Monday, October 6, 2014

I Don't Give Up

If you have been reading some of our more recent posts, you would see that we have been through a rough patch in our relationship lately. This is not new for us, but it is probably new for some of the people who have read our blog. 

We are working through this together. Despite what it may appear to be, our lives are not always full of roses and rainbows. We have real struggles just like everyone else. Her disorder makes our marriage challenging at times. Bipolar disorder affects our daily lives.

In her last blog post, my wife talked about her mood cycles and the harsh things she says while she was living in that moment. Her illness causes her to think irrationally and it affects her judgment. When this happens she can say some of the most hurtful things. I know that most times her attitude will change eventually. Sometimes it takes longer than others for this to happen.

There are many reasons that we go through this cycle often. She regularly forgets things. To her, we have had many déjà vu moments. Memory issues are common in someone who has bipolar disorder. 

We often repeat the same conversation because does not remember having the conversation in the first place. It's a lot like the movie 50 First Dates or Groundhog Day. Reliving a previous argument or the same conversations can be uncomfortable. Even though she does not always remember the details of our conversations, I know she remembers how it made her feel. It affects her mood at the time that these conversations are happening.

I try my best not to let it get to me. At times her words upset me and I get offended. After all the past experiences, I feel like I should know better by now. 

When I can recognize the direction the conversation is headed, I will try to lead us in a better direction than before. I try to avoid saying the things that would trigger her to become upset. There are times when I totally get it wrong and I end up making it worse. These times I feel like that it would have been better if I would not have said anything at all.

There are other times when I feel that it’s all I can do to contain my emotions. I try not to take what I hear personally. When I do, I become standoffish. I usually need to take a little time to recover. 

Getting upset just makes things harder. When she starts in on me I need to step back and let her vent. I wait out the storm. Her mood will change eventually. Understanding this takes some of the sting out of what she says. Being able to separate what is the real Jane and what is coming from her illness is something I am still trying to learn.

When she comes out of a bad mood phase of the disorder, I remind her that I am not going anywhere, I love her, and I am always going to be here for her. I am trying to support her efforts to get better. I am not going to give up on her. I am not easily broken. 

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