By Author S R John
Many years ago, I fell in love with a man that turned my world upside down. He had been diagnosed with Bipolar; a mental challenge for us all.
As difficult as it was for him to go through what he was dealing with, I myself, was experiencing my own internal turmoil, as I watched the man I loved fall to pieces. I saw his pain, his struggles, and his confusion. Through it all, I tried to keep him together, keep myself together, raise our child and entertain his two beautiful children from a previous marriage that we saw every other weekend.
When I think back to what I as his wife, caregiver, nurse and woman who did truly love him, went through, I can’t believe I kept my own sanity. But I had too. My now, ex-husband depended on me as did our young child, and I was damned if I was going to let this situation affect my kid’s own phycological well being. But that’s another blog. I thank the heavens above for the strength and courage I was given.
Before my ex-husband was diagnosed, questions popped in my head all the time. What’s going on with him? Why does this normally loving man turn so cold, so vulgar without reason? And why are his moods so up and down? I didn’t know if I would find another hole in the wall one day to the next, or holes in my dryer vent, that according to him, was supposed to keep me warm as I folded the clothes in the basement.
It was a stressful time in my life. I was exhausted taking care of him and managing everything else that life threw at us. I was no longer eating well, and I had gained a few pounds. I felt horrible. I was afraid to sleep at night, fearful of what he would do to us if I closed both eyes. I wasn’t ready to leave because I wanted to help him, but I also did not have proof of his mental disposition. What would happen to our child when he was alone with his father should we part ways? So, I stayed and tried to keep things peaceful and calm. That seemed to be the key.
My young son and I spent many hours together and our bond only grew stronger. I found comfort in my writing, whenever I could find a moment, which was not often. I had a story I had dreamed long ago and hoped to publish it one day so young and old could enjoy. I saw it as a movie with people laughing and having fun. The irony of writing a funny story during a traumatic time in my life was not lost to me.
I prayed every night for the strength to continue to help my family and keep everyone safe. I tried to have as positive an attitude as I could and remove any stress from my ex-husband’s day. I reminded myself that he was not well, and he did not mean all the things he said and did. I think I was just going through the motions, taking it one day at a time. It was the only way I could cope.
In the end he became very unstable and a danger to be around. I took him to the hospital and packed a few bags for me and my kid. It was time to leave and watch him from afar.
Another chapter, another journey.
S R John, Author of Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby
Volunteer with Ontario Caregivers
Wife to a man with Bipolar; caregiver to a bedridden parent and my own health scare has been challenging. Join me on my Bipolarlovesrjohn page and discuss mental illness, caregiving and more.
Bipolar Love Experiencing Mental Illness From The Other Side (To be announced)
S R John: https://www.facebook.com/srjohnofficial