To My Husband With Bipolar Disorder: I Will Never Stop Choosing You

Dear Husband,

I never knew when I married you 12 years ago that you were bipolar and neither did you. We were young and in love, and our love story was turbulent but beautiful. I figured no one else was as passionate as us, so when we were in love with were really in love, and when we hated each other, we really hated each other. In the end the though, my heart always knew, and so:

I still chose you.

Nine months after we were married and you started hearing things and seeing things that weren’t there, I didn’t understand what you were going through and didn’t know it was because of bipolar. I tried to respect your delusions and listen with seriousness, until the night it was all too much and we found you surrounded by police, barefoot and afraid. They misdiagnosed you that night as having schizophrenia, and I sobbed tears that I thought would never end. But they did, and through it all:

I still chose you.

We figured out you had bipolar disorder and you gained weight because you refused to get your meds adjusted and to see a psychiatrist, but you got better. A lot better. In fact, so much better you went back to college, something you couldn’t sit through or do before. You graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science. We had our first child, we bought a house, life was normal. I stopped worrying the other shoe would drop. During this time my dreams were coming true and:

It was easy to choose you.

Before our firstborn’s third birthday, we learned she had a severe developmental delay. Those tears that seemed to come without end came again and I was lost and devastated. Where I was weak, you were strong. Where I was sad, you had hope. Where I felt the weight of the world, you let me share it on your shoulders and eased the burden. You were my rock and as I would close my tired weary eyes, bloodshot from searching the internet, I would fall onto your chest and:

Choose you.

A decade, a fifth wheel, a jetski and two kids later you decided to go off of your meds. I was anxious and you listened to all of my concerns. We had a plan, and a safe word. Three months later after the summer of our lives, you had your second manic episode, a felony and a wake up call. I knew I could get you back and every day I visited you in the hospital, sometimes twice a day. I would leave a sticky note for you that you would put on your room wall to remind you:

I still choose you.

I knew being back on medication would fix things, but then a dark cloud floated above our home and left you sad and empty. Nothing I could do or say could bring you back to me, and even though you were physically there, your eyes were empty. After the long winter, the medication that once kept you stable for 10 years stopped working. Mania came back and shooed the dark cloud away, but also brought with it delusions and hallucinations. Another hospitalization and I thought I would do what I did before, but you didn’t want to see me this time. I would visit and you would send me home. I didn’t know what to do, but

I still chose you.

You still chose me too, but once the mania faded, the dark cloud came back to visit. I don’t know how long it will stay. Sometimes I pray so hard that I see the sun find it’s way to us again and I think everything will the same, but the cloud is thick and covers it up again. I see you try day after day, and I want you to know, I’ll never give up on you because you’re worth it. You are always there for me, even with bipolar and I promise I will always be there for you. And even though you feel I would be better off with someone else, I want you to know that will never be true because I will never, ever stop fighting and:

choosing you.

Follow this journey here.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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