The Words My Husband Says When My Mood Changes Cause Me to 'Flip Out'
Lately I’ve been having a difficult time readjusting to being in school. I have bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and a dissociative disorder. I’m also getting my master’s in counseling. The stress of a new semester is causing my moods to flip all over the place. I keep pushing myself to get through the reading for class, study for quizzes, and be “present” during the class even when I’m either manic, depressed, anxious, or lost somewhere inside my head.
The stress of being in school has been making me “flip out” a little when I’m home, over the smallest things like getting upset because my husband tells me he invited someone over for dinner and I wanted a night alone, or when my husband forgot to buy something at the store I needed. The smallest thing throws me off, and suddenly I’m arguing with my husband over nothing, jumping a foot in the air when he tries to touch me, shouting at him when I interpret something he said as an attack. My emotions go from one to 100 in 60 seconds. Suddenly my body is twitching. I pace around not knowing what to do, and I say all these things out at once. I am saying, “Maybe I should just go for a drive to cool off. Maybe I should hide in my room for a while. Maybe I should break something. Everything is hopeless. I’m feel ‘crazy.’ How could I ever be a counselor?” I stomp into our bedroom. I grab something unbreakable, throw it at the wall and scream.
Finally the mood breaks. I sit on the side of the bed sobbing. I go back to my husband and hold him and cry into his chest. I tell him, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for being so mean and awful. I’m crazy. I don’t know how you put up with me. I’m terrible.”
He holds me tightly and lets me cry for a little while. Then finally he says, “You’re not terrible. You just have a mental illness.” There is so much gentleness and grace in his voice. I stop crying for a moment, look in his eyes, and nod. Then, somehow, things start to be OK again. I feel my broken pieces coming back together. I let myself rest for a while, then get up, ready to take on the world again.
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Thinkstock photo by IR_Stone