Guess Whose Back?! And Has a Ring On It!

So much has happened over the last 2 months! I turned 27 on October 11th and two days later married the love of my life – 27 couldn’t have started off on a better note. Typically I’m apprehensive about my birthday and turning a year older, this year I was ecstatic and couldn’t have been more than excited for the day to come.

To be honest, I wasn’t nervous when it came down to getting married, I felt and feel peace knowing I’ll be with my prince King for the rest of my life thru all eternity. The ceremony was beautiful, when my husband saw me in my dress it was the best reaction I could have asked for.

The reception was beautiful as well, my brother-in-law emceed and he did a phenomenal job. All of the speeches and dances – everything – I laughed. I cried; it was perfect. I also surprised my husband with a song. He’s been asking me to sing for him forever and I always say NO, but my brother-in-law (same one that emceed) wrote a love song that was inspired from my life and I knew I needed to sing it at the wedding. He was beyond surprised – I barely made it thru the song without crying my eyes off.

I can’t believe it finally happened. There was a point in my life where I thought I was unlovable, I was used and broken goods. I thought I was never going find the kind of love that would accept me as I am let alone meet a man who met my standards (it’s important to have standards – mine slipped at times and I dated toads but after those experiences I raised them up high and was unwavering in what I expected in love and respect from my partner, there is nothing wrong with being selective – not picky). It’s a known fact on this blog that I have bipolar and I am a lot to deal with – that is what I would tell myself. But when it’s all said and done I did find love – I found someone who saw me beyond my diagnosis, someone who thinks I am amazing and perfect just as I am. I didn’t need to change myself, I didn’t need to modify my ways or suppress who I am to fit a mold. I was true to myself and my standards, which is something I’ve been working on and my husband loved me all the more for it. He knows me for me because that is all I’ve offered, no sugar coating or hiding.

I’m excited to see and record my experience as a married woman with bipolar, it will be a marriage with ups and downs literally but I know it will be filled with love. My blog was started with the intention to share my thoughts and experiences with bipolar, to show others that it’s possible to be happy and fulfilled in life despite the drawbacks of this mental condition. So far I’ve managed to be in the healthiest and happiest relationship of my life and I attribute a lot of that to my good health before my relationship. I worked on my health – mentally, physically and spiritually before my husband came in the picture and avidly while he was in it, all the while keeping him in the loop. I answered any and all questions he had about my diagnosis and my personal patterns or prominent symptoms and he went the extra mile and read up on bipolar on his own. I believe we succeeded because he was educated and informed. My family spoke with him and gave him some insight on how I tick. So when it comes to having a successful relationship I believe knowledge and communication are the biggest factors.

So for anyone in a relationship (especially) with a diagnosis – talk! I personally waited until the words “I love you” were spoken before I told him I had bipolar, I wanted to make sure he loved me for me with no bias because of my diagnosis. And he did love me. Once he found out that’s when the floodgates opened for questions and little ticks started to make sense for him. But that’s not to say we didn’t have open communication from the beginning because we did. Our relationship was built on communication – it was long distance after all.

I am on my path to happily ever after, it’s been a learning experience for sure BUT every moment of struggle has been worth it.

There is so much to write and I apologize for being MIA the last two months. I’ve had the intention to write and then I’d chicken out. You will see in future posts some of the dealings with what have been going on. I’m beyond happy to be with my husband but that is not to say I don’t experience anxiety or downs amidst that happiness. There has been A LOT of change, A LOT.

I hope everyone is well.

I am hoping to get back into my routine of posts once a week.

– Steph

Prince Charming

Alright, so the big news that I’ve been wanting to let the world in on BUT I’ve been waiting to make sure it was the right moment.

I am in a relationship. BOOM.

That just happened.

Well, it’s been a while now but the twist about our relationship has been its long distance.

My dearly beloved came to see me and just left on Wednesday. He spent 13 days with me and they honestly couldn’t have been any better.

Where to begin.

My past relationships have all been pretty rocky, whether by my own doing because of my mental health or because the men I’ve dated were toads … clearly the latter is the more dominant reason. However, my health has never been better and I have felt ready to be in a healthy committed relationship for a while now, alas I needed to meet the right person.

Boy oh boy, have I met him.

I think the distance has been a blessing in disguise, it really ensured that he was talking to me, for me, and that there were no physical ulterior motives (which is so often the case) – I want to be wanted for more than my body and he has made it clear that he loves me for more than that.

Anywho, we have texted everyday since we made contact and our initial texting has turned into phone calls and skyping nearly everyday – lots of communication. For those wondering long distance relationships and bipolar are totally doable.

He came when I was in the eye of a storm of a severe low. I was in a downward spiral trying ever so hard to hold on to what progress I’ve made (as you can read from previous blog posts) and then there he was – my prince charming in knights armour riding a white horse; the grounding anchor that was missing. I’ve never felt so peaceful before. That’s not to say I am dependent on him (this was a big discussion with my doctor), however I appreciate him for who he is and the calm that he brings into my life.

Would my storm have settled had he not come into my life? Yes, because I am independently responsible for my health and the lows inevitably come and go, BUT did my storm settle faster because he entered my life? It sure did, and for that I am grateful.

He knows that I have bipolar now and it hasn’t deterred him from pursuing a relationship with me.

I waited until we had spent adequate time together in person before I told him I have bipolar and let him in on the past baggage like my bankruptcy that came as a result of it. (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I claimed bankruptcy before, it’s been 3 years past BUT that is something that happened – the joys of bipolar and its symptoms… perhaps I will write another post with my perspective on building up to that moment and life after claiming bankruptcy) I wanted him to see me for me before he saw me as a stigma. I am not crazy because I have bipolar. I choose recovery everyday and my life reflects that – yes it can be a wee bit chaotic sometimes BUT I am not damaged goods and he sees me beyond my mental illness, he sees me as priceless. He told me he would have never known I had bipolar if I hadn’t told him, and YES, he unfortunately thought people with bipolar were crazy due to stigma and people he’s met, so I proved him wrong. I take the fact that he was clueless to my diagnosis as a big compliment, not that I am saying there is anything wrong with having bipolar BUT the fact I am able to live a stable life to the point that my mental illness isn’t apparent to people around me and doesn’t cripple me (as much as it used to) – that is something beautiful.

For those of you who don’t know, I have chosen not to disclose my diagnosis to anyone beyond my immediate family a few close friends and a few aunts. Please do not think that I am ashamed of my diagnoses, I am not ashamed of having bipolar. I am just not ready to face that battle yet. My life was not stable in previous years and I was in chaos, I don’t want people to dwell on those years and dismiss all the progress I have made in the past couple years, I feel like I need to make a dent with my stable life and illustrate to the world that I am successful in spite of my mental illness, and that it hasn’t diminished my quality of life.

Will I eventually disclose that I have bipolar? I actually believe that I will. Like I said I am not ashamed. I am proud of who I am in my entirety. I live a productive life with a mental illness that most people cannot even begin to comprehend. Do I want the world and those around me to see that being bipolar doesn’t ruin your life? I sure do. It’s just about the timing. I want to really make an impact in the world of mental health, it’s something I think a lot about, but it’s all about timing and acting in my best interest and not taking on Goliath without a sling BUT I feel like later in the year or even next year that time will come. Don’t hold me to that BUT it’s a feeling I have and its been brewing for a while. Good things are going to happen this year, and I feel like I am just about ready to tell the world I have bipolar and I am living the good life regardless to that fact.

A bit of a random post, but I hope it conveys that I am happy because I am truly and sincerely happy and I am going to enjoy every moment while I can. Each day I can feel happy is a gift that I try not to take for granted and there is so much to be happy about.

– Steph