I may be too close to it right now, but I’m having a rough time forgiving and being thankful. I know that will come soon. But today, I’m going to forgive myself for being exhausted, and I will trust that the rest will follow.
I’m a caretaker. My husband has bipolar and despite all the efforts he and his amazing team of psychiatrists, doctors and counselors have made, he’s been struggling with paranoia, anxiety and extreme agitation. For the first time, he’s targeting me so now I’m the enemy. That’s hard and I’m tired. I’m beginning to become raw and fight back, though that’s not helpful.
He spent a week in a mental ward in early October, but when he came out, there really wasn’t a solid outpatient program for followup. They are all for substance abuse and that’s not his problem. So after a week in the hospital, he was released with no real followup plan. I was frantic to find some reliable program to no avail.. Now, nearly 2 months later, he’s still better off. He’s not rifling through my phone and text messages looking for evidence nor accusing me of infidelity, so that is good. He’s not driving around at night refusing to come home and talking about hiring lawyers to map out a divorce. But he’s highly agitated and angry. I’m weary of his tone of voice, and I need to find a way to distance myself from it.
I realize resentment can take on a life of its own. Resentment’s a killer. As much as I give of my time and every spare dollar we have that I alone make, it’s easy to feel justified. I can so easily share my story with my friends and have them gather around me to justify my resentment. While that’s all fine and good for a short while, it takes root and in no time, I’ll have those bitter lines around my frowning mouth and forehead. I’ll not be able to see the beauty around me and the kindness of so many people who are taking care of me as I take care of him. Reminding myself that he’s sick and can’t help it is somewhat comforting. I know it can all change in one sweet moment, when he thanks me for standing by him. He will. but I have to wait until his cloud clears and he’s not in so much pain.
I know him to be a very sweet and kind-hearted person with incredible strength and courage. He’s compliant and determined, but he’s beginning to lose hope. He’s weary to the bone and is beginning to feel like he has no reliable options. We’re working very closely with his psychiatrist who is one of the most remarkable people I know. Throughout this ordeal, he will take my phone call 24/7. I’m so grateful for that. His therapist works with me as well. She is caring and concerned. He’s a top priority for all of us. I have so much hope and faith that his team is working hard on his behalf. And so am I. It’s wonderful to have that kind of medical expertise and compassion. We are truly grateful for that.
We are now trying Clozapine. It’s early and he’s not yet there but I’m hopeful. I’m praying. By writing this, I’m feeling more forgiving and compassionate. Sometimes, in the midst of what seems like a battle, it’s hard to look up and see the blessings and the love surrounding us. The paramedics who came to take him to the hospital the second time were calm, compassionate, and funny. They helped me laugh.
Today, I’m grateful for all the love and support I do have. I have the strength to support my sweet husband when he’s hurting so badly. I have hope that the Clozapine will be effective. I’m grateful that NAMI has a place that we can share stories and talk about these struggles. Maybe, just maybe today will be a very good day.