I am so glad that I found this site. We that are dealing with loved ones that suffer from BP sometimes forget about ourselves. We need someone to vent to, a shoulder to cry on or just some good advice.
This is our family's story:
After twenty two years of marriage, five children (mine, his ours and someone else's), years of walking on egg shells, we finally have a name for the storms that we have rode out. It's call BP II. Two years ago my husband was hospitalized and diagnosed with BP II and array of other disorders that play hand in hand with BP. I had known for years before that there was something wrong with my husband. He would become angry over the smallest things in life. He would be depressed and in bed one week and bouncing off the walls the next week with costly ideas. Many times my family has begged me to leave and start a new life. I have refused to do this. I married my husband for better or worse, in sickness or health. I feel that I must stand by my husband and keep my family together, because I love him. I have seen this wonderful, loving man, that is some where inside my husband. Just knowing that I can see that part of him sometimes, gives me the courage to ride the storms of our daily life. With that being said, I can tell you there has been days that I feel like running away from my life. I just have to stop, take a moment of alone time and remember all the wonderful things that my husband and I have shared together. I have learned that I do need some alone time in order to continue this battle with my husband against BP. I might dig in the garden, take a short walk, paint a picture ( I am not the best artist) or just soak in a bath, but I do need some alone time to escape.
I also feel that two of our children and my father-in-law suffer from BP. My father-in-law is a loss cause, but my children are not. I refuse to watch my children hit rock bottom before they seek help. The fact that both are now adults, I can only encourage them to seek help early in their lives. I advise them regularly to take a look at how their father's actions have affected our lives. I ask them if they also want to follow his path before they decide to seek help. I can only hope and pray that they will follow my advice and take steps to controlling their BP.
Living with mental illness or living with someone who suffers from a mental illness, can take a toll on your life. People who have never came in contact with mental illness have no idea what mental illness does to the patient, family or friends. They assume that the person should be able to take control of their lives. They fell to understand that even with medication, there are times that the person has no control over the illness or their actions. In my eyes, mental illness is no different than any other diease that destroys the body (and costly at that).
I look forward to sharing the sunny days and rainy days in our fight againt BP with all of you. For I too, sometimes need a sounding board.