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To My Husband, Who Is Living With My Mental Illnesses

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Dear Husband,

I know what you go through. I know how you must feel. Even though I’m not in your shoes, I can guess how difficult it must be to live with a wife who has a cluster of mental illnesses.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

You haven’t signed up for this. Not today, not seven years back when we met. But you have not sighed once while I was busy making everything about me. You haven’t once told me you’re tired of my myriad of problems. 

I have lacked in decision making, being independent, being self-sufficient, being a good girlfriend, a good fiancé and now a good wife. I have also let you down emotionally because my brain undergoes so many changes in a short span of time. You didn’t want to live a life with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and PTSD, but in a way you are living with it.

My mood changes from depression to mania to depression again, for which I have made some of the worst mistakes of my life. Things I do and then regret doing. And it involves you in every way. 

But you never complained, not once.

You have been by my side when I have curled up and cried without reason. You have been with me when I have been so agitated and irritated, I made unreasonable demands of you. You have calmed me down when I was choking and couldn’t breathe during a panic attack. You have held my shaky hands every time something triggered my PTSD.

So, in a way, you’re living a life with mental illnesses even though I’m its host. And you are living with it still without a single day of impatient disapproval. You have never missed a doctor’s appointment, even though you didn’t have to be there. You have got me medicines and kept a schedule of it because I’m so bad at it. 

Is it too lame to call you my knight in shining armor? Well, even if it is, that’s who you are for me.

I want to thank you, for being who you are and who you have been through the years. Without you, I would’ve withered, stranded on some lost island of hopelessness. Without you I wouldn’t be who I am today — relatively less negative, looking forward to life, an overall decent human being standing on both feet. Without your constant push I wouldn’t have had the courage to start hoping for good. But mostly, without you, I wouldn’t have been able to accept myself with my diseases and come out to the world. 

I know things are going to be the same tomorrow. I know I will make everything about me. I know you will go on living with my illnesses. I know I will forget to tell you how thankful I am, or how much I love you. I know things will be back to what it was.

But even if I forget to mention it, what you must know is this: I love you for the person you are, for the person I have seen you become, for becoming my strength, accepting me and treating me like a normal person. 

But mostly, I love you for just being there even when I’m at my darkest, and turning the lights on.

Thank you. 

Originally published: November 18, 2016
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