We can all suffer with an inability or lack of desire to move forward, we get stuck in the rut of life; comfortable but not always content – it is not a trait bestowed solely upon those who suffer with Bipolar disorder, it is a curse of humanity and I doubt there is anyone that can avoid falling into the oblivion of what we feel is safety and security because it is what we have always known. It takes gumption, perhaps a little slice of insanity (optional) and a whole slab of confidence to jump into the pool of the unknown, to risk what is cosy and familiar for a real shot at happiness.
I thought I took that step, that leap into the unknown, when I left my husband – neither of us were happy though neither of us would admit it. We were wrong for each other in so many, many ways and though we cared for each other and were both pretty wonderful people in our own right, in a relationship we could not create any more than a comfortable (and sometimes uncomfortable) rut for each of us to hide in. I left, wasn’t that when I took the great bound into the waters of the new? I was sure the answer to that was yes but now I just don’t know. My husband, has moved on in great leaps and bounds – he essentially replaced us all; he is in a new relationship and has been for quite some time and has a new child… does this mean he has moved further away from our mutual rut than I? It has been three and a half years and it is still painful to learn that he has moved on in such a final way; why is it painful? why should I care? I think perhaps it is more frustrating than painful because now I have to face the reality that, unbeknownst to me, when I left my husband clearly I did not take the leap both physically and mentally, my body may well have been creating a life here but in my mind I had the option of going back to my rut as a back-up if living got a little too scary and though going back was never really a feasible option I have subconsciously been holding on to it like a child holds its favourite teddy, comforting, safe, misery.
Hearing that my husband has created a new life for himself is only painful because I haven’t managed to get there yet and part of my self-depreciating mind believes that I never will because I don’t feel as though I am worth anyones time, I don’t feel desirable, what could I possibly offer that anyone might be attracted to? The truth, of course, is that moving on with another relationship would never have been the right move for me then, I needed to learn a little about myself first, I needed to accept that I have an illness that will need to be embraced by whomever I may move forward with.
Of course in other areas of my life I certainly have moved forward. Mentally I have taken massive frog jumps into uncharted lands, I am dealing with my illness in a more hands on and honest manner than I have ever done before, I have embraced the management of Bipolar disorder in a way that I don’t even think I was capable of before, I have a larger support network of both mental health professionals, family and wonderful friends and though the numbers of people around me are small, I am learning to rely on others for support a lot more meaning the relationships with those people are stronger and more secure than all those before them. I feel I am a more competent mother than I was when stuck within my rut, I am more careful in the way that I parent, more vigilant and with so much of my illness being managed in better and better ways now I am becoming a more stable parent and I suppose, despite my swinging moods, I am actually happy now. (a definite first for me!) So even though I have not moved forward in the same way as my husband, I have done what is healthy and right for myself… it is tough to remember that on the nights I am so lonely that I consider calling the talking clock just for some company but in the long-run I am sure I have made some positive moves for myself and really that is all taking the leap is about; positive change and happiness.