Finding “The One” When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Last Updated: 19 Jun 2019

Finding (and choosing) “The One”––a life partner to unconditionally love and support you through bipolar disorder––is hands-down the most important decision anyone will ever make.

I met my husband, Matthew, some 15 years ago, and we’ve been married for nearly ten. He’s sat with me and held my hand in countless hospitals; traveled with me across oceans, prayed with me, danced with me, laughed with me, and he’s watched me lose my mind and helped me retrieve it. I received an email today from a woman who’d read an essay I wrote about Matthew and me in a book called Love Insha’Allah. She asked how I knew that Matthew was “the one.” It’s a good question, for I’m certain that choosing a partner to walk, skip, jump and stumble through life with is hands-down the most important decision anyone will ever make. And it’s a decision that is of even greater consequence for those of us living with a mental illness. So, then: How did I know he was “tho one”? I assume that answer varies for everyone, but I figure it might be worth sharing how I knew in the hopes that some of you may relate or appreciate it. 

I knew when I first threw up on him, and he didn’t care. I knew when I had a massive panic attack on a flight from New York to Dusseldorf (I tried to get off the plane over the Atlantic.), and he didn’t freak out. I knew when I saw him start reading everything possible about my homeland of Iran. 

And I know still because whenever something good happens, I can’t wait to tell him–it doesn’t even feel real until he knows about it; because whenever I see, hear, smell or taste something delicious, I have to tell him right away–it somehow multiplies the effect, and that’s addictive; and I know because as I watch him sitting on the couch right now, reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, my eyes are still watching him.

About the author
Melody Moezzi is an writer, activist, attorney, speaker, and award-winning author. She is the author of "Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life" (Avery/Penguin, 2013) and "War on Error: Real Stories of American Muslims" (University of Arkansas Press, 2007)—as well as the forthcoming memoir, "The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life" (TarcherPerigee/Penguin Random House, 2020). In addition to her “Flight of Ideas” column bp Magazine, Moezzi’s writing has appeared in many other outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, Ms. Magazine, and HuffPost. She has also appeared on many radio and television programs, including NPR, PRI, CNN, BBC, PBS, and others. Moezzi is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Emory University School of Law, as well as the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She lives in Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Photo Credit: Ann Silver
  1. Ms Melody,
    I cried a bit on that. haha. You’re very lucky to have found “the one.” I hope the rest of us do as well.
    You are quite amazing with all your accomplishments, I’m curious how you managed to go through law school with bipolar? or did you have it later? I would really appreciate your response because I am in college right now. I changed school and course to move on. I just want to do it right this time.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Sarah! I finished school (BA, JD and MPH) misdiagnosed w/ unipolar depression the whole time. It wasn’t until I was 29 that I got the right diagnosis (after my first acute manic episode and a psychotic break). I wish I had taken advantage of accommodations under the ADA at my university sooner. I attempted suicide during my last semester of law school and still continued to be misdiagnosed after that, but the one good thing that came after I was hospitalized was that my husband pushed me to get accommodations that I knew I was entitled to under the ADA, but that I was too ashamed to seek. Just a little more time on tests, a private testing room, a notetaker–not much, but those accommodations made a big difference for me, and I only wish I had done it sooner. In any case, for the whole story, you can check out my memoir, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life ( , and hopefully one day I will speak in your town and be able to sign it :).

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