Finding “The One” When You Have Bipolar Disorder
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.