Today is my husband’s anniversary; he is now 12 years sober! We are going to a meeting together, along with his mom and brother, and then we will all go out to eat. I originally had a therapy appointment at noon, but I decided to change it so I could celebrate with everyone. Instead of a noon appointment, my therapist will call me at the end of the day. We’ve had phone appointments a few times, when they were necessary. It’s great that my therapist is willing to do them. It’s more like I changed the appointment to a phone appointment later in the day instead of having it at noon in his office. It’s important to me to be with my mother-in-law as she celebrates my husband’s sobriety. We may not be able to do this all together again.
This morning, my husband got a call from his mother. I could tell from the look on his face that it was bad. She had a colonoscopy a few days ago. The doctor called and said they wanted to see her right away. Just with that information alone, I knew it couldn’t be good. It turns out that she has cancer. I’m not sure what kind, I just know the doctor said it’s all over her abdomen. They gave her a year to live.
When my husband told me, I started to cry. I’m not sure how to help my husband through this, although I feel like I should be able to do so. When I was 12, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. They gave him 3 years to live and he lived for 6 years. I’ve lost a parent. I know how hard it is. I just don’t know how to help someone else go through it.
I suppose the only things I can do to help is to be there for both my husband and mother-in-law. I can offer my assistance to both of them. I can be there to talk, if either of them want that. Basically, I can just be there.
I love my mother-in-law and I enjoy the time I spend with her. We get together (without my husband) and play Pinochle about once a week. I’m going to spend as much time with her as I can. She’s a wonderful loving person.
This is bringing up a lot of feelings from when my dad was diagnosed and when he died. I’m sure that this will continue to bring up a lot of emotions. I’ve dealt with them before; I can do it again.
These questions are from bipolarsojourner
What are my successes and frustrations with ECT?
When I first started ECT, I did it for a while, probably about a year. I don’t remember it at all. But I decided to stop because I wasn’t sure if it was working or not. So I stopped for a while, about 6 months maybe. Then when I started back up I knew for certain that it was helping because it helped bring me out of a big depression. I now do ECT once every other week. It destroys my memory, but it helps my depression. I’m hoping that I can soon switch to doing a treatment once every four weeks. I honestly don’t remember much of anything. It even messes up my memories from before I started ECT, when I was a little kid. They said that is very unlikely, but it happened to me.
How does your husband support you? Is it effective?
My husband is very supportive. He was my best friend and knew all about my bipolar disorder before we started dating. He helps me recognize when I’m in an episode and helps me remember to take my medication. He’s very understanding when I’m not feeling up to doing something. For example, I had a hard time when our dog died this past April. He was ready to get a new dog before I was. He didn’t push me to get another dog, he let me wait until I was ready. My husband makes me feel safe and comfortable being myself, it is extremely effective.
What is your depression and mania like? Do you have benefits from your bipolar?
During my depressions, I always end up eating excessively and gaining weight. I tend to sleep a lot, I lose interest and often don’t care about things that I normally care about. I get angry easily and often feel worthless and suicidal. During my manic episodes, I generally go many days at a time without sleeping (my insomnia get really bad). I usually have racing thoughts, I get all jittery, I don’t make any sense, and I talk really fast (so much so that it sounds like I’m using drugs again, but I’m not). I also get suicidal during manic episodes. I used to self-harm during both depressive and main episodes, but it’s been many years since I’ve done that (although, to be honest, I think about it a lot). I prefer to be manic than depressed. At least when I’m manic I can get things done and I have the energy to workout. I can lose weight when I’m manic a lot easier, but when I’m depressed, I almost always gain weight.
I’ve been having a hard time staying in contact with friends lately. I think it’s my bipolar depression that makes me not want to connect with people; even when I want to connect with people, it’s a difficult activity. It takes a lot of work to stay in contact with people. Talking to people, whether they are family or friends, often feels like work, even when I’m talking to people who I want to talk to. It maybe something similar to emotional detachment, or it could be a reaction from my PTSD due to fear.
I do my best to stay in contact with a couple of people, such as my husband and mother. However, it gets harder and harder as time goes on. I’ve always been such a talker, so I find it weird that talking to people is so difficult for me. I notice that as time goes on, I talk to fewer people. Especially my friends; I let go of them when I’m struggling because it’s too much for me to manage. While I separate myself from them, I’m thinking of them often. When I’m doing better, I then try to reach out to my friends. I’m lucky enough to have friends and family members understand what I’m going through and they don’t judge me for separating myself from them.
My husband came home last night with a bouquet of flowers for me. He said he got them just because I wasn’t feeling well and he wanted to help me feel better. It definitely brought a huge smile to my face. My husband does this from time to time; when he thinks I need some cheering up or sometimes just because. I’m very lucky to have so much support. He’s always trying to look out for me.
In fact, my entire family supports me. This afternoon I received a card in the mail from my aunt. It was just to let me know that she supports me and loves me. It was the perfect card. It’s a good feeling knowing that my family supports me unconditionally. It helps with the depression.
Everything we well yesterday with my father-in-law’s surgery. We were at the hospital for 10 hours, but the time went by fast. We kept each other company while we waited to hear how the surgery went and then while we waited to go back and see him. At one point, some woman came and sat next to us (we were sitting in a corner of the waiting room by ourselves). It got pretty uncomfortable then, especially since she inserted herself into our conversation. However, I think she was just trying to pass the time while she waited for her husband. There were four of us waiting for my father-in-law, and she was all alone. He gets to go home today if all goes well. We won’t know how successful it was for at least a couple of weeks.
I fell asleep early on the couch since it had been a long day. I woke up at 2am coughing, so I stayed on the couch. I didn’t want to go to bed and wake my husband up with my coughing. I thought I might be able to fall back asleep, but that didn’t work out very well. I’m not sure if we’re going back to the hospital today or not. Maybe I’ll stop by before my doctor’s appointment.
My husband brought home 3 beautiful roses for me, one for each year of marriage. Our anniversary isn’t until the third, I suppose he’s just getting a head start. As of tomorrow, we will be married 3 years. We were also engaged a little over a year, and we were dating for about a year and a half before that. Before all of that, we were best friends for about 5 years. He always said we would end up together. I insisted that wasn’t so, but now look at us, we’re happily married.
We’ve had a lot of difficult times thrown at us this past year. Between my mental health and my husband’s excruciating back pain, it’s been more than hard, but we made it through together, we support each other. I am hoping for some easier times in the future.