Difficult Week

PMS is not a favorite time of many women. When faced with bipolar disorder, it can become a nightmare for yourself and the people around you. K's week has been miserable thus far and my patience is being strained to the limit. It's hard to continually reassure and repeat the same phrases over and over again to help calm her.

The problem is twofold.

1) When K doesn't feel well her memory fails. This is due to the drugs and treatments that she has undergone in the past 18 months. I act as an external hard drive to remember information and to reassure her.

2) As soon as K starts to feel bad, she forgets that she ever felt well and essentially becomes trapped in her own version of mental pain and hell. She rapidly loses faith that she will ever emerge, though usually she does after a few days.

During these episodes, my goal is to keep her calm and keep her from being too mentally abusive on herself. I spend time on the phone talking her through spikes in her rage to keep her grounded, which means I don't focus as much at work. It also may mean deciding where the fine line is between pushing and not pushing her to get up, go to the doctor, and function. When she's well, she doesn't struggle with daily tasks, but the couple days that she isn't well, everything becomes impossible.

All of this effort exhausts me. Instead of making it to the gym this morning, I slept an additional hour and still woke exhausted. I know it stems from the strain the past few days. The gym is normally one way for me to ultimately reduce stress and be better able to deal with the situation at home, but sometimes even that is beyond me. I keep expecting things to improve and they have, but I want more now.


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