Well, my initial attempt to introduce this blogging idea to my wife didn’t go too well.
I waited for the initial crisis to stabilize, which happened approximately 12 months ago – but the emotional trauma was still too raw to share publicly, even anonymously. It’s not that she reacted badly toward the idea, but I guess it was just too soon.
Despite the significant healing that has occurred, with couple therapy, medications, exercise and significant personal prayer by my wife (details I will cover in other ‘catchup’ posts), unfortunately insight and acceptance are still missing. This has always been my greatest concern and challenge. But I am discovering that this is extremely common for people bipolar-spectrum depression disorders. Personal beliefs about themselves or others around them are often distorted. To a loving life partner for the last 18 years, this feels strange – almost like a different personality has taken residence. Doubts creep in… is this permanent? Will the person I love ever come back? What can I do when she doesn’t even acknowledge the mood swings? And many more questions…
Even now, as I attempt to rekindle this ‘blogging as healing’ concept, it will be just me for now. My wife is not ready.
Why now? Well, there are two reasons: firstly, in my desperation to figure out how to hold my marriage and family together, I bought a number of Bipolar Disorder books, focussing on the partners role in support & recovery. The first tip, in the first book (Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Fast/Preston), strongly recommended journalling. So as I start to work through the book’s exercises, I will record my responses here.
Secondly, if I (a Family Physician with mental health training) have had such a hard time dealing with this crisis, I can only imagine how much harder it would be for other partners without that background. As I hopefully navigate me and my wife through this incredible challenge, maybe my experiences may be able to help others. Your comments, questions and feedback are always welcome.