Monday, November 08, 2010

My Poem From the Other Day

I'm having a really hard time. It's been very busy at work...busier than I've ever been at work. In fact, I did not have a day off in October. Also: We moved. This leaves me with very little time for reflection or thought. I feel like Scarlett O'Hara in that I find myself saying, "I'll think about that another day." And the "that" in that sentence covers a host of items.

Now that things have slowed down a bit, those big items I've postponed thinking about have swum back up to the surface and want my attention. One of these things manifested itself in the form of the poem I wrote the other day that ended with:

On rainy days, when things get tough
When you forget the milk or
I offend your mother
We'll think of this trip
And recall how beautiful we looked with
Moondust in our hair.

This idea of making memories for the purpose of protecting yourself in the future is new to me. I've never been one for the past and I never saw the need for memory. This has changed a bit since Doc and I are trying to adjust to this new thing called bi-polar disorder that has entered our lives. Listen, yo, the statistics are against us. Ninety percent...that's NINE ZERO percent of marriages where one person is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder end in divorce. And that doesn't count the marriages that end when the spouse with bi-polar disorder commits suicide.

Sobering, isn't it? And the stakes are high. Especially when you consider that married people tend to have a lower risk for suicide. When I put two and two together, I get this: People with bi-polar disorder have a better chance of surviving when they are married. And bi-polar marriages have a 10% success rate. So it seems that our work is cut out for us and it is a matter of life or death.

But among those kinds of statistics, I stumbled upon this piece of advice:
Take vacations to help your bipolar marriage survive. One way to help save a bipolar marriage is to take time away from the day to day tasks of everyday life, including the stress of a bipolar marriage. Take trips away together and also mini trips away from each other.

This seems sound and it feels right because it was also an idea that came to me organically when it appeared in that poem. My instincts are: We need to be making some good memories together. We need to be apart to miss each other. So that we're not all, "You don't get me!" and "You never listen!" when things go wrong. We need to put some mutual good will in the bank and maintain our fondness for each other so that we can proceed with a minimum of pain and heartbreak.

I know this isn't a cure-all. But it is one prescription I can get behind. Afterall, we're only here for a short time, why not adventure? And it doesn't have to be as grand as a trip to the moon. But it does need to leave a sparkle behind.


  1. Mmmm... Well sprach. I remember once upon a time in another life hearing from a pediatric neurologist who specialized in autism that 1 in 4 marriages will end with a Dx of autism, annnnd...

    It's sobering to think such thoughts on a Monday, and maybe Scarlett had the right idea. But I have found that building a mental scrapbook of All Them Good Times DOES help when the the excrement hits the air conditionsing, as Our Boy Kurt might say...

    Besides, the good news is that thanks to cable TV, we now know that when it DOES hit the fan, <a href=">it's usually not as destructive as you might otherwise think...</a>

    Hang in there, toots! I'd recommend that Doc make yew a ruben cuz that works for US, but...

  2. Those are sobering statistics; I had no idea. But I think you are approaching the challenges with an open mind and open eyes. The memories that you are creating when you fly to the moon will help you leave your heart open as well.