We are Dana and Gary. We have been married for around 15 years, and we are raising two daughters. Gary's oldest daughter (Dana's step-daughter) is now an adult.
We knew all along that we both suffered from major depressive episodes from time to time even before we married.
Gary's journey was a bit complicated in that he was misdiagnosed with ADHD as a result of an unrelated metabolic muscle disorder. This disorder is genetic, and imposes significant limitations on what Gary can do. It is also an invisible disorder. Much like bipolar, everything is perfectly normal much of the time, then the disorder strikes. Once the episode is over, everything is normal again. In Gary's case, the disorder means he has to basically lie down and have plenty of carbs and liquids for a couple of days (sometimes via IV in the hospital). In Dana's case, her invisible illness is bipolar 2. Just like Gary's disorder, all is well until it isn't.
Gary's disorder can only be controlled via diet and behavioral modifications. Dana's can be largely controlled by a variety of medications.
The holy grail of this blog is to get a single email from somebody saying "thank you, you helped us save our marriage" -- or even just "thank you, it helps to know I'm not alone". The purpose of our blog is to destigmatize bipolar by talking about it for what it is -- a disorder where the body doesn't produce the right mix of chemicals. This disorder is fundamentally similar to Gary's disorder, where his body doesn't produce the right amount of CPT2 enzyme for his muscles to work reliably. The main difference is that talking about a muscle myopathy evokes visions of Jerry Lewis' telethon and doesn't trigger discrimination and stigma, while talking about bipolar evokes derision and other sequellae of ignorance.
This blog is our story.