Let's Help Each Other:
I am so thankful for all of you and appreciate you sharing your stories. Our lives are so similar.
with this entry I am not sharing "my story" but I did want to start a dialogue of how we might help each other. You might think, "is she really going to tell me about how to read my email, when I am dealing with violence here?" I am NOT trying to belittle anyone's situation (including my own), rather that I need all the help I can get, so why not start with trying to share?
I have tried for so long to find local support, church support and family support. And the reality is that if you are not married to a bipolar man, you simply can't understand.
I so want to learn from your experiences so beg you to share your successes. A few tiny things I am learning:
1) ask local people for physical needs help, etc. i.e. with kids, like "sure, i would love for you to bring us dinner."
2) ask the professionals, others with mental illness for insight, an ear, etc. www.dbsalliance.org, www.nami.org.
3) don't assume all therapists know what they are doing.
4) take the NAMI Friends and Family course near you--you will learn more about other mental illnesses than necessary but the resource for Bi-Polar is incredible.
5) take time for yourself. WHATEVER the cost.
6) READ. We need to read so much to understand and know that we are not going crazy. But I also suggest we read for fun, about the greater world, for me, scripture is super helpful.
7) WRITE. my journal has been my best friend. I am amazed at the tricks my memory will play on me. Things I thought were only 2 or 3 years ago, i see on looking back were 6 or more. Tracking the cycles is helpful too.
8) Compartmentalize communication. My husband will blitz me with attaching, depressing emails, sometimes 13 or more in about a 4 hour period. I almost have to play games with myself. I learned to split my energy. Before I would read any email from him, i will do one sales thing for my job, a call, an email, something. it helps me feel less drained. Additionally, i group them. Often wait for 3 or 4 emails before responding to any. Then I nearly always include scripture in my response. not so much like being a know it all, preacher. more for myself that in taking the energy to bear his burden, i took time for me to be uplifted so I share that uplifting.
9) count your blessings. For me, with three incredible young children it is easy. yes, that brings lots of worry, stress, and questions, but blessings too.
10) SLEEP. enough said.
LOTS of encouragement to all of you!