Goodbye and Thank you

This blog if you can call it that has been a huge help and relief for me. It has allowed me to express myself and write down the feelings that I often find too hard to do in person.
At this point in my life, I am now 7 years sober, 3 months not self harming and probably the most important for me 4 months on medication.
I feel I have gotten to the point where I can deal with life in a positive way without the need to self destruct.

I am bipolar and I don’t need to feel ashamed of that anymore. If people judge me for it then that’s on them and not me.
It is okay to not be okay but more importantly it is okay to ask for help.


Life has certainly thrown me some challenges and taken me to some very dark places. I know I am incredibly lucky to still be here and able to live my best life.

Thank you to everyone for all of your support and lovely words, it really has meant a lot to me.

 I Am Not What Happened To Me. I Am What I Choose To Become.

Hope

I think we all started 2021 with the great hope, that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccinations would begin to be administered and soon life would become that little bit more normal. It is funny though, even though we are rolling out vaccinations that light seems that little bit further away and with all these variants, it’s hard not to think the tunnel seems that bit longer and darker.
I think it was the lack of freedom of movement and the thought of no holidays which I thought I missed most. It’s not though, it is the things I guess I have always taken for granted- going round to my folks for a cuppa, taking the kids and the dog to the beach, being able to give someone a hug who really needs a hug.
We have to believe that these times will return soon and I like many others will appreciate them like I have never done before.
Will life as we knew it return? I don’t think it ever will, I think we will have to get used to a new normal. What that will look like, I’m not sure anyone knows the answer to that yet!

Live my Best Life

My posts have been really depressing of late but I feel now like I have my big girl pants on. I feel so much better and I have come to the glaringly obvious conclusion that it doesn’t really matter what makes me feel better, me, medication or a combination of both.
I have written about the mistakes that I have made and the regrets that I have. As a very wise friend said to me, you cannot live in your past, nor can you go back and change it. The only thing I can do is learn from my mistakes and live my best life.
So that is my plan, remain compliant and look after myself both physically and mentally. I have an amazing family and wonderful friends and I am so lucky and appreciative to them all.
No more poor me posts. There will be ups and downs because that is what bipolar but I know I am very much not alone with this.
My coping mechanisms are already starting to work. I have not self harmed in over 2 months now, which I am really proud of myself for. I’ve started looking after myself physically, and i feel so much better for it.
So let’s look forward instead of back and live in the here and now.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”

Be careful

I feel a bit conflicted about my last post. It was good to finally say it all out loud but then there is the judgement that comes with it.
People always say it’s good to talk but there are things people don’t want to listen to. I think disclosing a part of ourselves can be really frightening, and probably why people don’t speak up. We are not always sure of the reaction we will get from people and once something is said, you can’t unsay it.
I write this anonymously because I couldn’t imagine saying these things out loud to a person who is in my life. I don’t want to alter the relationships that I have with people.

My last post has caused judgment but I would sooner take it from people who I don’t know instead of the people that do matter to me.

How I got here

I was in my mid to early 20’s when I was diagnosed with bipolar. I asked my psychiatrist…why has this happened, have I always had it and what has caused it. He told me that it could have been triggered by a traumatic event.
When I was 18 I started going out with this guy. As bad as it sounds I knew him as he used to go out with my best friend at the time. She treated him really badly and dumped him, and to be fair it was about 6months later we started talking and arranged to meet up. He was studying engineering, he was really polite, came from a good family, had his own car which was always a bonus- he was the sort of guy you would be really happy to present to your parents. We will call him X.
When I met him, things at home were not good, my brother was really badly hurt in car accident and my Papa had died, then my mum and dad split up, and my dad moved out. My mum stopped talking to me because I still spoke to my dad, she even asked me to move in with him. She thought hurting me, would hurt him, it was just a really horrible time. Having this new relationship was a great escape and it was good. X started playing football with my Dad, and my mum was inviting him for tea, just as I thought, the sort of guy that your parents would like.

I used to play football and I was early one night for training so I thought I would do some of my uni work in the cafe at the sports centre. I was just flicking through stuff and checked the dates for my next piece of coursework. It was at that moment that I started to panic because i realised I was late. It was the 13th of February, I remember it because it was the day before Valentine’s Day.
The next day I bought a test from the chemist across the road from uni and I remember downing 2 drinks from the student Union before I did the test. My friend from uni who I had told, waited outside, and instantly knew from my face that it was positive when I emerged from the toilet. I was 18 and pregnant.

X had planned a romantic meal out for our first Valentine’s Day, and I met him that night. I don’t think it was my intention to tell him that night, I think I just wanted time to get my head around the idea first. However, he sensed something was wrong and he thought I was dumping him. I felt bad for him thinking like that so i told him. I am not sure what sort of reaction I thought I would get but it certainly wasn’t the reaction I hoped I would. His first words were you are not keeping it and he walked out.
I had to get the bus home myself that night and i had to pretend to my mum that I had had a lovely night.
He messaged me the next day to apologise for walking out, but stood by his words that i couldn’t keep it and had to make the arrangements soon.
The text messages continued for the next 2 weeks just like that, and there was no let up. I told one of my football coaches and she told me I shouldn’t play until I had decided but I thought my mum and did would get suspicious if I didn’t play so I continued. A few more weeks passed and I just felt under so much pressure, X was so insistent that I couldn’t keep this baby and that it would ruin our lives.
The morning sickness had kicked in and it all started to feel really real. I remember being on the bus to uni and this lady got on and the smell of her perfume made me feel sick, I could only survive a couple of stops with her.

A month had gone by since I had found out and I was standing on a football pitch in Glasgow. I remember this girl coming flying towards me and instead of stopping her I moved out of the way and she scored. My team were screaming at me, but I knew my coach knew why I had done it. I wanted to keep my baby.


I phoned X that night and we met and I told him. He was furious. He then hit me where he knew it would hurt. He said, your parents will never get back together if you have this baby, and that will be on me. That the last thing my papa had told me was that education was the most important thing, and if you have this baby you will need to drop out of uni, you wouldn’t make him proud. I hated X for doing this.

I made the arrangements the next day. I had to tell a counsellor I didn’t want this baby. I then had to go and get a scan to see how many weeks I was. To this day I always have regretted not looking at the screen to see my baby. The procedure was then booked in for the next week.
It was a Wednesday and I made my own way to the hospital. I sat in a deserted area in the hospital and I cried. I phoned my coach, but it just went to voicemail. I then called my mum, and if she had picked up i would have told her, but she didn’t and that day was the worst of my life.
My friend picked me up and took me home. It was mince and tatties for tea that night and nobody in my house knew a thing. X phoned, he said to make sure I was okay, but I think to make sure I had gone through with it. The next morning I wasn’t sick, and when that lady got on the bus, the smell wasn’t there and it hurt so much.


The next week my parents got back together, my dad moved home, and X said…that wouldn’t have happened if you had told them. 2 weeks later my mum, dad and X are sat in the stands watching me play in the league cup final for my football team which we won. There was a huge celebration planned for after and I went with X. I drank and I drank and I drank to apparently I could barely stand. I have no knowledge of getting home, speaking to my parents or handing them a pizza when I got in. I just woke up the next morning, feeling very ill. There was a text from X waiting for me. It said, you probably won’t remember as you were so out of it but thanks for last night, I wasn’t sure how long to wait since you know…..but glad to have got the first time after under my belt. I couldn’t quite take it in, i felt so violated and I knew I wasn’t ready and he knew that.

The next few months were a blur, I stayed with him and it was horrible. My parents worshiped the ground he walked on and I started to hate him. We went on holiday in the September and it was the longest 2 weeks of my life. I wouldn’t let him touch me which I knew that frustrated him and I just couldn’t wait to get home. On the last night of the holiday he turned round and said to me that if I had wanted to keep the baby he would have supported us. I just couldn’t deal with that and as soon as we got home I dumped him. My parents were furious but I couldn’t stay with him.

I couldn’t cope with any of it and i felt so much anger and resentment towards X and my parents. My best friend became vodka and most nights I would drink myself in to oblivion. I shut off emotionally and i stopped caring about things. The self harm started soon after and I think I spent the next 3 years hiding my alcohol dependency and self harm.

I then started talking to a women who i would later date. My Mum and Dad couldn’t get their heads round this when I told them and one night I blurted it out about X and the baby. What X had done didn’t seem to matter, my dad turned round and said I deprived him of a grandchild and he wished that I had never told him. I just wanted to scream that I had done it for them so they would get back together that it wasn’t what I really wanted.

That weekend I tried to end my life, and I ended up in hospital. My mum saw the scars a few weeks later and said you can’t do that every time you don’t get what you want.

I was a complete mess and just felt like everyone around me had hurt me. That they put their own feelings far far ahead of my own and if they don’t care about mine then why should I.

A blood test would show that my liver was damaged, Mr vodka had done that so I was referred to counselling for substance and alcohol abuse. They wanted me to keep a diary of what I drank in a week. I remember them commenting on how badly written it was and I said well I was pissed when I wrote it and then I left, i didn’t want their help.

I carried on seeing my new partner the woman. Maybe it started off as a 2 fingers up to my parents but I did love her. She made me feel safe and less alone. I put her through hell and back yet she always stayed.
My behaviour had become really erratic and there was a feeling of not caring but there was a feeling of being scared because I was out of control. I took a pile of pills and got in my car and drove at as fast as I could. My partner threatened me with the Police if I didn’t get help so I did.

A few months later I was diagnosed with Bipolar and that particular journey started.

I often wonder if this had never happened would I be like this today…..maybe it is some sort of karma for doing the worst thing I have ever done in my life. I know I will be judged by so many for what I did, but believe me when I say this, I hate myself more than anyone else could.

Ahhhhh

So I came off my meds at the start of the year. I was feeling so much better and my mindset felt differently. I had started exercising again, I felt relaxed and I hadn’t self harmed in weeks.
When I am on meds, it always makes me question, is it them or me that is the reason I feel good. Do 2 pills a day make all the difference, or is a positive outlook and looking after yourself all you really need? I know I know the answer to the question, but I just so want it to be different. I hate having to rely on something to help me feel better, that my strength and will alone isn’t good enough long term.
I’m just not comfortable in myself with having Bipolar, and that is why very few people in my life know about it. People say that they can’t talk about mental health for fear of being judged. I do worry about that, but also know I judge myself far more than anyone else could.

So how do I end this as I am quite sure it’s written so badly. Take your meds I guess!!

Iris

And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah, you bleed just to know, you’re alive

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

**** off

My life is never not hectic, 3 young kids sees to that but there is good hectic and bad hectic. Christmas and New Year were good hectic. Full on with the kids but lots of fun and laughter made it a great couple of weeks. This week I wouldn’t say it’s a full blown wobble but it’s definitely been harder. The holiday is over but instead of going back to routine and structure it’s yet another lockdown. Initially I was so positive about this, I had learned a lot from last time and felt I would be better placed this time to handle it. This week I have found it a struggle. I’m not feeling depressed or low but don’t feel as in control as I did. Work has been hard, not because there has been loads of it but because I just don’t much want to do it. I have felt almost put out if anyone has asked me to do something or annoyed to be asked a question. I’ve had this lovely quiet time and now I feel like people are intruding on that and I haven’t liked it.

I know even when writing this, I sound like a spoiled brat and that I am the one being completely unreasonable. They are asking me to do my job, and I should, I just don’t really want to.
My complete contempt for people is not nice and isn’t who I truly am, I just need to get over myself, put my big girl pants on and get on with things.



New Year

Not quite sure which adjective to use- do we still say Happy New Year, or will we just say New Year?

Had a really good break and for the first time in what feels like a very long time, I was totally switched off and relaxed. I am back exercising again and enjoying getting a bit fitter again.
First week back at “virtual” work went well. I am trying to do everything I didn’t do last time. After a couple of days, I think I spoke to more people than I did during the whole of the last lockdown.
This week is the first week of homeschooling for me as a parent, so it is definitely going to be an experience.

I am so aware of how Ill i became during the last lockdown and that does scare me a little. I’m just taking it 1 week at a time and not putting too much pressure on myself.

Last Post

So this is going to be my last post of the year and maybe for a wee while. I am truly on switch off mode and just need a break from things for a while.
Thank you to everyone who has visited my site, it’s just ramblings of my mind but if it has helped just one person then it had been worth it.

Be happy, be healthy and let’s hope that 2021 will be a better year.

Thank you and Happy New Year.