Hey. I've been wanting to do a proper update for a while, but don't even know where to begin. This is not a fun story.
It's been a remarkably shitty 6 months. Right around the time COVID became really serious, my wife had a major manic episode - something her doctor warned her about because of the antidepressant she was on, so we at least were able to recognize what was happening after the first 3 days of no sleep. My wife studied psychology in school, and knew what to look out for, even in her heightened state. We talked, and agreed to go to the nearest good hospital, and I was able to help and check her in. Due to COVID, I wasn't able to visit her while she was there, but I brought fresh clothes and books everyday.
About 5 days into her stay there, I get a call at around 5 AM from my wife, telling me I need to come get her immediately because "they're trying to kill me". I had no idea what to do - I had gotten one call from her doctor early in the week telling me what meds she was on and that things were going well, but otherwise radio silence. I had no experience talking to someone who was experiencing hallucinations, and I just knew my wife sounded terrified and I reacted based on fear. I got in the car and started driving, and because she checked herself in voluntarily, she was able to leave.
Things were OK at home for a few days, but got a lot worse very quickly. The symptoms of mania started ramping up, but my wife brushed them off as just a response to the trauma she went through at the hospital.
Then she started going out driving. For 14 hours a day, every day. No texts, no responding to calls, no sign of where she was going. It became abundantly clear that she was still manic, and I started calling the hospital she went to, 5 or 6 times a day. I left messages, tried to reach her doctor, and never heard back. My wife was beginning to get aggressive, and very paranoid. I was later told that my wife was in a schizoaffective state, and was becoming increasingly detached from reality.
I called in backup in the form of my Mother-in-law, who is a really remarkable woman - she is a pastor, and has seemingly endless compassion. After an especially nerve-wracking 18 hour driving session, my wife finally came home, and through some miracle was willing to go with my mother-in-law back to her house.
Long story short, we tried and failed to care for my wife at home for 2 weeks as she became increasingly delusional, paranoid, and aggressive. Eventually, she finally crashed the car on her way to Maine to visit her abusive ex, who she was convinced was sending her telepathic messages. We found her at his house, high on shrooms and freaking the fuck out. Every conceivable local resource for emergency mental health care was shut down due to COVID, and literally the only option left was involuntary admission. It was the hardest decision I've ever made, but I was able to get my wife to get into the car with her mother and I, and we went to the hospital. As soon as she realized what was going on, she started freaking out.
The rest is sort of a blur. I know we made it to the hospital, and there were police. The last time I saw my wife before the police told us to leave, they were surrounding her while she was hyperventilating on the floor. I remember they told her to calm down, or they would have to sedate and restrain her - shockingly, that didn't help.
My wife was in the hospital for around 2 weeks this time, and was discharged and returned to her mother. She became VERY angry with me. We tried, again, to care for her at home, but she stopped attending the virtual outpatient program, and we weren't able to talk to any of her doctors because she had removed us from her contact list. She started missing the meds again, and quickly became disconnected from reality. Same paranoia, same delusions. It took us threatening to bring her to the hospital again for her to start complying, and even then it was shaky.
During all this, I was still working as a full time teacher in VT. So I was driving the 2 hours to her mom's after work most nights, and driving back in the morning before teaching. Once the school year ended, I decided I couldn't do it anymore, and started getting ready to move back in with my parents.
In the middle of all this were such joys as losing our insurance, my wife filing for divorce (not especially successfully, thankfully), and having one of my wife's friends trying to convince people online that we were gaslighting my wife and holding her hostage. Fun stuff, right?
Things finally started settling down in August, after my wife found a new psychiatrist and a better medication. She finally started coming back to reality, and became stable again. She's still coming to terms with her Bipolar diagnosis, but she trusts the doctors she's been seeing. She just finished up her outpatient program last week, and finally seems like herself again. I am so thankful that she was able to get through all this, and so immensely proud that she has been so diligent about sticking to her meds. Things are far from normal still, but we are happy to be safe and relatively stable again.
Job hunting during COVID is pretty miserable. I've been working part time as a canvasser for a local State Rep, and have been sending out applications to 2-3 different employers a day. Despite having worked 4 different jobs for 2+ years, and having spent the last three years as a lead preschool teacher, I have not received a single call back from any of the places I have applied to. I started with schools, then daycares, and now I'm just trying to hear back from a fucking grocery store. I really don't know how much longer I can deal with this. The two places I haven't applied in town are an Amazon warehouse and weapons manufacturing plant, but I am really holding off as long as I can on those.
The one positive of the past few months is, before I had to move back in with my parents in CT, I was starting to get involved in my local music scene in VT. I had a radio show that I was really proud of. I started making some music friends, and doing these improv synth shows. And I'm hoping that within a year or two I can move back up and try to pick up where I left off. I'm trying to make the most of where I am right now, but it's hard not to feel depressed here. But at least I've started meeting back up with an old friend of mine and making music every weekend. Hoping to record something soon, maybe.
I miss you guys, and I mostly haven't been active because I just don't know what to say. There's been so much weighing on me these past few months that I'm finding it really hard just to be a normal person. I hope everyone is faring well.