Contentment

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Over the last several months I have seen my mental health recovery take a major blow. I went from being stable in my recovery to have a major episode of mania to a major episode of depression. It is amazing to me how I was so prepared yet I still managed to have such a horrible experience and devastating ramifications from such an episode.

I have been married for almost 22 years and my husband and I have had our ups and downs due to my illness. Over the last five years, we have really learned how to work together. That was until recently. It seems like somehow we have lost all the ways we once knew how to communicate. We lost touch with how we once loved each other and how we cared for each other.

It has been a complete struggle for me since I have been dealing with delusional thought processes and feelings of discontent. I often struggle with feelings of discontent in my life so that isn’t something new for me. However, sometimes the feelings are so strong that I have no control over trying to make something new happen in my life. I struggle to make something exciting and something different to take effect and to take hold. Many times that may be starting a new friendship or a new career or another line of education. I see it as growth. My husband, however, sees it as another failed attempt I have made towards succeeding at something that I tried and didn’t like. I do not think if I am not content in something I should do it forever. Especially since I am not the breadwinner of the family and many times the things I am doing are just another job of some sort that pays minimum wage or just slightly more. Until a job is more than a job but an actual career I don’t see why I should be forced to do something I am not content or happy in.

This last episode has taught me a few things and in a way, I am glad I have had it happen. I have been very complacent. Just letting life pass by, not knowing what to do next. I have been so scared of starting over again. I have been so worried because of my husbands fear of my failure, my own insecurities of failure blossomed and began to form and take over my life. It was like when he doubted I could actually make something happen in my life I no longer believed in myself either and that became a fundamental problem in me. Not believing something as simple as being able to hold down a part-time job made me lose all the value I had in myself as a human being and doubting that I could even hold down a part-time job because I was so broken because of my illness made me feel so dehumanized. Not to mention trapped. Trapped and not able to get out of my house but trapped in a marriage that even though I wanted to stay in it knowing I had no other choice was infuriating. I felt as though my husband had made me stop believing in myself and made me believe I would fail in order to control me and make me stay with him and make me believe I was so broken no one else would ever want me and he was my only option for survival.

Now in saying this, it sounds as if my husband is a bad guy. I need to say, no my husband is great. If he did control me he did so out of love, without knowing he did so. He never meant it to come across how it did. He never meant for me to feel devalued or worthless it was never his intent for me to feel that way. Every morning my husband gets into a safe and gets out my medication and sets it out and he picks up all my medications at the pharmacy weekly, he takes damn good care of me and provides a damn good life for us. So why do I feel controlled?

It’s simple really. He doesn’t believe in me. He is always waiting for the shoe to drop. He is always waiting for the mess up. He is always expecting the fail. When you have already failed in someone’s eyes before you begin, then you are never going to live up to the expectation that they have set for you. He doesn’t believe I can do it. I start school in the fall for digital media, I wonder how many classes I will have to pass before he realizes I am actually in school and that school is my first priority.

I make things happen. It’s what I do. When I am not content I begin something new to fill a void. A new friendship, a new career, a new line of education. I have laid dormant for three years, I am ready to find some contentment again. I am ready to find some peace of mind. I am ready for something to keep my racing thoughts from racing, something to keep me busy. I am ready for school. I am ready.

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Remaining Mindful

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When I am going through a deep depression for some reason, I have a hard time practicing what I preach to others. I constantly talk about how important self-care is, but now that I am myself, going through a deep depression and I am to get myself out of it I am realizing the fact that what I have let go is my self-care. I have spent the last 4 years taking care of myself. It is the reason I didn’t work. So that I can tan, go to the gym, get my nails done, do my hair, clean my house, do my meditation, clear my mind, write, and do the things that I need to do to take care of me. Over the last five months I have lost sight of all those things and here I am thinking I want to go back to work or school when I can’t even get through the day without letting the delusional thoughts taking over my mind.

Delusional thoughts for me right now are my biggest struggle. I hate them. They consume me when my thoughts are bad. If I start off in a good state of mind during the day, it’s not a problem but if I start off in a bad mood or if I get triggered by something the delusional thoughts will begin and they snowball into a huge issue that wasn’t needed. I am working on being mindful again when those are starting.

Being mindful of them means knowing the thought is not real

Being mindful of them means knowing the thought is not real and recognizing that the thought is something that I am making up. No matter how real it may feel. An example is my husband not loving me correctly. My husband loves me very much and he expresses his love for me in his own ways. He always has. Through his support. By our bond, by our cuddling and the time he wishes to spend with me. I have never not felt loved by him. However, one of my love languages is when someone puts thought into something and buys something with me in mind or plans something for me. I am totally touched by those efforts and I love those things. It makes me feel special and totally adored and loved. He however isn’t that sort of person, does it mean he isn’t loving me correctly, well know he just loves me differently. I however feel a need isn’t being met with in me. I wish he could bend a bit with this, but it isn’t something I think he will ever be able to do. He does when things are good buy me a rose from time to time. Its been hardly ever now days. However, he does do it. I miss him doing it more often. It meant a lot more to me when he did it.

Just writing this blog is triggering to me because I feel myself getting triggered. I feel myself going into the delusional thought that he doesn’t do enough for me. When the man loves me in other ways. The man makes sure my medications are picked up every day and every time for me. He makes sure that they are put out every day and, in the right amounts, every day for me, to keep me safe. If I need anything he is there. He will hold me as I cry during a delusional break down because they just won’t stop. Not truly understanding what is happening but knowing I am hurting and that is all he needs to know to hold me and let me cry on his shoulder. Many men would walk away at a time like that.

I am a lucky girl; I am a blessed girl

I am a lucky girl; I am a blessed girl and sometimes I forget how good I have it. For 21 and a half years I have had a partner who has stood by me and fought with me against this disease and let me stay at home while he goes to work to provide for us at a job with good insurance so that I can have good medical care to fight against this. I have it so good and I am so thankful for my husband.

I need to start treating him like I am thankful for him again. I need to remind him that I am blessed to have him and that he is my world. I would be nothing without him. He is my world. I am so glad to have him in my life and I think I should stop thinking about how he doesn’t love me and remember about all the ways he does love me. It is really about perspective. Our lives are different than many other people’s lives, because of bipolar disorder. Not that it’s all bad because of bipolar disorder but our lives are just never going to be like everyone else’s lives. That’s just going to have to be OKAY!