Who wants to get old and look back at a life wasted and unlived? However, the effort of persuading, cajoling, bribing, blackmailing or physically pushing your mentally ill spouse out of the front door is not to be underestimated. There is a temptation to leave your spouse in bed and live a solitary and uninteresting life. Sara and I travelled on many vacations when she was very ill. I planned and I pushed. The effort and the logistics involved were daunting. Even to this day, whenever we go on vacation, we pack heavy with lots of just-in-case items, and I always plan for quiet days during the vacation so that Sara can rest and recover. When we return, I accept that Sara will crash for some weeks. It has not been easy, but the priceless reward is a full life. Looking back, we can happily recount our adventures of: trying to order a glass of water in a British pub; climbing the Eiffel Tower during a heatwave; unsuccessfully attempting to avert our young son’s eyes from the sexy cards laying about on the sidewalks of the Las Vegas Strip; reading the names of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard; getting our under-aged son into see the Phantom of the Opera; and swimming with sea-turtles off the Yucatan coast. When we reflect on our lives, the dark, blank, empty days are forgotten.
~ Excerpt from Bittersweet: Married to Mental Illness by Adam Hardy