Perhaps the best first post is a life changing one. One of the hardest things I face when it comes to being bipolar is finding a significant other that gets it. Do you want someone who is sane without any illness? Or do you want someone that’s as crazy as you with first hand experience? I’ve had both, and I still don’t know which is better. If you tell anyone that knows anything about bipolar that both you and your spouse are diagnosed bipolar, ninety percent of the time you will get the shocked, eyes wide with a look of disbelief face. Expressing that they know what a mess it probably is. On the other hand, if your partner is of the lucky ones without an illness you have to face the difficulties of differences, misunderstanding, and possible embarrassment when they have to explain how things can go from a honeymoon phase to a dead relationship every few days or weeks because of your brain chemistry.
Its not easy loving a person with bipolar. It takes someone with great patience, understanding, and forgiveness. We can bring some of the brightest moments into your life, teaching you so many lessons leaving you to think it couldn’t get better and wondering how such an amazing person crossed your path. Or we could just as easily burn that path down. As with any relationship though, it’s always a two way street. It’s better with someone that’s supportive and can help you through the low phases and keep you in check when the high ones come without judgment.
This last relationship was a tough one. Certain situations did not make it easy and even though we worked out most of our problems our personalities made it very hard to communicate. The last 10 months were long distance and if your bipolar you know that big changes can quickly trigger an episode of phase. At this point I felt my life was falling apart. He was my love, my climbing partner, my support and my happiness. I was losing the one thing that meant the most of me and had no idea what the future would bring. I wasn’t on any medication at this point and I sunk into the deepest depression I’ve had since I was younger. Everything became harder and I lost control of myself. My depression brought on lack of motivation, struggling to get out of bed everyday, going to work, and crying what felt like all the time. My anxiety would never let me sleep. I was constantly worried, but with such little motivation I couldn’t do anything about it. I took it all out on my boyfriend at the time and caused a lot of strain on the relationship. But at the same time, he didn’t know how to handle it and it wasn’t his main priority. This made my thoughts of self worth and confidence even worse. Everyday I struggled coming up with a reason to continue. The second one of you feels worthless to the other in the relationship, its pretty hard to come back after that. The damage is already too deep.
This episode lasted about 4-5 months before I realized I couldn’t do it anymore and decided to go back to the doctor. I honestly don’t think I would’ve made it that long had it not been for climbing. I was barely functioning at work and I stopped school temporarily but I still had enough in me to get on the rocks. The only thing that I had any motivation for was climbing. I still continued going to the gym and training almost on a daily basis. At the same time having breakdowns on the way there and the way back. I can remember my anxiety being so bad I would be there for hours and not really talking to anyone. When I finally broke down and decided to call the doctor it was because I had my first incident where I couldn’t climb at all because my anxiety was so bad. I thought, if I lose my ability to do this then what else do I have? I remember meeting my friend Lisa and I was just constantly scared and on the verge of crying or screaming because of pain I was going through. I did a few routes and struggled telling her I had to leave.-The ones that understand will never make you feel bad for these faults- Although my depression caused me to cut out a lot of people in my life at that time, I still valued the understanding I got from her when I did talk to her.
After going to the doctor and getting back on my medications, things got better. My relationship still wasn’t the best but I still mentally felt like I could handle life again and I was happy. I made some life changing decision and decided to move away from home to another state. It was one of the biggest eye openers I’ve experienced. I focused all my energy on school and climbing and gained full control again of my life, myself, and my bipolar. I stopped my medication again to see how well it would go and then a few months later…boom…breakup. Compared to what I’ve already said, it was easy to think this would bring on another episode. But here I am, persevering and feeling better than I had before. Proving to myself that my mind has grown so much just within the last 5 months. Sadness and mourning loss is normal, but knowing I’m off medication and what risk this breakup could bring me wasn’t worth falling into that pit again. If anything it has made more room for positive things in my life. I’ve already met three new milestones in the last week just pertaining to climbing. Comparing life to climbing a mountain is probably the best analogy I can think of.
I truly feel my diagnoses is a blessing now. I’m not ashamed, and I don’t feel I have to hide it. I’m able to understand things on a deeper level and feel things that most people can’t relate too. All the while having enough strength to concur my own head every day and living a normal life. It’s a testament to how strong a person can be and today I’m grateful for that strength and perseverance.