I am officially in Carlisle!! I finally moved up north and it’s so far been so amazing. Despite barely leaving my flat I’ve felt so positive and shockingly haven’t been overwhelmed. I noticed last night that I was becoming messy and my room was already slipping and so I made a list of productive things to do today which included my room. I’m also going up to Scotland tomorrow for a few days to surprise my Granny and Auntie so honestly, I can’t even begin to explain the levels of happiness I’m feeling right now. Life genuinely seems to be working out for me right now and I couldn’t be more grateful, I needed this so bad.
This post is well overdue, I actually have about six drafts from when I’ve began this post since my blog began two months ago. My bipolar disorder is actually one of the first things I explain about myself to people, I’m not ashamed of it though I do understand and hate the stigma which comes along with it. I haven’t always been like that though; the following is my personal story. I understand that not everyone has the same symptoms or options I have had, and this is why I must stress this is how I have lived with my bipolar disorder since I was 17.
I didn’t know what bipolar disorder was, the only times I’d ever heard of it was wrongful comments calling women bipolar for rightful mood swings. The word is typically wrongfully used and to be honest I wish that we’d been taught about it; maybe it wouldn’t have been so heart-breaking to me had I known what it was. I’ve always had mixed emotions, most who know me will know I switch between states of mania and depression/anger regularly and rarely show other emotions. Obviously 17-year-old me, despite claiming to be a mental illness expert, WAS CLUELESS. I assumed that the diagnosis just meant I had heightened mood swings to others but with knowing my diagnosis I’d be able to change that. If I’d been told that this is something I may never ‘get rid of’ maybe I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did.
8 months after my diagnosis I got up and did a talk to my school, that’s the first time I admitted I was bipolar. I remember being terrified that people would think I was deranged or a monster because of how my brain worked and to this day I still get a bit terrified that someone will have that reaction. I remember talking to the whole of our senior school in church and just looking out at blank faces, I purposely didn’t wear my glasses because I knew I wouldn’t cope if I looked out and it wasn’t a positive reaction. One of my biggest secrets had been revealed and even now I don’t think I’ve ever rated myself as much as that day, to have the confidence to stand up and openly admit something which I knew half the people in my year frequently used wrongly and nastily. That sort of power is something little unconfident and insecure me can only dream of possessing again.
So, I was very lucky that whilst my bipolar is not always mild it is significantly milder than some people. This meant it was quite easy to disguise, it obviously helped that I had a b*tch reputation through school and at my job (still don’t understand why, all I ever did was tell the truth) so people would see my blatant disgust and anger as me just having a moment. I actually got called an attention seeker countless times for moments of anger, and though I can happily admit I love a bit of attention trust me it wasn’t on purpose. Having knowingly been diagnosed with depression most of my youth the depression side of my bipolar disorder didn’t bother me, if anything it explained so much. It explained why I never felt like I was ‘recovered’ from depression even when I supposedly was, my depression is something which is inexplainable. I actually wrote about it in a previous post and still I don’t believe I explained it well, I’ve had a lot of trauma over my years and so it’s never obvious if I’m upset as I’ve been triggered or if I’m having a down period. But what I can confirm my depression and down periods are lengthy, my longest one lasted a year and I can genuinely say I maybe was happy for three days that whole year. Fighting my depression on a daily basis is exhausting but it’s a worthwhile fight.
So lastly my period of mania, these are less often and to be honest they are usually spurred on by genuine happiness hence why they are rare. I love my periods of mania, sometimes I can feel them being spurred on by being around my friends and family and I just feel so incredibly happy, nothing compares to that feeling. I wish it happened more often. It does make me a bit unbearable though, I apologise to those who’ve had to cope with me in a manic period.
When I first got diagnosed, I was terrified that people would look at me differently, that they’d think worse of me for it. Last summer a guy actually used it as a way of rejecting me, after months of talking a quick switch up saying my bipolar disorder was too much for him. Since I’ve heard that three times, mainly from guys who don’t even mean anything to me. But is my bipolar disorder too much? The thing is had it just been boys who’d said it to me I probably would’ve never believed it but unfortunately I’ve had ‘friends’ who’ve said it to me and to be honest I believe it. I believe my bipolar disorder is too much for everyone and that eventually everyone in my life will leave because of it. I get into fights regularly and struggle with calming down once I’m mad- that trait of mine makes me very difficult to be around and I am so sorry to everyone who knows me and puts up with me because I know it’s difficult.
I know a few of my friends will read that and think why is she saying that so let me explain, I’ve struggled with it for five years this January and to be honest it’s not easy for me so I can only imagine how hard it is when you have your own stuff too. I don’t make it easy to love and yet my friends still love me, that’s how you know it’s real. I’m not ashamed of my bipolar disorder, to be honest there is times when I’m proud of it. Not many people can overcome as much as I have and still be positive about a future, I truly have come so far from the day I got diagnosed.
To finish with I feel like it is important to mention and I have got a lot of drafts of this post but I have never been on medication for any of my mental health problems, I probably should’ve but to be honest I didn’t want to rely on anything but myself to fix things. I knew that if I began, I’d never stop and so I relied heavily on therapy. I will speak more about this in another post but just thought I’d mention it because I do know a lot of people with bipolar disorder go on medication and I’ve so far not had to.
Thank you for reading! I’m going to start trying to post on weekends, was aiming for Saturday’s but I already messed that up. It just depends on when I have time but there will be at least one post a week I promise!!