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Finding Your Way Back After Loving Someone With Mental Illness

I journaled to get my frustrations, fears and other emotions out of me, and it actually helped.

As difficult as it is for someone with a mental illness to get through life, loving someone who has this disposition is difficult and challenging as well. Heck, difficult for the entire family and those who love and care for them. We all want to help and see them well, but when the demons that plague our loved one’s latch on, sometimes it could be difficult to get them off, so you may have to brace yourself for a bumpy ride.


I fell in love and married a man who was diagnosed with Bipolar, well into our marriage. It took a while to navigate the system and find out what was wrong, but we got there. Only thing was that by then, my own health was beginning to fail, given the stress and emotions I too had to endure.


I had to be patient and calm all the time and thank goodness our young one understood when daddy was not feeling well and kept the noise levels down too. There were many times I would grab a frisbee, a bat and glove, or even a big beach ball to kick around at the neighbourhood park just so we too could get out and release any pressures we had going on from living under the environment where I tried so very hard to normalize.

Years later, when my now ex-husband became dangerous to be around, we had no choice but to leave. This was after years of trying to get him the right help. The stress had already crept up on me without even knowing how it affected my body. I gained weight not taking care of myself. Usually, as a tiny person, I could not even look at myself in the mirror and when I look at those pictures now, I see the tired eyes with bags and dark circles under them. The worry lines, I never saw before. I chalked it up to getting older, but really, I knew why I looked and felt the way I did.


I kept everything inside, not talking to anyone about what I, myself, as the wife of someone with Bipolar was experiencing and the struggles to give my child a normal feeling life. I did not want them to grow up feeling like they had anything missing in their lives. Well, who was I kidding? They were missing their father. Someone to laugh and joke with. Someone to share more personal moments. I was the mother and in theory the father, but there would of course always be missing that integral part only that particular parent can add to a relationship. I don’t care what anyone says, a mother has her special qualities that we can give to our children, and a father has theirs. Both are precious to have.


After having to leave my ex-husband, both my child and I had to find our way back. I had to come to terms that I had a child to raise on my own, without a father figure in the mix. My child had to overcome the fact that there would be no other parent to go too, do things with and I worried about whether they would feel abandoned by their dad.

I put my kid in after school programs to keep them busy and I immersed myself in my writing. I stole my time back to exercise and lose my weight as well as started eating better. I even got into juicing my vegetables. I found a natural path to help me along the way. I remember many times when my kid would come into the kitchen and find me running on the spot as I would stir the pot on the stove. Or exercise while watching TV with my kid.


A friend of mine told me about meditation and I got serious about it, searching for 432 hertz music to listen to. I read books from Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay as well as listened to other inspirational speakers like Joe Dispenza and many more. I journaled to get my frustrations, fears and other emotions out of me, and it actually helped. I went for walks in nature and tried to think a little more for myself than for others, because I thought, that if I wasn’t happy, it was going to show and my kid would know mom wasn’t happy, which would upset them too. It’s still a work in progress, but there were things I noticed I had to change to move to the next chapter in my life, and here we are today. I am free from most stresses and taking life one step at a time.

 

SR John

Life Coach - Coaching the Caregiver

Writer/Author S R John

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