Present Day, February 14th, 2017

A Valentine to My Wife,

First, the most important thing a Valentine should say, I. Love. You. Stealing a phrase you once gave to me, “You have my whole heart.” At least, all of it that I know how to give.

People like me, with mental illness, are often the unseen millions. However, if that is the case, there is a much greater unseen tens of millions of spouses, loved ones, family members and friends that stand by us each and every day. People like you that care for people like me.

People that cry themselves to sleep after we have broken your heart yet again. People that collapse in exhaustion after holding up the household when we let it down. People that fight for us to live when we would just as soon die.

I appreciate you reading a book with me to help us manage my illness (The Bipolar Relationship, Bloch). I appreciate you attending a class to learn how to walk with me (courtesy our local NAMI chapter). I appreciate you driving to Chicago to retrieve a husband who had abandoned you, scared you, and left you almost without hope because he couldn’t find any within himself.

All of us, the ill, wish that we could promise all of you, the partners, that the worst is behind us…but it probably isn’t. We wish we could promise the pain won’t come back, but it almost certainly will. We wish we could promise that there is nothing to fear, dread or be leary of. And whilst those are no ways to live life…the future likely holds plenty to make each of those emotions reasonable.

However, on this day, this is what I can promise you…you have my heart. My love. My life.

Happy Valentine’s Day from one crazy heart to another. 

I. Love. You.

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