Chris is the love of my life. He is a genius. Smarter than anyone I’ve ever met. I learn something new from him every day. He sees solutions in everything. He can work both inside and outside the box with ease. For him, there’s no box at all.
The first time I locked my keys in my car since we started living together I panicked. It was just such a small, stupid thing. He said if I gave him a coat hanger he’d make a tool to get them out. He took a lot longer on it than I was expecting but not long, only about 30 minutes. I was so impatient back then.
I had expected that he was just going to straighten it out, but he built a contraption with a few other things he had lying around. The result was a device that could grip with a trigger and bend through a crack in a window. It was dexterous enough to unlock the door easily. He’s a skilled inventor and craftsman.
He’s also an artist. That’s how we met; I was an admirer of his artwork. He drew fantastic creatures doing fantastic things. Very expressive, very talented. He taught me how to create for creation’s sake. He taught me real lessons about work and dedication. I was merely a consumer before I met him. I owe much of my own development to Chris.
He is incredibly insightful about so many things. He knows so much more of the world than I do and yet he typically just stays in his room. I love him deeply, and I love talking with him about how things work. And talking about the future. Our future, the future of the human race, and the future of the universe in general.
I love talking with him about the little things too, of course.
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I miss talking with him most.
That isn’t to say he doesn’t talk with me now. He’s alive, but he is unwell. Chris has bipolar disorder. This doesn’t mean that he’s “moody” though there’s some truth to that. Most of the time (The last 3 years, not counting the last 2-3 weeks) it means that he’s himself, and he’s smart, but he might be very depressed. Or he might be very intense and focused. Or he might be up and excited. He might be afraid to go out but he loves people.
But every once in a while he goes through what is known as “manic psychosis.” He loses touch with reality. Now he ranges from talking nonsense in multiple voices to himself and and writing down anything that comes to his mind, to believing that I am trying to destroy the world by syphoning all the entropy out of our house using the power cables connected to our TV and game systems in order to maximize order within the house and trap him in a hell world for eternity while the rest of the universe crumbles into chaos. This is as verbatim as I can recall, and is only one of many delusions.
On his best days during these trying times he’s generally happy, but he makes jokes that aren’t funny. They don’t make any sense to me but make plenty to him. If I don’t smile, he might drop back into paranoid delusion again. I much prefer him to be happy, if random. I’ve become much better at smiling.
But I miss talking with Chris. I miss Chris so much, even though he’s right here.
Last time he went through this neither of us knew what was going on. We didn’t know anything about bipolar disorder. I didn’t know how long things were going to be this way. I found out that with medication and effort the really bad psychosis can be thwarted in about 2 months, and that he can be back to his normal, wonderful self in about 8 more.
It’s hard to remember much from the first time. It was very traumatic. I got though it partially due to absolution; I didn’t know what would happen so I just took everything one day at a time. I had to re-learn how to love Chris, and at times I thought he hated me in return. I figured I had already lost the love of my life; I was just going through the motions to keep him from hurting himself, or me, with a glimmer of hope that maybe, someday, he’d return.
He did. It was wonderful. It was so good to have him back. We had 3 very good years together after this ordeal. But with bipolar, this shit comes back. Even medicated, it comes back.
We were moving back into our old house. We had been living with my mom for financial reasons, and the stress of moving in with her nearly sent Chris back into mania. But it didn’t. I believed that he couldn’t end up in this situation again. But I was wrong. When we moved back into our old house, the stress was enough that he had a psychotic break, and now we are back to where we were 4 years ago.
I started crying into my pillow today, and couldn’t stop. Over the past couple weeks I had been keeping up appearances around Chris and acting like things are okay – even normal – and I try to keep smiling. But today I just couldn’t do it. All I can think about is the Chris that is missing, the Chris that I’ll hopefully see again. But not for some time. Possibly 10 months. Possibly longer.
I miss him so much. It hurts so bad. Normally if I am sad I go to Chris, he always makes me feel better. We can laugh at problems together. I have no one to go to now. No one I trust implicitly. No one who is always there. My friends, family, and coworkers are supportive but they will never truly understand what I am going through. I pray that they never have to.
Chris noticed I was crying. It was hard not to. I hope he didn’t think I was crying on his account, but he’s smart.
A short time later he came back in carrying a paper plate. He said “I saw you were crying so I drew you a dragon. I hope you like it.”
I love him so damn much. Tears continue to stream as I hold him close. I hope he understands how happy he made me, even though I look so sad.
Chris is still in there. I have to remember that. Chris is still with me, even though it feels like he’s gone.
He’ll get better eventually, and then we can treasure the good times again, together, for as long as they last. And longer still.
Once he goes to sleep (He’s been awake since yesterday) I’ll plug everything back in that he dismantled to stop my evil entropy plot, get reconnected to the internet, and share this with the world. I don’t think the world needs to hear this – or even wants to – but maybe people will understand a little of what I am going through, and maybe it will help someone else going through something similar.