Saturday, February 6, 2010

What Constitutes a Strong Woman?

A little over seven years ago, I met David. Shortly after we started dating I learned that David has bipolar. David is rare when it comes to individuals who have bipolar. Unlike most individuals with an illness like bipolar, David understands the importance of taking his meds everyday even when he is feeling good. Shortly after we became engaged David suffered a short set back and his levels got off. I can remember going somewhere with his mom and her talking with me and telling me that she and my father-in-law would understand if I decided that I wanted to cancel our engagement and not marry David. I can remember how upset I was inside. I loved my future husband illness and all. How dare anyone tell me not to marry David just because he has an illness. Fast forward to my wedding day... my dad gave me a blessing right before going to the temple. In my blessing, I was told that my life would have many bumps and would not be easy but it would be worth it in the end. I can remember thinking what young bride wants to hear that on her wedding day. I don't know if the Lord was trying to warn me or reassure me. But that blessing surely was an indication of the things that were to come. Our bumps started the day we got married. David and I postponed our honeymoon by a day or so because he got sick with what we thought was laryngitis. When we finally got to San Diego we were only there a day before we had to return because he had a very bad case of mono and the medicine he received before leaving was causing an allergic reaction and he had hives covering his whole body.

In our seven years of marriage, David has gone through numerous jobs (laid off and forced resignations) and we have had many other challenges and bumps. At times I have felt like I think at last we are on our feet, only to be knocked flat down on my face again. But nothing has prepared me for what I had to do this past weekend. Early Saturday morning, I had to admit David to a psychiatric hospital. Back in August, his doctor had decreased one of his pills and one of his levels was slightly low. Usually this would not be a problem but with all of the stress we have had these past few months it was enough to send David into a manic episode. As of right now, he is still in the hospital and probably will not get out until this coming Tuesday. Both sets of parents have come into town to help. What a blessing it is to me to have such great parents!!!

This now leads me to the title of my blog post. What constitutes a strong woman? One of my friends this week has told me that I am a strong woman. I was shocked when she told me this because I don't feel very strong. It is a struggle everyday to show a positive attitude to my girls and others. (I have taken to crying in the shower so no one can see my tears.) It takes all I have everyday to get dressed and go to work and try to impart my knowledge to the students that I need to teach. Sometimes I barely have enough energy to come home and cook a decent meal for my family. I have so many jobs that I am trying to fill (wife, mother, homemaker, teacher, and cub scout leader) and I feel like I am doing a poor job at all of them. Yet my friend thinks I am a strong woman. Am I a strong woman? Or am I just a good pretender! I feel like there are so many other women that are stronger than I. Oh well, that is not the point. Right now I am going to take it one day at a time and hopefully soon I can smile and really mean it.


Erica Huff said...

Oh Katy! You are definetly a strong woman! And not just because of this! I have always admired your ability to work and care for your girls and all of your other responsibilites. You are so loving to everyone and always have a smile on your face. I suffer from depression myself, not bipolar so I don't understand that but I know how difficult it has been on my family. As hard as this is for David, I can't imagine the feelings you have had. I am thinking about you and praying for you. I hope peace fills your heart and comfort, your soul. I do admire you for loving him, all of him! You are a very strong woman in my eyes!

BTW - I've missed seeing you at church. I finally asked Emilie if she knew if you were okay. Please, please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you. I am here! Love ya!

Mrs. Ordinary said...

Your family is in our prayers, Katie.

Jason and Lissa said...

Not too long ago I had heard that the best way to develop patience is to pretend like you have it when you need it. I think it works the same way for courage and emotional strength. Lissa and I have a realative with a similar condition who recently took a bad turn. If you need anything, let us know. Hang in there.

Elizabeth said...

You are in our prayers and we are hoping for the best for you and your family.