Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bipolar is always there. Sometimes more than usual.

DH has been sliding back somewhat, mental health wise.  I think it has to do with me starting the new job and not being around so much, maybe?  That's all I can think of, anyhow....he's been "forgetting" to take his pills more often (so I end up being the pill nagger), and he's been starting to spend a lot of time in the bedroom watching Frasier reruns again.  For hours on end, when he's not working.  At least he hasn't been fired yet....that money is going to be very important this winter, since my new job does not pay as much as my old full time job did.

DH is supposed to have gotten his lithium and depakote levels measured at the clinic way back in July.  I remind him to do that EVERY SINGLE DAY and he tells me he'll schedule it and then he doesn't.  One day I scheduled the appointment for him, and he "couldn't get up" to go.  It's getting really frustrating, because it's possible that the lab appointment could pinpoint why he's been struggling.

Right now, being married to a bipolar husband is like swimming with a 10-pound weight around my ankle--I can do it, and I can get where I want to go, but everything is a lot harder than it should be, and nothing is done as "prettily" as it would be--like garbage.  DH, when I'm not home (and he's not healthy mentally), is apparently, as of late, incapable of dealing with garbage.  When the garbage in the kitchen gets full, instead of emptying it into the garbage can that the garbage hauler picks up, DH just throws the bag onto the deck.  I HATE this, because to me, the deck is a part of our living space, and I wouldn't throw garbage into the living room just because I was being lazy....but anyhow....when I see garbage on the deck, I stubbornly refuse to put it in the right spot, because it's not that hard, and he is making things harder for me if I go along with that.  Ok, at this point, he's making things harder anyhow...sigh....anyhow, it can take DAYS of nagging for me to be able to get him to put the garbage in the right place (remove it from the deck and put it in the can).  And he's back to his old habit of just throwing his pop cans wherever they happen to land, too.   I can't help but fantasize about how much less cleaning stress there would be if it was just me living there.  How many more things would get finished when they got started.....one of the hard things is, though, that he has the skills and knowledge to do a lot of the fixit stuff around the house and I don't.  So I depend on him to do the fixit stuff, and usually he starts something, and then doesn't finish it until I start looking for someone to pay to get it done.

There is so much around our house that should be getting done.  I am only one person and it seems like if I can work 60 hours a week and still manage to clean the litter boxes, clean up after Sarah, take care of the chickens and geese and also do laundry, that maybe he could do something too, besides watching tv.  Yes, that does sound resentful, doesn't it?

I do know, as I've said before, that he doesn't do this on purpose.  But I also feel, when he doesn't even TRY to help himself (i.e. by going to his lab appointment etc) that it is not a joint effort.  If he was trying to help himself but still having troubles, I would be a lot less frustrated because I would know that he's trying.  But he's not.  And I'm ready to scream.  I suspect things'll get better, but right now I'm really feeling dragged down.

I know I need to readjust my expectations, like I have in the past, and not expect anything at all from him, then be pleasantly surprised if he does something.  But it's not even just a matter of him not doing things, it's a matter of him making things worse than the need to be, and that is what is frustrating me the most today.


marythemom said...

Being the bipolar parent in the family I sometimes have a hard time reading your blog as it often hits a little close to home, but I do empathize with your frustration. Wish I had some good advice!

Hugs and prayers,
Mary in TX

perphila said...

It's easy to get resentful. Try and think about what jobs you would do and how you would handle it if he wasn't around. Like the fix it jobs. You would either do it yourself if you could, learn to or pay someone. So, don't even think about the fact he could do it. Get to the job when and how you would if he wasn't living there. If he gets to it great. If you have to pay someone then let him know and when you are going to have someone come in and if that motivates him, even better but don't not do something because he says he will get to it. Live by YOUR timetable. SO, many many times did I let things go undone because Sean said he would do this or that or because I felt he was a "responsible" adult and that he could manage it and I only needed to wait it out. If felt good and scary to know I had to handle everything. If you get good day when he helps those are the best but don't count on it. Just inform him of your choices and start living.

Anonymous said...

Me being the bipolar partner I can understand how frustrating these times can be. I am so grateful for my man and how he pulls the house together when I am miles away in bipolar land. I hope he snaps out of it soon. Or at least that he maintains his job. Best wishes

Anonymous said...

It seems you have two choices, neither of them pleasant. You can divorce your DH (you have plenty of animals so you won't be lacking for companionship) or you can take the attitude that in 100 years, the fact that there are garbage bags on your deck won't matter.
I suppose he's seen every rerun of Frazier many times over so he's using TV as a drug to escape whatever happens to be stressing him out. You could "forget" to pay the cable bill or the TV could suddenly develop a malfunction (i.e. you unscrew the wire connecting it to the cable box or otherwise disable it,) But that would be inconsiderate of someone who obviously takes your feelings and well being into account, wouldn't it? Plus, it's passive aggressive.
You made the analogy of swimming with a weight around your ankle. You have the ability to unbuckle the weight. You haven't elaborated on your decision to stay married to your DH other than to say that you made a vow to stick by him in sickness and health and you intend to honor that vow. That's fine , as far as it goes, but how about your happiness? Don't you matter? Do you have to give up the right to having a rewarding relationship with a mentally healthy man who pulls his weight around the house and doesn't collapse into a heap of self recrimination ("I'm worthless" "I deserve to die") at every turn? Don't you deserve to have a child who is the product of a healthy and stable home?
I'm not trying to be hurtful; I just want to understand why you stay with your DH.

Mel ~ said...

Perphillia, OMG You Rock! My Dad has always been like the man in this post and my Mom has always lived a stunted life as a result. Now my husband is frequently the same (but no mental illness) and I am soooo frustrated. My children follow suite, but there are diagnosis involved there (as well as witnesing the marter roll I hate that I'm playing).

I am the Mom of two children diagnosed with mental illness and searching for support. Do any of you know of sites dedicated to parents of bipolar children or children with mental illness?

Elizabeth A. said...

Mel, you should try looking up your local NAMI organization. It's great for families.