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Mental illness and my marriage / life - please advise!(7 Posts)
I didnt know whether to post this here or in relationships or what? Hope it fits here.
I have bipolar disorder. I have suffered with depression on and off for my entire life, but only had my first manic episode this year. It was very frightening, and I am now taking medication and on the waiting list for CBT.
I am married to a very supportive, kind man. He loves me very much and would do anything for me. However, I am desperately unhappy and considering ending our marriage. Before I do, I just need some perspective, because I am so confused about whether my unhappiness with aspects of my life (including my marriage) is a problem in itself or more a symptom of my bipolar ie. I will never be truly happy with this illness, whatever I do...
I feel horribly trapped by my life. I live in the suburbs in a big house that I cannot keep clean or tidy. My DH is lovely, but the spark is gone and has been gone for years. We are like best mates now. It breaks my heart to say that.
Our children are still pretty young, one is disabled. Life is a struggle a lot of the time. I sometimes dream of running away from it all. Lately I think maybe I would be happier if I were single and could concentrate on getting well. I think about having a smaller, more manageable flat, ending my evenings after DC are asleep alone with some quiet time for myself, no pressure to be giving to another adult (not that DH is a demanding man). Maybe sharing custody, so that I have a few child free days a week?
God it sounds so stupid and selfish. Can anyone make any of sense of what I am feeling? Apologies of a bit garbled.
I have to say a lot of what you describe is how I feel post mania or during early mania so my advice is don't do anything hasty wait until you have come to terms with your illness and are stable on meds and then maybe try couple counselling to see if you can fix the problems in your marriage it's not easy finding someone patient enough to live with someone suffering bipolar.
Hi - dealing with just the practical things, if the house is too big for you at present to clean etc, can you tell your husband and see if him taking on responsibility for cleaning is an option, or getting a cleaner is - even if it is just once a fortnight? If you have a disabled child, do you have support for that? Could you go to your health visitor and tell them you have mental health issues and are struggling to care for your home and children, one of whom is disabled, and ask if they can signpost you to any help or services, such as homestart, a children's centre worker etc?
Whilst medication and counselling can help some areas, they cannot help with practical matters. If practical matters were more sorted, would that help you in other areas? I know when my house is really unsorted or in need of cleaning I do not cope well with anything else.
Also, since I have had a baby keeping things tidy (toys - at christmas, more toys!!) is really hard. Think that is normal. We are going to buy more toy storage, to help. Can you tell your husband how you are, what you are thinking - there may be some simple, doable solutions to help you right now.
At the risk of diagonsing by internet, I'd guess that it's your bipolar, or meds, or both talking, rather than how you actually feel.
How long have you wanted to run away?
btw, I think here was a better place than Relationships- I got a pasting this morning for asking a similar question about running out on my DD Though the majority said
when not being shocked and horified at me for wanting to be single and irresponsible again that I am stuck being a mother, whether I stay or somehow go. I'm guessing the same is true for you, only worse because you want to run out on 4 kids, not just one! They also encouraged me towards councillling (individual and with DH)
Hoophopes offers good advice on practical matters, I'll just ask about the lost spark between you and your DH- how long ago did it die? When did you last have a date/more than 2 hours of the two of you and no kids? This sort of thing helped my sister and her husband, and it used to help me and my DH...
As a long term sufferer with MH issues I understand totally why you feel you want to get away from them all. Loving people can be very hard when you have MH issues, I can honestly say it scares me and I struggle with it. I do love my DH and DC but I find loving them very tiring and also when at a low ebb the question arises, surely they would be better off without me. The answer is no they will not be better off without you unless you are actually abusive or a danger towards them. You just sound like you can't cope because your illness steals the actual you.
It sounds like your on your way to a crisis point. Is there anyway you could afford to pay for CBT privately. I know there are moral issues and I never though I would go down that private route but I did as I couldn't wait the almost year of the waiting list.
Again the spark being lost, this is common in relationships especially with small dc but I would hazard a guess that your illness is currently all encompassing and trying to remain functioning just takes everything you have.
As someone else with a diagnosis of bipolar, I feel like you do from time to time, depending on my mood. I'm much better after therapy and with medication, but when i'm feeling ill I crave alone time. Dealing with people when I'm manic is irritating and when I'm low it drains me. During a mixed state I get very paranoid and agitated and prefer being alone. I have been honest with DP about how I feel at these times, because it really isn't personal.
I just muddle through as best I can, because it's what you have to do. I now know it's the illness talking. One of the best pieces of advice about how to deal with messy bipolar times came from my dad, who is also bipolar.
develop a plan of action for the worst times when you are well and can think clearly. Put mechanisms in place and talk to your DH about symptoms that indicate an episode, high, low or mixed. Tell him how he can help. If you have family near by, can you ask them to help too? My parents live abroad, and DP is not DS's father and his family live on the other side of the country. This means we have to have a contingency plan for when an episode strikes! DH will have to be the voice of reason when you have lost a handle on yours, or that's how it works in our relationship.
Honesty is the only sane route to take. Talking to your DC's about your bipolar is also important I feel. My mum and dad hid it from me and my brother as kids. Only there is no hiding it, we didn't know wtf was going on when my dad was manic or very depressed. He would get very agressive and spiteful when manic. It was like a secret that nobody talked about and to all intents and purposes my mother worked her arse off to maintain an appearance of normality to the outside world. I always knew things weren't right and frankly it really fucked me up. Once I found out, I could get over it and understand and forgive my parents. I only found out when I was 30 ffs! Don't let you family become like mine was. Get it out in the open, because we are only as sick as our secrets.
Sorry for essay.
i have running away fantasies fairly often. Its because you are overwhelmed . Not because its actually a good idea. My partner also has running away fantasies. It would not help.The problems would still be there. It is tough to cope with a family and demands in you when all you want to do is recuperate and get better when your house is full of people that all want a bit of you and need you. At my lowest i thought i didn't love my partner or children anymore. This is a much more common symptom of depression than people like to admit.
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