Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shrek: The real life version

Let's be honest, if Shrek lived in our world he would be classified as a bipolar.  How could he not? He yells at everyone while having fits of rage and then in the next scene he is  smiling and laughing while skipping through a field of daisies.  He's up, he's down, he's angry, he's happy; he's on an ogre roller coaster.  Classic.  On many occasions as we sit and watch the Shrek movies I look over at my husband and think that these movies were written with him in mind.  He farts, scratches, is bald, his ears are still growing, he says inappropriate things, and when he is angry he roars.  It has to be him.  Now I know that this is not the most appealing description of my husband.  To be honest he is an amazingly handsome man who is truly sweet and endearing; its just that on some occasions he can be a true ogre.

After knowing him for a while, many of my friends have said how they were scared of my husband at first. Typically, they were scared of my hubs because he is tattooed up, rides a motorcycle, wears a skull ring the size of a golf ball and walks with a tough guy swagger.  He earned the swagger by holding many tough guy jobs, like being in the US Army's Infantry, working as an underwater welder (diver), and generally just being a free bad ass who was/is an adrenaline junky.  You can imagine the change of lifestyle that came when he all of a sudden became a husband, a father 9 months later (yes we got pregnant on our honeymoon), and started a job as a geologist (not known for being a thrilling, high adrenaline job to say the least).  He went from not caring about anything, to being responsible for a wife, a baby, a house and all the stuff in between.  He couldn't just go ride his bike when he wanted.  He couldn't just leave to go hunting or go buy anything he wanted on a whim.  He was having to be, dare I even say it, normal.  It started to kill him.  He hated the going to work, coming home, going to bed and doing it the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next, over and over and over again.  At the same time, we started rolling on the bipolar swings of being extremely happy with his family, to hating life and not wanting to be "stuck".  We had no clue that he suffered from anything beside just not adjusting and honestly I just thought he was just being an asshole that didn't appreciate what he had. If you want a better description, watch Shrek:  Forever After.  It's exactly what my husband went through.

Now I know that this is not the most flattering story that I could post about my husband.  But it's the truth, and I really wanted to write this, because to me it has a happily ever after ending.  After months of being depressed, hating life, not sleeping, not eating, and honestly just plain miserable, he finally decided to go see a professional at my request.  He realized that he was losing his family, exhausted from living the way he was, and he realized he was missing the best part of life.  Upon going to the psychiatrist, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  The doctor explained to us that my husband was the perfect cut and dry case of being a bipolar, down to the jobs he had, his past high school record (I will not say any more) and the tough time he was having to "normal" life.  He explained to us that the high adrenaline careers helped my husband sort of self-medicate because they would help in the extra production of serotonin, or as I like to call it "the happy juice."  That many people with bipolar feel ten feet tall and bullet proof so risk their lives or make bad life choices for the rush and for the lack of caring.  After rush goes away, then next fix.  Stopping that to sit at home and play patty-cake removed his fix.  He also said the not sleeping for weeks, then sleeping for two days straight was an indicator.  The having ten hobbies at once then not doing any of them was also a sign.  But mostly, just the abrupt change of life threw him into a downward spiral of depression where there were more downs than ups.  He was able to help my husband by putting him on some medication that has done wonders for him.

This is a happily ever after story for me because my husband, the tough guy that he is asked for help.  Yes, I suggested it, but HE was the one that called and made an appointment.  HE recognized that he was not doing well and needed someone to help him along.  He helped himself and saved his family.  He was the ogre who saved the princess (and their baby ogre) and took her to his swamp (otherwise know as Brownsville, PA) to live happily ever after.

Now, I'm not going to lie and tell you its rainbows and butterflies everyday.  It's not.  In fact, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we just went through a horrible rough patch, but no one's life is perfect, right?  But as the Army taught my husband, you improvise, adapt and overcome.  And honestly that motto stands true for anything in life.  The Army taught him that, the psychiatrist taught him how to breathe, and I taught him how to make a damn good martini. Besides our boys, what else do you need for life?!  

1 comment:

@dkotucker said...

Our boys and a good martini...can't think of anything else. :)

We love Shrek in our house. Good on your husband for reaching out!