Adjustment Required

I'm starting to feel as if I am throwing myself against the walls created by limitations of bipolar disorder. The day to day management and limitations of the illness and K's reactions to things going wrong are infuriating. If something goes wrong, as in last night she was unable to sleep, her immediate reaction is to lay down an ultimatum that she won't do "x" again.

In this case, "x" was going over to our next door neighbor's for a bit over an hour for a drink. As it turned out, we ended up eating dinner at 8:30 pm, instead of 7:30 or a bit earlier.

Result: K had a bad night. But who really knows if her bad night was caused by a late dinner. It might have been a result of it being a Sunday night. She frequently has trouble sleeping on Sundays. None of this really matters. But her reaction is to say that she has to stay in every Sunday night, eat early, and go to bed early. Reality is that it is impossible to parse out the effects of each action and analyze their impact on her mood and yet she still attempts to do so as a way of controlling things.

It drives me crazy! I agree that we should try and do those things and we do. But I don't want our entire life to disappear because she is bipolar. Where are the lines?

This weekend we also argued over visitors. We are having the house worked on. Things like electrical work, basement renovation, and other things along those lines. K wants to limit all house guests so she can relax on the weekends and recover from the chaos of the renovation. We went back and forth for way too long on this.

The thing is that we didn't use to argue. Are the arguments caused by the 7 years that we have been together or the adaption to bipolar disorder? I'm baffled. We're both frustrated. Our focus is that we love one another and we'll get through this in addition to all the rest of the shit we've been handed over the past 18 months. That's what keeps us grounded. I remind myself that it's not about winning, it's about creating a life with K that works for each of us.

Good news is we visited the psychiatrist again last Friday. He's very pleased with her progress. No medication changes. And instead of 4 weeks, K was able to select the timeframe for the next appointment, so no visit for 2 months. She continues to see her therapist weekly. Naturally, if a crisis occurs, she'll go in. He's also very reachable by phone at all times, which has kept us going during bad times before.

On another note, I occasionally wonder if I am too cautious about releasing my identity and personal information on this blog. The main reason that no names or places are used is that K is very concerned about the stigma related to bipolar disorder. But then articles like this one reassure me that perhaps I'm not overreacting. I would prefer to be overall cautious than either K or I have to pay a price for the information that's written here.

For the most part, we don't conceal the disease from our friends and family. All of our family and close friends are well aware of K's health problems, even if they don't know how painful it has been. I switched jobs recently, although I remained with the same organization, and my former co-workers were aware of K's issues. She's been more circumspect with her own colleagues due to the stigma.


At 9:20 PM, Blogger blondzila said...

Stigma is ever present. I haven't told my coworkers and few of my family. I understand the fear. It is real.


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