My life situation is very unique. As I tell my story it seem surreal, as if I am a character in a play. Nearly three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with bi-polar disease. We had met in college, fell in love and married. We had two beautiful children, but the marriage was never easy. Of course, with the bi-polar diagnosis all the issues became crystal clear. The disease is a progressive one and the man I fell in love with was no longer present. He had shared with me he no longer wanted to be married and was not interested in an emotional connection with me. Given all the challenges that go along with this disease, and with the guidance of a professional we developed a plan that worked for our unique situation. We remained married, but separated. My husband needs the support of his family to cope with the disease. It was the right choice to keep the family together for many reasons. Although it is a paradigm that is difficult for others to understand or accept, it has worked for our family. Today my husband disease is managed. Our children are thriving. I am able to have my emotional needs met with this arrangement. Once again, I stepped out of the box, considered the bigger picture for all and made choice that allowed everyone to be safe and loved.
At this very time, I met my love. I will call him my love, because that is the best word for him. We came to each other with a hot mess of issues on both sides. Somehow, without a doubt, we unconditionally accepted each other and our difficult situations. The love was apparent from day one. Until now I was ashamed to admit that. It sounded crazy. Actually the entire experience was riddled with crazy. The interaction was that of a romance novel material and frankly, I do not believe in that crap. It is kind of like not believing in ghost. You are a non believer until you have an encounter then you believe. Together we embarked on a journey filled with personal crisis on both sides. Looking back, it was a miracle the relationship even happened given that most people would run from such drama. Yet, we were drawn together. In time I will explain why the draw was there. Of course, everyone is placed in a your life for a reason. The reasons are very clear today.
The reason I believe this story is worth sharing is that if was a journey of personal growth of healing for me. This relationship allowed for healing from an abusive childhood, and marriage. It is a story that deals with difficult topics like alcoholism and mental illness. I will share, throughout this journey, I have been guided by a therapist. I do not recommend tackling issues like mental illness, mental abuse and alcoholism without the support of a mental health professional. I certainly do not feel I am an expert in these areas. This is not about getting advice on those topics. This is the story of how one woman survived. If my story can help only one soul, then my suffer was not in vain.