I have been independent for the entirety of my adult life. It has been my badge of honor, and don't think I haven't stuck it in everyone's face every chance I got. I've been very proud of it, because I have accomplished a lot despite my disadvantaged youth. Now, after my psychotic break, I have dropped all the responsibilities I have proudly carried for so many years (I moved out on my own at 18 and have made my own way without any help since). I have allowed myself to be completely dependent upon my husband. In some ways, it feels so good. I feel so incredibly light for the first time in my life. The tension and fear of not being able to carry that load someday is gone. Of course, now it's replaced with a small amount of not actually being able to carry that load at all, but at least that's lighter than the load itself.
I am unbelievably blessed to have a man that loves me completely, and as close to unconditionally as a partner can. The only true form of unconditional love is the love a parent has for his/her child--this I believe whole-heartedly. The love between partners can die. The love from a parent, when the parent doesn't have mental issues preventing love, that is (another matter altogether and one for a psychologist to discuss) does not. My husband is amazing. One of my greatest manic symptoms is hypersexuality. Some of my larger manic episodes occurred during some very stressful periods between the two of us. I'd felt our marriage was done. I made stupid decisions (for which I take full responsibility, illness or no) that I recently admitted to him. I wounded him deeply and yet, he is still here for me. Still deeply committed to me and still in love with me. What I did to deserve this, how I did not obliterate the bond we have, mystifies me. It is not lost on me how very, very, very blessed I am to have this man in my life, let alone his love.
He has put up with every mood from me as patiently as possible, even before I was diagnosed. He has never asked me to change, never criticized me once. I can get pretty nasty during a mood swing, and as my illness has progressed over the years, I've said a lot of shitty things to him. I've swung so quick, it probably seemed like my head spun around. I bet he expected me to spit pea soup on those occasions. From time to time I wonder where his pod is hidden.
Don't get me wrong, he isn't up for sainthood; he's had is fair share of issues and missteps and I have been by his side through those, too. However, I am far more difficult to live with on a regular basis. I have a strong personality and have never been afraid of speaking my mind--with...um...passion. This man is one of a kind. I am unworthy but determined to be worthy someday.
I've let him take the helm 100%. Another one of my major symptoms, manic AND depressed is shopping too much. I've asked him to put me on an allowance. I am allowing myself to be completely and totally dependent, letting him be in charge of everything. If you knew me...even as little as three months ago, just the suggestion of same would be hysterically funny. PolarBabe bows to no one. She defers to no one. She is ferocious and in charge. She is a problem solver and makes things happen. She always gets what she wants. No more. Now, PolarBabe makes no decisions. She lingers over tasks. She lets Mr. PolarBabe nag her over her to do list when it is incomplete (although he is always very gentle and chiding about it). She lets him inquire about her meds and whether she has taken them (a mortal sin in the past--something that would incur great wrath!). He's even allowed to insist that she not go certain places alone. (He is a little afraid that I might have another psychotic break while I am alone--I share this concern--but there is also a little bit of insecurity since I did cheat on him a lot. I was manic and am not now, but I get it.)
I've fallen in love with this man all over again for taking care of me, for allowing me to surrender to him completely, for surrendering his heart to me when he feels so very vulnerable too. Mostly, I love him for all the reasons I loved him to begin with. He's just the most incredible guy in the world.
Plus, he laughs at my jokes. He KNOWS I'm the funniest person in the world, even if he won't admit it.