Love, to me, is the most coveted and important emotion we can give to another person. In my marriage our love ebbs & flows like the waves in the ocean. Sometimes there’s a high tide where the love feels all consuming. It washes over me and I feel nothing but bliss & happiness. Other times, like currently, it’s low tide. The water feels shallow and murky. It’s unclear how deep it goes but I know the love is still always there.
I married someone with no clinical diagnosis of mental illness. Of course he has his situational anxiety & sadness, like everyone else, but nothing neurological that prohibits him to feel happiness like I do.
Living with bipolar disorder is hard. I recently had a conversation with him about my own happiness. I expressed that it’s difficult for me to feel joy most of the time. The highs of my mania & sudden drops into depression seep into my everyday life and ruin most experiences for me. It truly is not easy to enjoy my life at times.
I know I am blessed with a husband who loves and supports me. But like I said, love can be like the ocean. Today the waters feel rough and hard. Rather than feeling love in this high tide moment, I feel waves of judgement and resentment.
I don’t know how to explain to him that my mental illness is not my choice. I have had the unhealthiest coping mechanisms for the longest time in order to “treat” my depression. In the past this has involved drug use and even smoking or drinking. When life feels too overwhelming I’d rather numb the pain in anyway possible.
Being pregnant I know I can’t rely on those unhealthy coping mechanisms. I have my friends and support system. But what do you do when the one person you want to count on the most isn’t there for you?
I have to understand and accept him for who he is and what he is capable of giving me. I know his love his endless. It stretches as far as you can see, almost like looking at the vast ocean.
But sometimes love isn’t enough. Love can’t always sustain happiness during times of heartache and loss. I can’t rely on another person to make me happy.
As a person with mental illness, I know it’s my responsibility to make my own self happy. I read this analogy on facebook which has helped shift my perspective on love:
“Some people are ‘gallon people’ and some people are ‘pint people’. I live my life as a gallon person. I want to give a gallon, and expect to get a gallon in return. However, some people are pint people. They only want a pint. When you give them a gallon; it overflows and is wasted. Then when you expect a gallon to fill us back up, they only have a pint to give. A person is never going to be able to give you what you need; you need to find it somewhere else— or better yet, within yourself.”
Love is always something that should be given freely with zero expectations. These expectations become conditions and should never be motivations. If we get love it should be a bonus but not the sole reason and purpose of our love.
I’m sorry to my husband for not being everything you want all the time. I’m sorry that I crumble at times and feel the weight of my depression. It’s not that I want to give in to my sadness, but I truly cannot help it. But I do love you, and there is no end to that love.