David Castillo

In Sickness and in Health

Filed By David Castillo | December 16, 2009 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: bipolar disorder, DC city council, marriage equality, mental health, sickness and in health

I've never been prouder to live in Washington, D.C. than this week when the DC Council voted to recognize same-sex marriages. Come next spring, D.C. will be this country's only major city in which marriage equality is the law, Congress' intervention notwithstanding.

It was with great anticipation that we attended a rally on eve of the historic vote, as my friends and I have been following this closely for the past year. It was inspiring to hear our elected officials talk about their support for marriage equality, especially the members who took a political risk for such support. I was also smacked with a dose of reality when I though about my own very long engagement to Jim. This is actually going to happen, I kept thinking. No more excuses, he is yours and you are his and you're going to be married.

I think it's a tad early to start planning any ceremony, and I know Jim would agree that our ceremony will probably bear little resemblance to any traditional straight ceremony, including the exchanging of vows. There is one tradition, though, I want to incorporate into our ceremony: the promise to support Jim in sickness and in health.

We have been together for more than four years now, but the last two years have been the most intense and integral years of our relationship. In this time, we have moved across the country, endured job losses, two hospitalizations and soon an up-coming marriage. I think my commitment to Jim is more than clear, especially when it comes to supporting him while sick. Now I get to express that commitment in front of the folks I love most.

It isn't that I'm glad we have had to endure the battle with bipolar. I would be remiss, though, if I didn't acknowledge the fact that our struggle to live with it has brought us closer together. There have been times when I thought I should leave because I was unequipped to deal with it. Other times, I was just so angry that this was a reality in my life. I was even incredulous to bipolar's existence, though that was largely a fleeting thought.

Then the thought of being without Jim would surface and suddenly the bipolar disorder seemed less important, less scary. After all, what kind of a man would I be if I left him when he was at his weakest. Where was the passion in me to fight for those I love? Was a sickness going to keep me from being with the one person who made me happiest?

Obviously we have stayed together and we continue to learn from each other. We also continue to learn how to live with bipolar and how to cope with the inevitable ups and downs. I think we have both proven to each other that we are willing to stay with each other in sickness and in health.


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Very touching, David. Congratulations, and best of luck in planning your wedding.

All I have to say is yay!!! for you both and all those who will benefit if this law goes into effect next year. I hope the Congress will leave it alone! I wish you both all the happiness two people can have together.

May your happiness be abundant.

Congratulations! Being the spouse of a person with bipolar disorder is very challenging. (I know, I've got one!)

David Castillo David Castillo | December 17, 2009 10:12 AM

My apologies to our friends in Massachusetts. How could I forget that Boston is also a major U.S. city? I'm glad that DC will join Boston as one of only TWO major cities to recognize same-sex marriages.

Good news for those who are working so hard toward marriage equality.

I think I just heard Maggie Srivastav's and Brian Brown's heads just pop off!