Monday, January 31, 2005


I can't believe I've let so much time past since I last posted. I'm getting lazy in my unemployed stupor.

Honestly, I think that little kids have it made. They have the consistent pattern of school combined with parents who feed and clothe them. Man. I wish I appreciated what I had when I had it!

Over the ages, a few people have asked me to talk about my relationship with Brendan and how my being bipolar impacts us. I can only speak for myself, but I think that the downs of bipolar are much more harmful than the ups in terms of our relationship. When I'm down, I don't want to do anything and that includes having sex or cooking or cleaning or going out.

Brendan seems to understand that, and he also understands that I still need to do all of those things. So he encourages me and finds activities that I can participate in. For example, we joined a bowling league and even when I'm sleeping 16 hours a day, I get excited about bowling. We also go to Notre Dame sporting games together and once I'm up and out, I'm much more likely to stay up for a little while.

I think that he worries about me the most when I'm in a manic impulsive spell. I tend to be more like a teenage boy—reckless, rash and rebellious—while retaining my natural girlyness. Impulsive shopping and being a bit more friendly than I typically am tend to mark my manic phases. My confessions about life, love and life philosophy tend to emerge.

One of my quirks is that I'm a huge goal setter. and I try to use that compulsion to better our relationship. So, for example, I try to cook at least five nights of the week. I aspire to have sex three times a week (and Brendan happily obliges, imagine that). I attempt to give out three compliments a day.

I guess our relationship works because Brendan respects my boundaries and my limitations. He understands that sometimes I can't help acting the way that I do. In return, I focus on controlling my behaviors. I don't take my moods out on Brendan. Sure, he has to live with them just like I do, but I don't (always) blame him for how I feel, unless it's his fault, which it rarely is. I respect his quirks and needs, and we're also getting good at determining when I need help and what kind of help I need. So, for example, if I'm spiraling into a depression and I feel suicidal and miserable, Brendan typically tries something pretty simple to cheer me up--like taking me to the zoo! I love the zoo and if I'm not happy there, then he knows that I need to call my pdoc.

I guess every relationship feeds off of respectful communication. I love Brendan deeply and that's always on my mind, even when I'm angry with him. I also know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Brendan and I are committed to each other 100%. That knowledge gives us the freedom to fight and resolve all of our issues. Besides, Brendan is adorable when he gets angry. When he's really mad, he stomps his feet and I just think that's so adorable. It's hard to fight with someone when you're simultaneously thinking about how cute they are.

There's a lot of love and mutual respect in our relationship. And we both have lives. Brendan goes to school and if I stay home all day, I'm always reading and doing things that I can share with him later. We enrich each others' lives.

When my bipolar gets ugly, some part of me thinks that I owe it to Brendan to take care of myself. I mean, I owe it to myself as well, but if I won't do it for me, then I'll do it for us.

I think that bipolar is like a little terrorist and it's my job to contain and control periodic violence. And if things get out of control, then I need to recognize that and ask for more help.

Meds are getting better all the time. And finding one that works is so satisfying.

So anyway, love, respect and commitment. If you've got those, your relationship is doing pretty darn well.