Ricki Lake is understandably still reeling from the death of her ex-husband Christian Evans.
As we previously reported, the former talk show host shared her "beloved soulmate" passed away on Instagram, revealing the jewelry designer's "life long struggle with bipolar disorder."
Now, Ricki is opening up to People about the devastating loss after learning he committed suicide on February 11.
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The 48-year-old explained:
"I have to spread the word about recognizing this disorder and getting treatment as soon as possible. Christian didn't want to be labeled as bipolar, but he admitted he was in the note he left. That was him finally owning it. That was him giving me permission to tell his story."
The actress recalled how Christian was upfront with her about his bipolar disorder when they first started dating in 2010:
"I felt like the luckiest girl that he chose me. He was the funniest person. He was so charismatic. He had a lot of self-esteem issues and a lot of demons, but I understood him, and he was someone that I think a lot of people misunderstood."
The two married in 2012:
"We never fought, we never had an argument. He showed up for my kids. He was this quiet force that was just all about love and goodness and wanting to help people."
But it wasn't until two years into their marriage that Ricki first saw her partner have a manic episode:
"I didn't know what the hell hit me, because I didn't know what it looked like, so I didn't see it coming. For me, someone who has lived with him for four years and seen how hard it was for him to get out of bed and be excited for things, I saw him starting to be happy. It presented initially as him being motivated… [He] thought he could fly. He thought he could cure cancer with his hands. It was horrific. He just wasn't the person I had been with for four years."
Lake filed for divorce a month later after cutting off contact. Meanwhile, her ex entered a treatment facility after being under a 5150 hold in the hospital:
"He didn't want to be there, and he didn't want to be medicated, but he did it to appease me."
Even despite the finalization of their divorce, the two ended up picking up their relationship after his release, and decided to move in together.
"He wasn't stable, and he was so fragile, but I was still in love with him, so there was something romantic about it. I wanted to save him."
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This past September, Christian moved out again after suffering another manic episode:
"I was upset, but I wasn't surprised. I knew he was having an episode, and there was nothing I could do."
And when she got the text from her ex's sister about an emailed suicide note, Ricki remembered:
"I knew right then that he was gone. Everybody thought he was missing, but I knew."
She tearfully continued:
"The struggle was just too much for him. He did the best he could."
Christian was found dead in his car after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the momma of two and all of her ex-husband's loved ones.
For now, Lake says she is planning to scatter some of his ashes at their Ibiza beach spot this summer, and plans to honor him "by living a full and happy life":
"I don't know what's in store for me, but I'm an optimist. I never stopped loving that man. I'm so lucky I got these beautiful years with him."
[Image via Instagram.]
Tags: bipolar disorder, christian evans, instagram, mental health, r.i.p., ricki lake, sad sad