Why Two Lives, One Story

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My name is Barry and that’s my gorgeous wife, Bonnie.  I know what you’re thinking, “How did that tall lanky dude get that sexy woman to marry him???”  Hey, I’m as clueless as you.  I know that I need the sunglasses to make me look decent, while they hide her beauty.  I just love waking up next to her each morning.  We were married in 2000 and have two kids, Jordan and Samantha.  We’ve had an eventful life.  Not in terms of traveling or having adventurous careers, though that might have been preferred, but rather we have drastically changed from the people we were when we got married, yet remain devoted and resolute in our love.  We both grew up Mormon and married in the Houston Temple.  Well, fast forward 12 years and in 2012 we both left the LDS church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), as we decided it wasn’t what it claimed to be and could no longer participate in it.  Also, in 2008 my wife was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  Those two events completely changed our lives.

Two Lives, One Story.  This has multiple meanings for us.  Obviously you have two people who have chosen to spend their lives together and since then, their lives have merged to one story.  Also, we both have two lives within ourselves: Our Mormon and Post-Mormon identities.  Leaving the LDS Church isn’t like leaving most other religions.  I hope to convey that experience through my words.  Lastly, one can place a divider in our life when Bonnie was diagnosed as being Bipolar.  Learning to live with this disorder, as our constant companion, has been the biggest challenge we’ve faced, yet I don’t think anything could have brought us closer.  Most days we feel victorious.  We try to cherish those, as there are days when it seems like the companion might win but we hold onto each other, get through it and live to fight another day.  I call Bipolar Disorder our companion because it’ll always be with us and we’ve learned to embrace it but won’t let it define us.  Maybe this will sum up our view of mental illness (I wrote this earlier this year):

Mental Illness is frightening, heartbreaking, devastating, difficult and REAL. However, with the right help and partner, it can strengthen relationships, increase the capacity for love, discover talents and courage never imagined, intensify devotion and open the heart for immense empathy. The road to achieve those rewards is likely the most treacherous and painful path ever taken, yet worth it for those you truly love. It affects not only the soul inflicted with the illness but those whom have chosen to be a part of the journey. Being grateful for the presence of this disturbance in your life is probably the most challenging goal to achieve. I’m not sure I can ever get there. What I can say is this:

I’ve been married to my incredible wife for over 12 years and our commitment and love increases each year. The challenges we’ve faced, conquered and still continue to conquer are what has made us who we are. Our beautiful kids will be better human beings, friends, spouses and parents because of what they have experienced and learned, as they are on this journey of discovery and triumph with us. Did I just show gratitude for these struggles? I guess I did. I need to remind myself of that from time to time.

This blog will chronicle these events, along with what moves us in terms of spirituality, science, music, faith, family and so much more.  We’ll dig into our past to learn for the future and hopefully be able to connect with a few of you.  We believe in sharing our triumphs, failures and everything in between.  We also want to narrate these life changing landmarks to give background, context and reasoning for our kids, who are only 5 & 7 years old right now.  One day, in the not too distant future, they’ll be able to read these pages and understand why we made each decision, whether right or wrong, and how our love increased with each new year.

We invite you to stay, read and maybe laugh, cry, ponder, console or celebrate with us, as we share our Two Lives, One Story.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Barry, good to read your story. Good to know you and Bonnie are in love and that you and your family are free from Mormonism. I have spent a life time in the same faith and have once been a bishop and branch president in England where I live.

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  2. BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Sacred Road by Todd Maxwell Preston

    Sacred Road is a deeply personal journey. The tale expressed is often tense, and yet the story is still surrounded in heartwarming and uplifting moments. Todd Preston is a master of crafting his all too real tale into something entertaining, suspenseful, and incredibly moving. The notion of spirituality versus religion is touched upon as one of the main themes, and opens doors for readers to take new things into perspective and really delve into their own thoughts of their personal senses of spirituality. Sacred Road can be heavy in this way, and so is best suited for adults or young adults who may be interested in this type of material. Todd Preston’s Sacred Road shows the audience the darker side of a Mormon life, coupled with an honest perspective not often seen in such literature. Even beyond that, Sacred Road is a story about moving on and finding who we really are, and what we believe in. It is a story about survival and what it takes in order to break free and learn from a terrible situation. The author eloquently shows the audience that there can be a life after suffering, and that the road to happiness is different for everyone.

    Sacred Road is gripping non-fiction at its finest as the reader learns all about Todd Preston, his father, and so many more people who affected his life in both negative and positive ways. Intense in its honesty, this story is meant to be read and given time to process on an emotional level with the audience. Because Sacred Road is an autobiography, there is the opportunity to feel as though Todd Preston is speaking directly and frankly with the reader. It is not in a diary format, and almost reads like a conversation. Preston does not ramble though. He sticks to matter-of-fact moments and hopeful anecdotes all within the truth of his complicated and incredibly interesting tale. This is what makes Sacred Road so very worth the purchase in order to add this book to any reader’s library. – GoodbooksToday.com Reviews

    About the Author
    Todd Preston is the happy father of five daughters, with another child on the way. He resides in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand with his wife Dana and their little girl Raven. After taking three years to write and begin a new life, Todd has returned to his career as a chiropractor. Writing is still a very important aspect of his life; the creative heartbeat and color of words will always stir his soul. In his spare time, sitting close to nature with his sweetheart, a glass of red wine and a good cigar stills puts a smile on his face.

    “Sacred Road”
    by Todd Maxwell Preston

    Now Available at Amazon
    # # #

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      1. Thanks Barry I hope you enjoy! I have been enjoying your sight; reading a few of your posts. Great work!
        Lets stay in touch, all best to you and your family.

        Cheers Todd

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