People on the internet say “I thought you broke up with Gaz”, because I told half of a story and then didn’t tell the rest of the story. And then when I say “not exactly”, they say “but he’s a dick!” and so I write blog posts about it. This is a very personal subject and not one that is easy to write about, and I think quite a bit of it is going to sound like defensive battered wife talk, and maybe it is or maybe it isn’t.
It’s important that you understand that by not leaving Gaz, I am not defending his behaviour and I am especially not ignoring it. I’m an emotional idiot at times, but I’m not stupid.
The thing is, Gaz is bipolar. Living with someone who is bipolar is a special kind of hell. A complicated hell where nothing makes sense, ever, and occasionally someone yells at you.
Living with someone who is bipolar is like going to the supermarket and putting all your shit in the trolley, only to get to the checkout and discover that you’re actually riding a polar bear in space.
Living with someone who is bipolar means that sometimes you stand opposite each other and they reach inside you, pull out your heart and then put it in the waste disposal unit while laughing.
Living with someone who is bipolar means that some nights you lie awake and wonder where they are because the bed is empty.
Living with someone who is bipolar means that other nights you like awake and watch them breathe because sometimes you weren’t sure if they still would.
Living with someone who is bipolar means that sometimes they say things they don’t mean and you say things you do mean and the two never meet.
Living with someone who is bipolar means that there are times when you put up with behaviour that is inexcusable because the world is a ridiculous and terrifying place when it doesn’t make sense.
Living with someone who is bipolar means that sometimes you want to leave because bipolar is all kinds of fucked up.
I will never excuse the things he does as being “because he has bipolar disorder”, because that’s just not true. But he has stood by me while I’ve fought (not always successfully) my own mental illness demons and he has done a damn good job.
Our history is fraught with some terrible, horrible things, and that is one aspect of our relationship – the one I wrote about here a couple of weeks ago.
But another aspect of our relationship is a man who pulled me from the horrifying depths of crippling anxiety when I honestly, seriously thought that no one would. There were two ways I could go: the way where I jumped in front of a train, or the way where he pushed me into the world again.
Now I want to do that for him, because he saved my life. And I have a time limit, and a plan, and it’s not the same as slipping back into what was before because it’s easy (because it isn’t).
At least for now.
Edit: I’m sorry if this reason isn’t good enough, but it’s what I’m doing right now. Maybe for ages, or maybe just for a week, or whatever. This is mostly so you don’t get confused when I say “Gaz is snoring” or “Gaz is going to the shops” and you think he lives in a different house.
I’m Anna, a digital strategist and writer who likes to drink 'Ice Tea' but doesn't understand why it's not called 'Iced Tea'. By night and occasionally morning, I eat things, write things, berate my children, walk my dogs and hug my chocolate.