Witnessing the dismantling of a bipolar episode defies the laws of human behavior. I watch as my husband returns to himself, picturing the farmer scene from Men In Black, where the alien takes the skin of the farmer. He looks like himself but the behaviors reveal the imposter. In our life movie the alien host doesn’t die, though, he wrestles the imposter out of his skin and reclaims his place as the master of his own countenance.
Today, watching him wrestle the kids into weather-appropriate clothing while simultaneously vacuuming the floor and dusting the living room I knew he had conquered this episode. Now comes the part of life where we conquer the growing To-Do list of things we put off while focusing solely on maintaining balance. It is embarrassing, but my car’s low fuel light was on for 4 days before husband went and got gas for me. I just pulled out my kid’s fall clothes, although it has been sweater weather for over a week. And much to my chagrin my daughter asked me why my hair was turning white on the sides, showcasing how long I have put off dying my hair back to the color scheme more appropriate for a thirty-something.
At work I have stayed on top of things, but due to some awesomeness (I worked on a grant proposal that won $25,000,000 this week) I have worked 12 hour days the last two days in a row. This weekend will be a tying of loose ends weekend, a check list of regular activities that were sidelined in light of other more pressing needs. But I am grateful – grateful that this episode was so short we found our feet and righted the tracks in about 10% of the time it used to take us. I am grateful that the universe was kind this time and did not throw other challenges to us as we resurfaced. And I am grateful for the grace my family and friends have shown as I forgot to fulfill obligations, never sent emails I was supposed to send and didn’t offer the right words of encouragement to other people’s ailments. We truly are a blessed family.
Some people get uncomfortable when I talk about bipolar with the term “we”. Just as we called our children’s gestational periods “our” pregnancies, bipolar is a family affair, leading me to say we and our instead of him and his.