The ties that bind

Thank you to all of those who shot me an email checking on me over the last several weeks; I appreciate the concern. I am ok and was focused on finishing up school and other life things such as moving. Good news…I graduated and just received my diploma in the mail yesterday.

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Eventually I’ll put the new degree to good use but for now, just because it’s easier and while I still love it, sticking to architecture. In fact, I’m contacted more now than ever by recruiters for firms in my new city and honestly it’s exciting and stressful at the same time. I’ll be moving within the next 3 weeks and but I don’t intend to get back to work until at least a month after getting settled in to avoid moving too fast. I completed my license for endorsement application for my architecture license from New York to Colorado and just need to submit it; something I never finalized here as I knew early on that things would be temporary. This month, one year ago I knew the end of J and I for good was imminent while I stood in a bathroom of a coffee shop unable to come out due to anxiety. Not the best place to come to such important realizations. Then two or three months ago maybe…I also realized that her and I will not be able to give each other what we need for closure or whatever, so I’ll just continue to move on without it. Part of growing up and maturing is being able to forgive and knowing when to apologize. I find it unfortunate when a person lacks either ..not just for that person, but for people in that person’s life. I read this article a few months ago from the POV of a spouse living with someone who has bipolar disorder and at first I empathized with writer, especially looking back to the relationship I had with J as well as friends and family, but now she’s one of those people I would give the side eye because she makes it seem so terrible living a life with someone like me. I do know that it’s different for everyone and I have seen first hand what this disease can do to lovers, friends, and family, but I also have seen first hand what patience and understanding can bring. Obviously this lady tried, but there are two sides to every story. The below is taken directly from the article and it’s what upsets me the most:

“I miss my husband terribly, but I also don’t want to live with the fear and frustration of our last couple of years together. It’s most painful and conflicting when, for a few minutes on the phone, I feel like I’m once again talking with my loving husband, the guy I was married to before he had bipolar disorder.” – Susan York Morris

If I could talk with Susan York Morris, I would like to let her know how selfish her statement sounded, but I am sure she is self-aware. From my interpretation, her statement isn’t any different than if a man were to say, “When I look at my wife/girlfriend in that ensemble, I feel like I am looking at the woman I first fell for, before her body changed after growing and bringing our child in the world.” Hell, you can substitute many scenarios and it’s all the same, rude. Maybe my interpretation is a bit biased because J has said the same exact thing that Susan spoke of her husband. I’m not sure if J ever realized that she fell in love with me with after bipolar disorder, before I was diagnosed yes, but still it was after. In fact, looking back at the story of the two of us, our romance began less than a year after my symptoms (unknowingly at the time) began. Boom! She fell in love with bipolar. Hell, from what I know now it can happen to anyone given an event that is tragic enough. The way someone deals with a tragedy and what is considered a tragedy is completely individualized. Also, the way people respond to those who are experiencing said tragedies/life changing experiences is individualized. We all have our limits and it appears that Susan and J knew theirs, which is better to realize it sooner than later I supposed.

My disease hit it’s lowest point over last Summer and that was before I even knew I would be dealing with cancer again and I’ve slowly been climbing out of the hole I sunk into as a result of the failed relationship secondary to BD. If you’ve seen both films Manchester By The Sea and Collateral Beauty and could combine the characters depicted on screen of Lee and Howard and put those characteristics into a real life human-being…you’d get me. I did not lose a child, but I lost a love that I had never known and it left me feeling severely broken and unworthy. I am still dealing with that today, but it’s much easier than if I had to do it completely alone. I saw J not too long ago walking one of her dogs and carrying the other. She looked happy and I hope that projection of happiness is true. That relationship taught me a great deal about myself and about love in general. I’m grateful. The funny thing is …I used to look for her everywhere whenever I took strolls around the neighborhood…I no longer look for her. That is the last I will ever speak of J on this blog. Sometimes we just have to break those ties that bind, yes?

These days I’m just soaking in the enjoyment of the understanding, kindness, and caring nature of something different. I have never felt more appreciation for someone than I do presently. The last few months have not been without challenges of my disease, but I can’t say that my days/nights have been terrible because she is the more kind than anyone I have ever known. I honestly don’t know how anyone deals with my current medically induced anxiety state.  My synthroid dose is maintained at a dose that will keep the chance of recurrence very low and as a result I am “hyperthyroid” and experience more anxiety than I’m comfortable with…but she rolls with it. My doctors don’t agree with my treatment, my psychiatrist wants my synthroid dose decreased and my endocrinologist wants it to remain the same and asks me, “you must choose to either live with a little anxiety or have a good chance of thyroid cells regenerating and cancer returning.” Is there no balance? I choose neither…but of course that isn’t reality.

I’m trying my best to appreciate the moments when I forget that I have a mental illness. Sometimes those moments last 10 minutes …sometimes an hour or two, but never a full 24 hours. I appreciate the moments but then when they end I cycle back into the thoughts where I become angry with myself. I am my worst critic. Even with CBT three times per week for the last two months, I still can’t seem to redirect these negative self thoughts. I don’t think I actually know how to not be hard on myself because I have high expectations that stems from the relationship with my late father. There are many people in my life who try to get me to see past that and to give myself some credit and I want to be able to feel the same way about me as they do,  but I often wonder if I will ever be able to defeat the part of me that seems so autonomic. Perhaps a fresh start will give me the stability that I’ve been lacking for 4 years will do trick, yea? I’ve never felt more ready to breaks said ties…it just feels good.

I’m all packed up and ready to go …time seems as though it is standing still when you have senoritis (you know, like when you were a kid and it was the night before going to Disney world), but hey at least I’ve got this fancy new wooden watch from her “gift of time” she calls it (perfect)…it’s my new favorite timepiece and for good reason….makes my wrist and entire arm look good and hey….she digs my arms (and beard …yeaa) so there’s that…

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All I need is time.

P.S. Ace has started to grunt while he is dropping a poo, weird…does anyone else’s dog have this problem? Let me add that his poop is not dry so it’s not that he’s dehydrated (he eats Grandma Lucy’s Macanna diet).

16 thoughts on “The ties that bind

  1. Hey there! Congrats on graduating! Haven’t heard from you in a while…hope things are okay. This post was great – I found myself nodding a lot in agreement with what you said (which made me resemble a dashboard bobblehead, and now the people in this coffee shop are probably looking at me weird). Anyway, I hope life is great. 🙂

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    1. Hey hey…long time, no talk. I need to get back in the mindset of posting more often. I have at least 9 blog posts waiting to be posted …as they have been for several weeks. I’m doing ok…moved to a new city and new state, pretty stoked to explore more…loving it so far and definitely the right decision. I plan on catching up with your blog today/tonight and I hope to find that you have been doing well.

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    1. Thank you for nominating me. I actually prefer not to participate in awards as they really mess with my color scheme (see this notice on the right of my site) but if you’re curious I will answer those questions about myself, no problem. Again, thank you for thinking of me.

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      1. Compliment taken. I’m very weird about color schemes and it has everything to do with the designer in me.

        1. What’s an interesting place you’ve been? Thailand – good and bad interesting. Definitely the most beautiful place I have traveled to for sure.

        2. Strange childhood obsession? Eating lead from mechanical pencils.

        3. Favorite book genre? Historical non-fiction

        4. If given the chance to be immortal, would you take it? No, given my bipolar mind…I someday look forward to no longer living with all that it entails. Plus it would really suck to see all those I care about die and repeat for all of time.

        5. Can you whistle? amateur whistler here

        6. Was there ever a time you preferred the movie to the book? Cloud Atlas film > book because the cinematography …you just can’t get that beauty from the words on the page no matter how vivid the imagination.

        7. Do you have any pets? I have one dog, Ace. He is a psychiatric service dog.

        8. If you could have another ability, what would it be? I love music and can play a few instruments but I wish that I could sing.

        9. What place do you want to live the most (real or fictional)? I wanted to live in Spain for as long as I can remember but the political corruption there is a huge turn-off…if that were to improve my affinity to live in Spain would return.

        10. Favorite Disney movie? The Nightmare before X-mas (it’s actually a Disney film released under Disney’s touchstone because Disney thought it would be too scary for kids).

        11. What is the best thing ever, in your opinion? Music and the love received from animals. I couldn’t live without either.

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