbowbrite at 1:09 PM on September 25, 2014 [18 favorites]

Rereading your question, I'm also wondering about your timeline here. You say you want to move before January, but how will that be possible with school? I realize all schools are on different schedules, but it seems cutting it close to be applying now and thinking you will start before January. (Unless you have already been accepted somewhere?) Haven't you already started the fall semester somewhere? At most schools, once your fees are paid, you don't get them back if you drop out in the middle of the semester. At the very least, it seems important to finish out this semester and have a solid plan in place for where and when you'll be transferring to. If you really do not think your significant other can wait a few months for you to move, maybe the relationship is not as solid as you think...
posted by rainbowbrite at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2014

you move first, then you tell them.
posted by bruce at 1:16 PM on September 25, 2014

Response by poster: With regards to school, all the schools I'm looking at have my have my major. I would finish this semester and then take online classes for the next semester.

In terms of mental health, I have medicaid and could have a doctor by the time I'm there.

In terms of finances, I have social security. It's not a lot but I've lived on it before and it's been enough for me.

The moving expenses, I'll get a job here until I've raised enough money.

Living situation I'm applying to a few intentional communities. Otherwise, I'll find a roommate on cragsislist. Worst case scenario, I'd move into a sober living house (since they let people in with pretty short notice).
posted by defmute at 1:35 PM on September 25, 2014

Questions I would have answers to before telling them:
Why can't she move to be with you?
Are you still considering any kind of alternative treatments for your bipolar?
In your last question you mention that living with your family is a strong support system for you. How will you replace that? Is Jam experienced with living with someone going through a manic episode? Will she recognize it, can she cope with it?
What school are you going to go to? How much longer will it take you to graduate than if you didn't transfer? How will this school affect your prospects after graduation (are you moving from Respected State U to Podunk School of Unhireable Kids?)
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:37 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Holy moley. So basically:

* You've been well for less time then you were hospitalised
* A month ago you posted an Ask about going off your meds without the agreement of your family
* You want to move across the country to be with a woman you are not even in a relationship with but want to marry
* In order to do this you're willing to go to a shitty 3rd rate school with a 91% acceptance rate

My key question here is: what happens if this relationship breaks up? Because that seems like a recipe for a mental health meltdown, at which point you'll be isolated, far from home, without a support network, and with no concrete plans other than "be with Jam."

My secondary question is: what does Jam say about all of this?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:46 PM on September 25, 2014 [48 favorites]

Best answer: With regards to school, all the schools I'm looking at have my have my major. I would finish this semester and then take online classes for the next semester.

You don't say what your major is, but taking online classes can be very challenging. Much more so than in-person classes. Have you ever successfully completed an online course before?

Also, "having your major" is not the same, necessarily, as "are good at your major".

This is not really sounding like you've thought through all the details.

Perhaps a better approach would be to begin talking to your parents about the possibility of your moving away next summer, so that you can complete this school year comfortably at your current institution, and then transfer to start the new school in the fall. That would eliminate the need to take a semester online; it would give you a chance to save up the money needed for the move and related expenses; and it would give your parents some time to adjust to the new expectations.
posted by leahwrenn at 1:47 PM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had a somewhat hard time with this when I moved to California from New York (which I had relocated to from Louisiana a decade prior). And I could definitely tell, when I first told my parents, that they weren't really hot on the idea/didn't really believe I was actually going to do it.

But so what? I didn't need them in any way to make the move, and I've done many things in my life that are not what they would have chosen for me.


1. You're in the middle of your degree? Maybe it's really not a great time to move. I don't want to be this person, but I have to say that (having bipolar people in my life), if someone I knew to be bipolar very suddenly told me they were planning a cross-country move despite not having finished a degree they were working toward, I would be concerned. Because it sounds, well, manic.

2. Unless you have a plan to not be financially dependent on your parents during and after the move, you're going to have to take their opinions into consideration. If they're not willing to underwrite this, then you're basically up shit creek. This is why it's generally suboptimal to still be supported by your parents at 30 -- it encourages them to have pesky opinions about your life decisions.

3. What impact will transferring schools have on your future prospects? Is this an upward move that will look like a solid choice to future admissions departments, hiring managers, etc, or have you been bumming around from school to school throughout your 20s*, never finishing anything? How much longer do you have in school where you are? Is it an "everybody needs a college degree so whatever" type of thing, or do you have plans to pursue further education, get a job in the corporate world where people will actually care where your degree is from, etc?

4. I would definitely frame this as "welp now that I'm back on track I'm ready to move back to [other city] and pick up my life where I left off, in the place I want to be, doing the stuff I do," and not so much BUT I HAVE TO BE WITH MY ONE TRUE LOVE, which, frankly, sounds, again, ummmmm, kinda manic.

5. Is there a reason Jam can't move to be with you, considering that you're in the middle of a degree and it's not practical for you to up and move cross-country right this second? Is there some other more workable plan for you guys to be back together, rather than "drop everything and move"? How long will it realistically take to transfer? Because if you have less than two years left on your degree, honestly, by the time you actually enroll in a new school and get settled with everything, you could have just finished your degree where you are now.

*I did this, so, like, no judgement at all. But there are doors that are closed to me, careerwise, because I have an unimpressive degree from a mediocre school that I took much longer to finish than is traditional.
posted by Sara C. at 1:48 PM on September 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

You're wanting to dump a degree program and full financial support and move across country without a job or housing or schooling firmly in place for a relationship of questionable status and you feel compelled drop this news right now.

Are you having a manic episode right now?
posted by asockpuppet at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2014 [52 favorites]

Best answer: From an anonymous user:
My sibling is younger than you but otherwise has a very similar story: mental health issues that they're treating with meds, took time off school because of those and other health issues, our parents were supporting them financially and treating them as a dependent child rather than an autonomous adult (and generally our family dynamic sounds like yours). Very recently, they moved to another city to live with their romantic partner and pursue their career interests.

Even though our parents don't necessarily think my sibling's decision was a good one, the announcement that this was my sibling's plan was not the buzz kill either of us thought it would be. Our parents are proud that my sibling is getting on their feet and finding their independence, and hell, I'm proud that they are so happy. The way my sibling did this was just to announce that this was their plan, not to make it a question or seek reassurance that it was okay to do. So that's what I think you should do as well - just say what you want to do, phrase it as good news and a step forward, and start making plans to live your own life. But expect that they may cut off financial support and that you will need to deal with it if so.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:59 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No, I'm not having a manic episode. In terms of schooling, Sara C. hit it on the mark. I've been bumming from school to school in my 20s. As far as school is concerned, I'm in community college right now so I haven't started my actual degree yet. If I stay here I would most likely be going to University of Hawaii Manoa. If I left, I'd hopefully be able to go to University of Illinois Chicago. If not there then Depaul University. If not there then Loyola University of Chicago. Does anyone know if I would be comprising much by not attending University of Hawaii?
posted by defmute at 2:02 PM on September 25, 2014

If you can convince your therapist and psychiatrist that this is a *good* idea (not just that you will probably not die if you do this), then you have a shot at convincing your parents.

To be honest, I think you're putting yourself in a lot of danger by moving to a place where you have no support system, especially while your health is still fragile. And if you've got a stranger on the internet this worried for you, I have to think that your mom and dad are going to be incredibly frightened upon hearing of this plan.

Their judgment has actually been really strong and helped get you to where you are now, right? Into treatment, through treatment, into outpatient, back in school, into a place where you can maybe find love, etc etc etc. Why not trust their judgment for a while longer? Maybe talk this out with them with an *open mind* and allow yourself to be convinced that it might be better to forestall moving out to Jam for at least a while.

Also, if you and Jam have a supportive, loving friendship (or relationship), she will be *happy* that you're being proactive about taking care of your health and building a stable life for yourself. I say this from personal experience. I don't know what kind of life Jam envisions for herself in the future, but if she's interested in a relationship with you, then I can't imagine that her future doesn't include you being *as well as possible.* Both for her sake and for yours. Don't risk your health right now -- it is still very fragile, six months is not long *at all.*

Moving out to be with Jam, and having to rely on her as your entire support system, when you're just out of treatment and low on money, is *way* more likely to sink your nascent relationship than moving forward more deliberately and maybe being long distance for a year or two.

And frankly, between the urgency of this question and your recent question about going off your medication, I wonder if you're at risk of having another manic episode right now. I feel pretty terrible saying that and I'm very torn about mentioning the possibility even now, but if you have bipolar, that's something that you have to at least consider when you start feeling compelled to make urgent-feeling, huge, reckless life changes like this.

I think you definitely should talk to your therapists and your parents about these plans, but I think that you also need to keep an open mind, and consider that, if all these people whose judgment you have successfully relied on and trust, and who love you and want the best for you, ultimately think that this is dangerous and misguided, then maybe they're right.
posted by rue72 at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2014 [11 favorites]

On your update, I would be framing this so hard as "it makes so much more sense for me to have a degree from a well regarded school near the city where my entire life already is rather than some local no-name school that will be unfamiliar to my future employers back in Chicago" and not anything about Jam.

And I would do the transfer at the point community college students typically transfer (after 2 years/an associate's degree, right?), in the manner in which community college students typically transfer. I wouldn't move the timeframe around because of Jam. If it's too late to do that, I would probably scrap the whole thing and just do the U Hawaii thing that it seems is already somewhat planned for you.
posted by Sara C. at 2:11 PM on September 25, 2014 [7 favorites]

Cross-country moves are incredibly stressful, even for gainfully-employed neurotypicals, and what you're proposing is living on social security with a bunch of strangers in Chicago in the winter. Speaking as someone who once moved to Chicago in September, for the love of all that is holy don't move now. You're coming from Hawaii for pete's sake!

Have you tried asking Jam if she's willing to move for you? You have a really damn good reason to stay put, and if she's as serious about the relationship as you seem to be she would at the very least understand why it would be a bad idea for you to uproot your life right now.
posted by Ndwright at 2:29 PM on September 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

What do those schools have in the way of residency requirements? In-state tuition is usually significantly cheaper. How long do you have to live in Chicago to get the good tuition rates?
posted by Jacen at 2:32 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

To the above list of stressors, I would now add "Negotiating the transition from community college to full-time undergrad."

Do you have a therapist? Because I might take this up with her if so. "How can I responsibly and safely manage my own transition from where I am now to my Chicago goals? What is a healthy timeline?" are questions I'd be exploring.

If you can show your parents a solid, practical plan you've worked out with one of the people who's job it is to help you regain your life, that will probably help.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:32 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would not frame this as "FYI, I'm doing this." I'd frame it as "I'd like to make a plan to do this by next year, or -- if everything came together really well -- maybe even by next semester." Give the entire speech that Area Man gives above, presenting this as "thanks to your help, I'm ready for the next step in rebuilding my life." Then describe your progress in making a plan and seek their input about it. All you're looking for is their buy-in that this could be done, step by step, and some suggestions about what those steps would involve. Something like this:

"Mom and Dad, I love you guys, and it has been really nice getting to live here; I've been appreciating building a stronger relationship with you. I also know how much you've done to support me and help me recover from my incident. You supported me emotionally and financially during treatment and in the half-year since I was released. Thanks to the work I did in treatment, your support, and the medical help I've received, I have been stable now for six months. It seems to me that the next step for me in recovering from the incident is to re-build my life as an independent adult. I've started to think about making a plan to return to [insert name of city] next year, or if things came together really quickly, maybe even next semester. I want to do this carefully so that I don't end up back where I was, so I've started to think through what I need to do. I thought I'd talk to Dr. X about finding a psychiatrist team there. I've been researching what it takes to transfer to the University of Illinois, Chicago. And I'd like to get a job here to save up money for moving expenses and to secure an apartment. What do you think about this idea? And what else do you think I'd need to think through to make this work. I really appreciate how good you guys are at this kind of practical thinking."
posted by salvia at 2:36 PM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sara C. also makes a great point -- do the move at the same time people typically transfer from community college to university. (Next year?)
posted by salvia at 2:38 PM on September 25, 2014

Does anyone know if I would be comprising much by not attending University of Hawaii?

Well, in-state tuition, yeah? And probably your community college credits would transfer pretty painlessly. Spend some time at whatever the office is at your current school to get as much information as you can about transferring credits to a not-in-Hawaii school. Because how much would it suck if you got to Chicago and found out you have to do the equivalent of another year because they don't take the credits you thought they would?
posted by rtha at 2:46 PM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Your update seems to suggest you are not actually moving in with Jam. So I would not even frame this as "moving for the sake of romance." I would frame this as "I want to return to the city where I had a life and get my life back there." Also, ditto what others are saying about framing it in terms of trying to get into a good uni.

I suspect the parents are objecting to the flakiness of moving to get with a lover, to whom you are not married. Older, more conservative people move to follow a spouse, not move to follow their genitals. I ended one relationship in part because it became clear to me that I would have to move to the middle of fucking nowhere to actually get with him and I would have to do so without first being married to him. Not. Happening. I followed my husband's career all over the world. But I am not moving to the middle of nowhere for mere sex. I can get that anywhere.

So while you are saying you would like to marry her, you are not, in fact, moving to marry her right now. Things can change. In fact, getting your act together could be the thing that kills your relationship to her. I have had to ditch a number of people, whether romantic interests or just friends, because I was, in fact, getting my act together and that was a problem for the relationship. The two most common reasons: Either they had some deep need to be needed and didn't really want me to get my act together (because they could not imagine I would still care about them if I didn't need them as a crutch to lean on) or they felt personally criticized that I was doing what it took to fix my life while they mostly bitched about theirs without fixing anything.

That is not a criticism. I crossed the country two years ago unemployed, homeless and ill with alimony as my primary support. Rebuilding my life has been damn hard, but it is slowly getting better. I would actually be a lot more concerned if your plan was to move in with Jam. Because then what the hell happens if that doesn't work out? I think you are much better off planning to return on your own steam. It makes it much more likely to be a successful move. I think it also makes it more likely that the relationship will work out. But I would not frame the decision as being about getting back together with Jam. I think that is part of what the parents are having a problem with: Because it probably sounds to them like you are leaping from being dependent on them to being dependent on her, and they are probably better positioned to provide for you.

Here is something I wrote about my experiences with gaining my independence: Independently Poor. It was originally called "Money and Maneuvering Room." It talks about how I have had my choices curtailed for various reasons and why I think getting my life back is not about money per se. Maybe that will help you think this through.
posted by Michele in California at 3:13 PM on September 25, 2014

You seem to be framing this as two quite absolute options - move right now or don't move until you've finished your studies. I'm not convinced that these are your only options. For example what about staying where you are for another 6 - 12 months so that you and your family can be more confident in your stability? Long distance relationships are not ideal for anyone but a strong relationship can usually withstand 6 - 12 months separation unless there are other issues.

I quote from your last question "But really, my episodes only happened when I was under extreme stress and did not have the support system then that I currently have (I currently live with my family)." Do you have a plan for building up a similar support system in Chicago? From the description your relationship with Jam has been at it's strongest when you are in a good place mentally. There are many many previous ask mes which attest to the phenomenal challenge of being the partner of someone with active/unstable mental health problems. If you don't have a good support system available in addition to Jam there is potentially a lot of pressure on her if you did relapse.
posted by *becca* at 3:20 PM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

As presented, this honestly sounds like an awful idea.

You're fresh out of treatment, you don't appear to have your ducks in a row, you haven't even applied to the schools you are looking at, you don't know which credits will transfer (if any), you'd be moving in the middle of the school year for no real reason that I can discern.

Maybe you should schedule a visit with Jen around the holidays so you can see each other and wait to plan the move until you've finished the school year, been accepted to a place and have a plan for a place to live, which should be doable by next fall with no problem.

Speaking as gently as I can.. taken together with your last question, you don't sound well enough yet to take on this kind of stress. Your last question was really concerning, in terms of wanting to act NOW without really planning, and this one is more of the same. If you can't plan effectively, whatever you try is not going to end well.
posted by zug at 3:24 PM on September 25, 2014 [7 favorites]

"Does anyone know if I would be comprising much by not attending University of Hawaii?"

That depends on your major. UH has an excellent program in Marine Biology and offers unique opportunities, like Hawaiian Studies. Overall it is not regarded as a top school, ranking #450 on the Forbes' list.
posted by travelwithcats at 3:42 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

What does Jam think about this? What does your doctor(s) think about this? Are you SURE you aren't just a little bit manic? (I'm not saying you are, but as you surely know from your journey with the disease, the beginnings of mania feel great, and this leads people to believe they aren't in mania.)

It seems odd to me that your question isn't being framed as "after spending 1.5 years away from home due to illness, I'm considering returning" rather than this sort of permission-asking.
posted by gjc at 7:02 PM on September 25, 2014

PLEASE wait until the summer to do this instead of trying to do it over winter break. You don't need the double whammy of Seasonal Affective Disorder and moving stress at the same time. The move will also be a lot less stressful and less expensive if you have a couple months leeway in which to get it done than to try to move during the holidays.

Planning to wait until summer to move back would give you time to get your transfer application together so that you're more likely to be accepted to one of the better schools. You've also already missed the financial aid deadline for this school year so it's better to apply in January for the 2015-16 school year.

And I know that you don't *think* you're having a manic episode right now, but remember that mania lies. Since it's possible that you're not thinking rationally right now, please discuss your decision making process with your psychiatrist before committing to anything. Also, she/he can help you get set up with appropriate ongoing mental health care back in Chicago and coordinate your prescriptions around your move so that you're not left without meds between doctors.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:08 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I used to have bipolar.

I'm telling you not to do this. Usually I am all for independence, and I respect the fact that yes, you are an adult. But you need to think long term. Take steps, baby steps, if you will.

First step, financial independence in YOUR PRESENT location. Finishing school too, probably, but you need to take your stresses incrementally.

Part of this illness is that you think that just because you can conceive of an idea, that you can do it, with no bumps. If you weren't dealing with the wonky brain chemistry, no harm, no foul, but stress can do a major number on your stability, and you need to be working on lessing your stressors or at least taking them one at a time instead of moving "for love" and putting all that pressure on yourself so soon after your last instability.

By the way, bipolar can and often does put incredible strain on relationships. Love is not enough to bring you through that. Love is nice, and it certainly helps, but if you really love this other person you want to get yourself in the best shape you can for a successful longterm relationship. Skipping steps and just assuming things will work out because you are in love is foolish and stupid, even though I know it feels right to you now. But the first thing people in our shoes have to learn is feelings cannot be trusted, only tested.

Don't mess yourself up. You have worked very hard to get where you are now. You don't want to screw that up. If your parents are good ones-and I believe they are-they do want you to have your independence. But they have perspective that you may not have now.

Finally, if you don't believe me, talk frankly with your doctors/therapists. And don't blow off what they say.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:19 PM on September 25, 2014 [5 favorites]

Eh, my parents freaked out about my moving across the country for love and i was independent and never manic. It's okay. Once the initial shock wears off they'll be fine. You should come up with a plan to support yourself however.
posted by bananafish at 11:40 PM on September 25, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you everybody. I appreciate all the thought people put into their answers. I've got a lot to think about so for now, I'm not going to do anything sudden. Once again, I really appreciated everyone's advice. Thank you.
posted by defmute at 12:27 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]

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