I, who have never liked TV, started watching hours of it with her every night.Infatuated with cleaning products, Sara taught me the joys of repetitive household maintenance.At eighteen, she enrolled in the Ivy League university she'd dreamt of attending since childhood, and within a semester, was incapacitated by depression; she dropped out and returned to L. Sidelined for years, she was finally looking forward again: doing PR for a record label and working part-time toward her bachelor's degree. When I looked at Sara, I felt inspiration, not pity.And even though I'm not the type to plunge quickly into relationships, I was convinced I was in love. Aside from a quick trip to clean out her studio apartment a few weeks later, she never went home."Of the two of us," I told her as we lay happily in bed, "I must be the crazier one."Nine months later I stood over her pale, unconscious body, frantically dialing 911 for the first time in my life.You could compile an entire book of quotes comparing love to madness.But of all the psychological issues in the DSM-IV, only one really resembles the experience of love.
Kay Jamison in one of the most famous memoirs of bipolar illness, An Unquiet Mind. The popular caricature of the disease -- people swinging rapidly between happiness and sadness -- isn't the whole story.
And after sex, when I thought we'd both enjoyed ourselves, sometimes S would burst into tears. " I'd whisper, to which she'd cryptically reply, "I feel overwhelmed."Sara's life was a constant battle against entropy.
While most of us are bored by too much routine, Sara was obsessive about hers, and as her boyfriend, I found myself joining her in it.
Before L had found an effective combination of meds, she drove halfway across the country in a mixed state, buying expensive clothes and jewelry for herself, with the goal of committing suicide when she reached California.
Fortunately, her mania dissipated before she made it there. All relationships suffer from irrationality, which is why they can be particularly susceptible to the ups and downs of bipolar.