I started writing a new book today. While I have two nearly complete novels and one half-finished memoir that need my attention, this weekend something opened in my heart that redirected my writing pursuits. After our bipolar talk on Sunday and my subsequent blog post about our talk we have had over 100 people get in touch with us through every possible medium to thank us for sharing our story or tell us why it mattered to them and why it made them change something about their life. I realized through these conversations that perhaps our journey of falling in love and making it through this illness is the book that I am meant to write.
What has happened over the last few days has been life changing for Dave. Where there was once shame there is now a sense of pride and purpose. He no longer feels compelled to hide who he is in order for his art, or his parenting, or his being a human being to be respected. What an amazing thing, watching this man who I have devoted my life to suddenly see what I have seen all along – he has always been worth it.
When we tiptoed around the illness’ name, almost behaving reverently to its potential power to cause harm just by admitting its presence in our lives, bipolar almost held the weight of another soul in our family. It does feel a bit ironic that in finally owning his illness it no longer defines him. Now that it no longer defines him he has asked me to write our story, he feels it would be cathartic for him to help, to write a side by side account of the same incidents, especially from the time he was hospitalized. I may always be a blogger who has many partially written books. I hope not. I hope that this book, the story of us, is the one that I finish, even if the only place that it is published is on this website.