Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manic Season


We had a great Labor Day weekend, with a four-day camping trip to the Uinta Mountains. We camped at a beautiful, serene mountain lake (interrupted on occasion with people on ATVs), hiked to several mountains lakes, David fished, and I read and knitted. I enjoyed the beautiful weather, and noticed leaves slowly changing to mark the beginning of a new season.



Unfortunately, on the way home I noticed David slipping into mania. A few days later he told me that he had been slipping out of the house to go on his midnight walks when he couldn't sleep several times for the last few weeks, and asked me to call his dr. for help. By the time I came home with a report of the concerns the dr. shared with me, David had forgotten all about what had happened, and accused me of over-reacting. It was not a pretty conversation because I felt incredibly upset, worried, and angry over his behavior, and I forgot the first rule about staying calm.

I try not to go into gory details here of all that was said until after a crisis has passed because I want to be as fair as possible to David. I also want to focus on what I have learned, instead of the crisis itself. (I have also been really busy with work and family issues lately, as well.) We managed to have a truce for several days because our Soldier Brian and his family came for a visit. It was fun to have them here, and to get better acquainted with and enjoy the grandchildren.

His mood, though, kept getting more and more manic, complete with listening to the voices in his head, no sleep, and irrational ideas. He started realizing that he was out of control and asked me again to call the dr. for help. We went to a therapist for the first time this week, and David has another appointment to see him in two weeks to work on his temper.

It was helpful to spend a few minutes talking to the therapist about my view of David's behavior, and some of the challenges that I have in dealing with his moods. He and my brother both told me that I cannot "make" David to do what is healthiest for him; it ultimately is his choice. I've been thinking about that, and I do see their point. However, I also do not have to protect him from the consequences of his actions. On the occasion when he succumbs to a desire for some alcohol I refuse to give him sympathy for the hangover that accompanies it.

Fortunately, David finally worked through the mania, and is relatively stable again. We've been able to talk about what happened and some more on what we need to do to work through these difficult cycles that come every few months. For example, my birthday is this coming weekend. At first he wanted to go on another camping trip, but I frankly am really tired of being away from home on the weekend. We were going to compromise for a one-day camp, but we both decided that we would rather just go for a drive in the mountains to see some fall color. Now that I can live with; I'm looking forward to the day.