Hi stressed in bama
I completely understand how you feel. I have been living with my bipolar hubbie for over 20 years and I have found time and time again that after he gets back to 'normal' (although in my case he never really gets back to normal as he is always either on his way back up or on his way back down). However, when he is in a slightly better place for a few days/weeks then suddenly I will feel awful, stressed, depressed anxious etc.
I think that it is because IMO this is because we really have to hold ourselves together, take a deep breath whilst our spouses are not, and then once they return to a more normal state of mind it is like letting out a huge sigh and our mind and body relaxes and that is the point when we collapse slightly and 'allow' ourselves to feel something. This is usually stress and exhaustion from the periods of having to look out and look after our partners.
We are like a tightly coiled spring that cannot stay this way for ever I think. I also think that the longer your hubbie isn't in a good place then the worse obviously the fallout is going to be for you later. A couple of years ago my hubbie was in a manic state for about
6 months which gradually ended in a huge crash for him which took a long time to get out of. As a result for the next 9 or so months I just couldn't get myself together which was unusual for me as I have the odd down day but not for months on end, I really did feel genuinely depressed and lethargic etc. for a long time so it is understandable for you to have a few bad days now.
That is how I see it anyway. It is of course bad timing because it means you rarely seem to have any 'normal' periods between the both of you, either he is manic or depressed and then we are tired, depressed and stressed once it is all over for a period of time. It really isn't fair for anyone
I don't really have a magic answer as to how I handle it. I do try and detach myself a little now when my hubbie is going through these periods otherwise I find they totally envelop me as well but have only managed to do this fairly recently and not to a great success.
From another point of view, maybe you just need to accept that you have been under stress whilst he is in these periods, give yourself a break and plan to have a few days following 'an episode' when you really do nothing but try and relax and do stuff for yourself even if it means staying in bed for a couple of days - is it really that bad to do this? Give yourself a break during these times and do things that are going to cheer you up. Can he look after you during this time like you have obviously supported him?
Also, does your hubbie realise and appreciate what effects his BP has on you as I have found that this makes a huge difference as to how I react and also how he 'treats me and looks after me' after one of these periods when he is in more normal state. You don't say how long you have been together so wasn't sure of your experience with the condition.
Hope this makes you feel less alone
Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 9/7/2007 4:52:02 AM (GMT-6)