My husband is bipolar, and since I am not inclined to settle for simple labels of things, his incredibly complex mental state is a constant source of ripe material for me to attempt to grasp and comprehend. His logic (obtained from decades of rapid and constant thinking and rethinking) makes perfect sense, but it remains an ongoing challenge for me to see some angles of certain aspects (which are necessary for me to keep my patience and maintain growth). I “grok” each piece eventually, but I readily admit that sometimes it takes me a while. Though I consider myself intelligent at times, he always helps me keep myself humble in that regard.
Some pieces are significant enough that I know I will need to remember them (on frequent occasion) forever… I will share any valid realizations I can muster, for my own memory, and for any comfort they provide.
Lately, as we’ve been in the middle of a move (and our car just burnt to the ground), and we’ve been interacting with people constantly, his mania has been periodically present in full gear. This has prevented his sleep as he considers the consequences of each and every potential interaction with any person of significance. This cycle– partly attributable to his state of hyper-awareness (as a result of past trauma)– is something he cannot prevent, and it helps explain why social interaction fuels his mania indefinitely. Each person is a dot with a miasma of connections to other dots, especially in the realm of potential. In the past, he has had weeks of insomnia as a result of this, leading alternately to a nervous breakdown, kidney failure, and respiratory attacks.
In the past two years, we’ve been extensively discussing his symptoms, and his ability to verbalize his perspective has been improving immensely. This has, in turn, helped him understand his own condition– and, in some ways, to cope with it. He has made great progress in recovering parts of himself that he once thought lost (he couldn’t listen to music for years, but he is now discovering a musical ability), and I am delighted with each piece of his own puzzle that he finds and recognizes.