The paranoia has settled. Sleep improved. Celebrate every positive moment. I am excited, maybe too excited. I was excited about the possibility of getting greater stability and starting to work with my wife on a holistic treatment plan. But insight/acceptance fluctuate – intellectually I understand this to be normal and expected. But emotionally, this is still draining and somewhat worrying. Also, insight takes time and I have had over 1.5 years to develop it as I saw the first depression crisis evolve and resolve, but the ?rapid cycling hypomania which remained, blocked any chance of my wife to start the acceptance process. In this way, the current depression episode is bittersweet – the bitterness is palpable, but opening of awareness and acceptance is definitely a sweetness.
I need to find my own outlet for these feelings, since my wife doesn’t need any extra pressure at this vunerable time. I discovered this the hard way. The last couple of days, my wife’s acceptance of having a condition called bipolar disorder II has risen and fallen like the sun; like her moods. Me trying to stop the fall of the acceptance is like me try to stop the sun from setting. Worse still, it seems like the more I react wrongly to her verbal or written (email) doubts, the faster I see it fade ‘into the night’.
If I take the analogy of the daily solar cycle further, then I guess I need to trust that although all seems dark now, I should be reassured that light will follow. Obviously, I am hopeful that her insight that this is a serious, but treatable, condition will finally reach a paradigm shift, in which a baseline acceptance remains present constantly, with periods of more/less brightness being easier to manage… much like the moon. The moon is a constant feature in earths sky, but its brightness fluctuates according to the cycle of the sun. Let my wife’s acceptance become like the constant, but variable, appearance of the moon.
Recently I discovered objective validation for my experience, which also answered what I empirically knew to be true – “Why is insight so important?”
“…the importance of insight in bipolar disorder is obvious. It is relevant both during acute bipolar episodes and during remission. It may impact on acceptance of treatments during acute phases of the illness, as well as on compliance with prophylactic treatment and recognition of early warning signs of relapse”.
Insight in bipolar disorder: relationship to episode subtypes and symptom dimensions : Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010; 6: 627–631
I had planned to write about something else…but ‘insight’ was more pressing and a prerequisite to disclosure. Next post… an introduction into the issue – ‘To Tell or Not To Tell’