What to expect when reading bi-polar wife

Thoughts and feelings of living with bi-polar as a wife, mother, and person in the world.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Fall out

From any situation that involves a degree of chaos, there is going to be some fall out. This can be practical, emotional or financial, and the problem is, it can cause stress and anxiety, which in turn, can trigger episodes of depression or mania or both. Its like weathering a very bad storm. You're overwhelmed with gladness that the storm has finished and you have survived, but you now need to do a massive tidying up operation, and learn to live in the place you have had to rebuild. Its fraught with broken glass and the odd sticking up nail, and although it looks like your house, it'll never be the same as it was. You can rebuild or move.

Its a difficult time. Trite phrases tend to be flung about in a casual manner. Life is what you make it. You're not the person you used to be. You're how much in debt? These issues are not the sole ownership of mentally ill people, but those commonal garden problems that "Normal" folk have can seem magnified and slightly more severe. There is also the risk that the now fragile recovering slightly less mad person, could tip over the edge at any point, so people tend to be overly polite, anxious and suspicious of any behaviour even slightly away from the norm. The accentuated, "How are you?" question happens a lot, and heaven forbid if there is a "Pregnant pause" after the initial questioning - fear and paranoia jump into the quiet place, and wild projections of a new phase of madness dance around the imagination.

Its funny as I don't want to be pitied or treated with kid gloves - I need to be understood, listened too and supported. Fear mongering makes me resentful and irritable. Its bad enough that I worry about a relapse, let along carrying everyone else's concern. It takes time for the community you live in to relax and return to the patterns of every day living.

Its easy to be self centred about what has happened, and behave as though noone else was involved or effected. Even if I have managed my condition with drugs, CBT, psychiatric and psychotherapy input, there will always be other people experiencing me and my behaviours.They will worry, they will challenge you, they do care. Sadly being completely unaffected is unavoidable. I wish sometimes that I could have done the whole thing by myself on a long mentally ill sabbatical of some sort, then return to the fold, well and equipped for the future.

So we are on the road to recovery, and things are almost slotting in to place. I wonder what else might happen, now that the chemical balance is better. Will I be able to settle for normal? I suppose I'm about to find out.