Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The mental illness lingers

Today DH got up and actually went to an appointment. I should've been excited, because he hasn't been going to very many. He took my car, because it gets better gas mileage. When he got back, I had to pick up DD from school because she cleaned out her locker and had too much stuff to bring on the bus. When we were on our way home, we passed DH, who was on his way to town in his truck (remember the truck gets 10-13mpg). Part of me kind of went, "Uh-oh...he's on his way to spend money again" and I almost instantly got grumpy.

What had really happened, some of which I was aware of at the time but didn't pay any attention to, was that he had fixed a lawnmower for a lady that he used to work for when his bipolar was in full swing. He had gotten the job (back wayyy before Lithium), worked his you-know-what off, and in his manic haze, spent all the paychecks on tattoos, drinks at the bar, and food, never paying a bill. When he worked for this woman, almost every single day he would come home upset because of something she said or did. I don't like the thought of him doing more work for her, as based on what I knew of her, she was not a healthy person to be around...anyhow, he fixed this lawnmower, and I was aware that she had written him a check for $50. So instead of asking me for cigarette money, he went into town to cash the check and buy some cigarettes.

But I was upset. Sometimes I think that I'm so used to getting upset at everything he does, that I've kind of forgotten what it's like to have him act rationally. I assumed that he was wasting gas that we couldn't afford, to go into town and spend money that he couldn't afford to spend, on useless stuff. And while I'm not 100% sure that he was 100% honest with me, I did end up feeling bad for jumping to conclusions. After all, he had earned the money himself and was using it on things that I would normally get stuck buying for him, so that's good, right?

And after I apologized to him, he told me that he was going to fix another lawnmower for that lady. I expressed my misgivings, and he said, "you know, she's the same person she was before, really demanding and critical, but she doesn't bother me any more. Something's different." LOL. Lithium, of course.

I need to be more aware of times when I'm just getting upset because "that's what I've been doing for two years." I think I need to take a step back and try to start responding to him as a more normal person sometimes, instead of "this bipolar person who was put in my life to thwart every plan I ever made." LOL. That's about it, isn't it?


perphila said...

That idea makes a lot of sense. I have thought of that myself. It took so long to accept the fact in order to survive I had to be suspicious. I had to double check every little thing. I only came to this realization after Sean left. Even when he was here and things were getting bad he wasn't off the wall all the time. There were times he seemed just fine and made good choices. I am sure he is still that way. How can I seperate and accept what seem like good choices made by him without being suspicious of the motives? It was such a hard lesson to learn in the first place that has now begun to become a habit. I am sure your habit of getting angry or wondering what is happening now has gone on longer than mine. It will be hard to find the line of not being a caretaker to still being able to protect yourself. I personally don't want those habits I have developed become a hinderance to any kind of recovery he could make.