I have gone back and forth on this article, but I feel that the stigma surrounding mental illness is still very real. But with our 10 year anniversary passing recently, I feel it is a good time to speak. So here I am, speaking candidly on bi-polar; a factor in our family.
Bi-Polar. One day you are going along fine and everything is beautiful and rosy and feels blissful. Then next day you are spiraling down a vortex of uncertainty. Reality fades into questions and what you knew yesterday as unequivocally true, today seems ominous and desperately misguided. Your mind races, you analyze everything you have encountered recently, searching for meaning, for purpose, for the answer to a question that you cannot even define or recognize as a “real problem.”
The actions you take widely vary from sound level judgement, to “what the fuck was I thinking.” After your manic episode, you drop…drastically. You retreat to the pool of murky water that is your brain after the storm. This water is filled with big fish like guilt, self-loathing, and a strong desire to be done with this life-cycle and to transcend this reality. 40% of people with bi-polar kill themselves.
Bi-polar, comes in different forms, with different struggles. Women tend to make more irrational decisions, men tend to experience irrational anger more often.
Operating in a marriage where bi-polar is a factor, makes for a chaotic life; but provides a level of understanding unlike anything else. The depth, the trust, the conversations; they all transcend the now and speak to the higher, eternal relationship. You are equally there to comfort and console your partner, and to be comforted and consoled. You struggle daily with the concept of self, and growth, and living in the now. You lean to appreciate patience, and temperance. You find joy in the small things and you are fully grateful for each moment. When it’s hard all you can do is try, and keep trying, and then try some more. When its easy you breathe deeply and thank the universe.
As Dory said “Just keep swimming.” Count your blessings, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and remember to check yourself and not take things personally.
This is the life I chose. The struggle that exists is my cosmic manifestation and is there for me to learn and grow. I rejoice in my partnership, in our individual struggles and in our determination to love each other through it regardless of the uncomfortable feelings that inevitably get ruffled in the tango that is our life.