Relax Damit! The world is not all about me…
My emotional blender has been taking a beating lately. Right now I am angry, confused, sad, happy, scared, lost,a chance to take control of my life and have trust issues. I’m sure many more emotions have been added to the mix but these are the primary ingredients. Like many people that live with Bipolar I tend to see things in black and white. Admitting that my emotions are all whipped together is an extreme contrary action.
I want the world to be clean with sharp edges or dark and murky. The in between is messy and full of anxiety. In general a life of chaos is appealing but chaotic emotions is something all together. Recently it feels like the blender has been set to puree and then walked away from.
For the past few years I have been living in a state of crisis management. I can’t remember what it is like not living on the edge. A large part of my problem was I could not acknowledge the blender. My environment was good or it was bad. A bigger part of the problem was that I did not own up to what affect I was having on those around me. The problem was entirely mine or it was their fault, nothing in between.
What triggered this reflection is the current status of my marriage. We have seemed to be heading direction of divorce once again. My emotions changed day to day but it was always black or white. Sometimes it was all her fault and sometimes it was all mine. In the end neither of us really wanted a divorce and it was a catalyst for change.
While our daughter was inpatient therapy events from her past surfaced causing her to slip into a deep deep depression. I wanted to help fix her suffering but my effort backfired. Now any emotional or physical attention is rebuffed. After a few secessions with her new therapist my she decided that we don’t have the time to fit in a marriage therapist.
My black and white mind licked into overdrive and concluded that this was a sign of gloom and doom. After a few days of thinking about it I insisted that we have one more secession. I wanted to make sure that the problems were laid out on the table. Instead of forcing the issue I asked her when we could schedule a time to talk. This has worked for us in the past, it diffuses the anger the same way a meeting with a therapist can.
At this point I decided to turn the blender setting to low. Instead of confronting I listened to her concerns without comment. That was extremely hard thing for me to do. I wanted to defend myself and blame her for what was going on. By listening to her rather than hearing I took away the fact that she needed some time to work out her own problems. Yes many of those problems were a result of living with a depressed Bipolar person but that only part of what she is dealing with. While she appreciated me trying to help solve all the problems specific areas were brought up where I could help. Not once did I talk about how the pain she is suffering is having an effect on me.
The next day she came to me and asked for a time to speak. Once again my Black and Wight feelings determined that enough was enough and our marriage was over. What surprised me was she had never witnessed me activly listen to her. She wanted to know how I was feeling and how we could work together.
If you have read the entire post I thank you for letting my Irish kick in. Why tell a short story when you can tell a long one. I know now my emotional blender is never going to be shut down. Instead the settings will be adjusted higher and lower. All emotions serve a purpose and coexist. Some sun has broken through clouds and my black and white thinking has shifted to a light shade of gray.