Dear General Public,
Today is Bipolar Awareness Day, were you aware of that? No? Me either, and I have bipolar…
Anyway, the theme for this year’s awareness day is “Bipolar & Me” so I thought I’d share a little of the reality of living with bipolar.
As an undiagnosed teen & in my early 20s I was irresponsible at best. I am ashamed of my behaviour when I look back on it now; I partied too hard and too often, I made poor decisions when it came to relationships, sex, life in general, in short, I was a mess. My mood went up and down through the day, not just over the course of a week, I had an incredibly short and uncontrollable temper, I was taken in to A&E with psychosis once and a few other times after suicide attempts. I was very ill.
I don’t think people who knew me then would recognise me now, now I have been diagnosed and am being treated. I am far more responsible, I am more in control, I am more ‘normal.’ The medication has certainly helped manage my mood swings, it has made life easier for me, my temper is under control now, only very occasionally does the red mist descend.
That’s not to say that it’s plain sailing. It isn’t. I still have mild hypomanic episodes, I still struggle with depression, I still battle the odd mixed state, but overall I am managing my illness much better.
I doubt I will ever recover, I do believe that, for me, it is a lifelong illness, but as the days go by I get stronger and stronger and better able to deal with it.
Thanks for reading,
Dear friends & family,
Thank you for standing by me, for looking after me, for helping me through and not abandoning me, even in the really bad days.
I know it must be really hard to deal with, and equally hard to see someone you care about suffer, but you are appreciated. Your support, love and care is so invaluable to me, it helps so much, just knowing that there are people there to catch me when I fall makes fighting on easier.
Thank you, I hope that you know how important you all are to me.
Lots of love,
Wow! I mean, wow! I know a lot gets lost in translation at our meetings, but you listen to me, you spend ages going through my notes, my charts, asking questions and allaying my fears. You allowed me to reduce my medication after listening to my reasoning for it, you support me and do your best by me and give my parents help and advice too.
Thank you for being there for me and making me feel like a person, it is such a different experience from what I had in the UK.
Thank you again,
A grateful patient.
Keep fighting, you’re doing great!