It’s an odd combination and one that I don’t think many of us think are achievable. We allow our dx’s to define us in such a way that we feel unworthy of any kind of love. But it really doesn’t have to be that way. I promise you this!
On May 22, 1999, Hubs and I said those famous words, “In sickness and in health.” I don’t think either of us knew exactly how literal that would be. I’m sure we thought about it in the long-term. When we were both old and feebil and needed to rely on the other one for support and comfort. Maybe during things like the flu, or a cold or maybe even pnemonia…..but I know we never imagined it would come down to mental sickness. I don’t think it would have made any difference to Hubs if he had known then what we know now. After all, he came back AFTER the knife situation.
I’ve learned a few things about Bipolar and Love……if you are with a loving, supportive spouse, your love for one another can blossom during and after times of difficulty. Forgiveness breeds something mystical, something none of us can understand and when a couple has come to a place where they can forgive and still love…..it’s an amazing feeling.
But it wasn’t always that way….there were often times I felt lonely and sad. Trapped within my own head, my own thoughts, my own emotions. Afraid that if I let even my husband know what was going on in there, he would have me committed to the loony bin. I was positive of it, so for years I suffered in silence. That silence built a wall between us, communication started to break down and our marriage was soon in trouble for reasons, that neither of us understood. Soon we weren’t even in the same book let alone the same page. The issue with this, I was so far deep into myself, I couldn’t even recognize it and didn’t understand when things began falling apart.
Within time, we were able to start picking up the pieces. One by one we’d examine it and find the proper place that it fit into, much the same as putting together a puzzle. There were many moments throughout this that I know I dropped my piece, it got lost somewhere among the other millions of small pieces that were gathered in a pile on the floor and it was up to me to have to get on my knees and dig around looking for that piece. There were times, admittedly that I didn’t want to. It was those times that even though I felt I was unworthy of love, my Hubs still loved me and you know what? He got done there and helped me search for the piece that was missing, we’d find its place together and fit it in perfectly.
I learned throughout the years that when I was at my worst, I could take advantage of the love, kindness and patience that had been dished out to me in heaping mounds. That was part of why the wall was built, why the communication broke down. I was unwilling to give any information even though my Husband was willing to give all of himself to me. I learned….I was the selfish spouse and no, this is an area I have not improved in at all, sadly.
One of the greatest lessons I learned was: I can give love even when I’m feeling at my worst. Sometimes, this is better than any med or therapy or relaxation technique I could learn. Just the act of wrapping my arms around the man I love and accepting his love in return is enough to make it all okay, even if it’s just for a few moments in time. Love is about how much you give, not about how much you get and embarrassingly lack in this area. I do not do well at dishing it out, heck at times, I’m not even good at receiving it.
But I forgive myself and I forgive Hubs and I pick myself up and I try to do it again. Because that to me is what a marriage is about, trying, giving when you are able and forgiving the rest……