I’m coming down those dreaded steps that lead to my depths of hell. I have been getting things done the last few days. I’ve been getting a load of laundry done every morning, cleaning the kitchen, vacuumed, made my bed, showering, brushing my teeth, along with keeping up with three children and a husband. Most of what I just listed are what the medical field considers Activities of Daily Life (ADL’s). Some days just getting those basic needs accomplished are entirely too much for me to even consider.
My husband loves me more than I deserve. When we met I was partying like a college student with endless money. I was self medicating big time. I had a horrible doctor that prescribed Xanax bars like it was candy. I was drinking and popping pills every night. I lost a couple years of my life. He was the responsible one in our circle and the youngest. Luckily my best friend got me off of the Xanax and I can never thank her enough. Travis turned 21 a few months after we started dating. We had fun. He worked out of town all of the time and would be gone for weeks. I would just take off and go stay with him for weeks. I quit my job and fabulously traveled around like there was no tomorrow. It was great. We were perfect.
Six months into our relationship I got pregnant. We were hysterical for a few days but ultimately excited that we were bringing a baby into our perfect relationship. We got married and had a honeymoon. We came home and had a house built and had a baby. We were just perfect. My husband was blind sided by the post partum depression throughout each pregnancy. He didn’t understand why I didn’t even like my baby. It was horrible, but we are perfect right?
I told him when we were dating that I was bipolar and he brushed it off with the “that shit isn’t real, they just want you to buy medicine”. Almost ten years later and he is still here. I have threatened him with divorce more times than I can count. Any time I stop taking my medicine I always just want him out of my life, BUT we are perfect right?
One of the hardest things I have ever done in my life was to ask him for help. I turned over all of the financial responsibilities of the home to him. I guess it is a pride thing and I am a stay at home mom but I feel like a failure. I should have no problems running a household but it is obvious that without my supportive husband that I love to hate, I could not. I had to do it for our bank account and for my health. I was always late paying the bills and late fees would add up or I wouldn’t even pay them. I knew the money was there and I knew the bill needed to be paid but the anxiety of doing it was excruciating. He gladly accepted the proposition and we have more money in our checking account than we ever have. I cannot manage money, how can I manage being a stay at home mom? I’m supposed to hop through town with 10 kids and a mini van bopping our heads around singing Paramore, and take my children to activities outside the home. It is rare for me to “play” outside with my kids. I am not a good stay at home, but we are perfect. He also took over cooking. He soon realized that if he didn’t cook, we would be eating everything in a box or straight from the freezer and there is always a drive thru. He comes home from work and immediately starts cooking dinner. How does he put up with that? How does he put up with my ups and downs and twirls around? Maybe because we are perfect?
The fact that my husband was willing to take on such a complicated situation shows me how much he loves me. I’m stingy when it comes to affection. He hugs me and won’t let go. When he sees that I am getting overwhelmed, he just does it. He doesn’t enable it, he lets the trash build up, the dishes and clutter until he sees that I’m not going to do it. He knows I NEED a nap daily and he watches the kids and makes dinner while I sleep. Without his help, I don’t know where I would be. Our relationship is more complicated, mentally, than anything I’ve heard of. We don’t communicate about our feelings and I’m surprised we are still married. Communication is crucial in a marriage and inside of the mind of a bipolar spouse. It’s hurting us but we are perfect. We will always be perfect in our fantasy land. I cannot imagine being the spouse of a mentally ill person. I would love feedback from spouses of bipolar sufferers. I need some perspective because we are way less than perfect.