Sunday, May 23, 2010

Doing some 'recycling' lol

Doing some 'recycling' this morning and posting a guestblog I wrote for Melissa over at sugarfilledemotions last week.

I am still new to guest blogging. Even newer to that than I am to blogging on my own blog Our Journey Through Life. I have been trying on and off over the past few years to really get started and just over the past few months really got into the groove of things. My name is Kris and I am married to L who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in October 2007. Before that his doctor had said that it was GAD (General Anxiety disorder) and depression. It wasn't until a severe nervous breakdown with psychotic features presented itself that his diagnosis changed. We have been married for 5 1/2 years and have two beautiful little girls who are 3 1/2 years and 13 months old.

Melissa asked me to write about how my husband's effects us as a family. The bigger (and more accurate) question would be how does it not. Everything we do and everything we don't do is based on his illness at this point. We are starting to move away from that but it is a difficult road.

When he was showing more symptoms I would watch him every waking moment. I would stay up until 1am or later with him and be up at 6am the next morning with our oldest daughter who wasn't even a year old yet at that point. I lost count of the number of times I fell asleep in her room while she was playing because I was simply exhausted. I was scarred to leave him at home alone because I didn't know what he would do. It took me a long time to start taking care of not just him and our daughter but of myself as well.

Even now, though things have improved, we are still not out of the woods. One of his biggest issues is impulse control especially when he isn't doing well. His biggest rash decision up to this point was made in September 2008 when he HAD to move. No talking would get him out of it. It was either we move with him or he would move on his own. So, we moved. From the time he made that decision until the time we were in our new apartment it took all of three days...

The biggest effect I see though is in our interpersonal interactions. His relationship with our daughters is very strained at this point. Our oldest is too young to understand why her daddy who she loves with all her heart can change in a heartbeat from loving and joking to upset and yelling. All she knows is that there are times when her daddy gets 'mean'. How do you explain that to a three-year old child?

Overall, I think what effects me the most is the constant vigilance (both conscious and unconscious). The smallest change in his mood or behavior can set off warning bells for me. I am overly sensitive to any changes and as much as I am trying not to I tend to be rather pessimistic about the outcome of things. It is something I am trying very hard to overcome and something that I am hoping that our girls will not pick up. Yet at the same time i am the one that is hopeful that he WILL get better and that we will get back to a point where he is in control of his illness and not the other way around. I think if I let myself believe that there was no hope then all hope WOULD be lost. So I keep trucking on for my husband, our girls and myself.

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