David's mood is still very much up and down: he becomes a little hypomanic for a short time, then it's right back to depression.
The other day he really hit bottom. When that happens, the schizoaffective part kicks in, he puts on his "traveling clothes" and becomes obsessed with wandering away. He says something like: "I need to quit taking my meds and see what's out there for me. I have to know what's at the end of the road. I have to go away by myself." Every time he gets like this I mentally start to plan his funeral because there's no way of knowing where he'll end up.
The only thing I can do is put my arms around him so he can't leave and let him talk through it. It's such a relief when he finally says that he'll take his meds, changes back into his regular clothes, and becomes more rational. We also talk about what would happen if he did leave or if something happens to him. This last time he told me he wants his funeral to take place early in the morning because it's his favorite time of day. Sunsets really bother him. Fortunately, after it's all over with, he doesn't remember much of what happened. He says when he's like this he has a hard time distinguishing reality from hallucinations. He is, however, becoming more aware of when this mood is coming upon him. And when he says something hurtful, he apologizes to me. The whole thing is so emotionally draining!
We've been talking a lot lately about boundaries to behavior. One of the best things about David is that years ago he decided what his personal boundaries are (no drinking, drugs, cheating, etc.), and has stayed true to them, even when he has the urge to do all of those things and more. My job is to help him remember and keep his boundaries intact. One of the ways he does that is to go to church and pray frequently. Another is to go to a gym to work through his frustrations and temptations and to visit with his friends who understand where he's coming from.
I admire him for his strength. I know it's ten times harder for him to make and keep healthy choices than for those who don't have this disorder. As he frequently says: "I wake up every day and have to fight to be normal."
On a happier note: I took a test this morning, and I feel pretty good about it. Only one more test and a paper to go! Hooray!