Tag Archives: healthy relationships

It’s been a while………..

aunty-17 It’s a while since I picked up a pen, or danced my fingers across the keyboard to do anything other than check my bank balance (depressing) or see who sent me emails I don’t need/want/require/or are of any benefit. Although I probably could do with the diet pills, I certainly don’t need a penile enlargement, to find out if my partner is cheating on me, a Russian bride, to claim the lottery prizes (of which there are quite a few) that I have won (but never entered!!) or any of the other asinine stuff that comes to my inbox every day.

Digression over, it’s been a while….

It’s been a while since I had any time to myself. It’s been a while since I felt able to string a coherent set of thoughts together. It’s been a while since I have had any sort of peace within myself. And it’s been a while since I simply felt like putting down on paper/screen/(out of my head) my thoughts; because once I do that I have to confront what is there before me. And that’s the difficult part….. The thing with bipolar is I never really trust my own feelings. Are they real? Is my anger justified? Why am I really sad, or frustrated, or discouraged, or upset? Is what I am feeling real at all? I have started sessions with a psychologist and she’ll be teaching me the techniques of cbt, but before any of the good stuff that will actually help is talked about, she’s brought me back to places I’m not sure I want to revisit. She’s brought me back to a time in my life I wanted to just forget, wipe from my memory as if I can just ignore its very existence. She is making me dredge up things I either wanted to ignore, or forgot about in some sort of self-protection approach. She’s a lovely psychologist, but I have left the last three sessions with her in tears by the end. And then I’m upset for the week. I’m facing issues about myself and others around me that I don’t particularly want to face. Because facing issues like that means that action must then be taken. Without some sort of action, this will all be pointless.

I don’t know why I was reluctant to undergo this type of therapy. Strike that, I think I do. – My psych told me at my last two sessions with her that my recent ‘issues’ were not bipolar related – that she feels I am instead having a bit of a crisis and an inability to deal with the stresses of life – for which she cannot prescribe any medication because I’m at the highest limit for my particular meds (we just recently changed the anti-depressant anyway – but she says its not related to my recent anxieties!!); hence the psychology sessions!! The first time she said it, I passed it off as her having a bad day, because surely I can’t be “not able” to cope with “life”. That sounded ridiculous to me. I’ve coped with bp for so long, how can it now be that ‘life’ is getting in the way… how can it be that it is simply the stresses and anxieties of life that is now making me feel this wretched. The second time she said it however, I had to take notice. She suggested the psychology sessions and organized them fairly promptly which brings me to the last month. It’s so easy to label everything that goes wrong in my life as ‘bipolar related’. It’s easy to pass off feelings of insecurity, anger, despair as being the symptoms of the illness I have for so long shouldered. In labeling them that way, then it becomes easy to avoid doing anything about them because the root cause is not of my making, well not really – it’s in my head – its only my ‘illness’ talking. Except sometimes it’s not in my head. That is what this psychologist is making me face. She is making me face myself and my decisions and my actions or inactions in a very cool, calm way – but its wreaking havoc on me. I come out of there a snotty mess. For the last few weeks she’s shook my hand and said it will get better. But before that happens we have to go back….. Go back and dig up stuff I don’t want to. Go forward and deal with stuff I’d rather label as bipolar related, go and look myself in the mirror and say ‘yeah, but how do you really feel’..

And I’m terrified.

I’m terrified of what I will see.

I’m terrified what I will find out about myself

I’m terrified of what I will have to then do about it.

I’m not sure if I have used my bipolar as a crutch my whole life or as an excuse, or as a shield. Perhaps it’s a bit of all three, perhaps its none of those; I really don’t know. And that’s the terrifying part. That and what’s now going to happen.

Shit, I hate the unfamiliarity of all this….

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Filed under anger, bi-polar, depression, depressive episodes, family, family and relationships, Life and Health, Mania

It is NOT okay to take your own life……

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I was on a train on Friday afternoon, something I haven’t done in years. And it was full of university students on their way home for the weekend. I sat at a table alongside three of these students, one to the side of me and two facing me. I put on my ipod and I tried to drown out the clackty clack sound of the train and the din of the voices as people chatted and laughed.

I was absolutely amazed at the confidence of those three girls. One sat there with her laptop and typed notes (I presume), while the two facing me talked about their lecturers and other students at the university and what they would do this weekend. They oozed self-confidence. It seemed to just come from their pores, from the inside out. Their faces were animated, they gestured with their hands and they were alive – so alive….

I don’t remember being like that at their age, but I am sure I was at some point; that almost ‘cocky’ self-confidence that is the preserve of the young (and sometimes the not so young!!). It’s almost like an ignorance of the trials of life and what can come your way and because you haven’t been visited by the ‘school of hard knocks yet’, you are exuding poise and trust and belief in oneself.

My daughter had to go to a funeral on Saturday. One of her school pals had taken her own life; she was 16. There are probably many reasons for this and it is information no-one will be privy to now. Her boyfriend who had recently broken up with her sat like a statue at the back of the church and none of them quite knew what to say to him. He didn’t engage, he didn’t speak and left after the ceremony. My daughter didn’t know the girl very well and while she was upset, she wasn’t devastated. On Sunday morning, she came into my bedroom and said she NEEDED to go to her friends house; now! When I asked her what was up, she said the young chap had been found dead that morning (Sunday). He too had taken his own life. There will be no explanation for his parents either… What is glaringly obvious is two families are now in tatters. My daughter knew the chap. She had just finished school with him. They had just been to their graduation ball a few weeks prior. When I looked at the devastation this has caused and then juxtaposition that to the confidence and the poise of the girls on the train, it just breaks my heart. Nothing stays the same. Things change, circumstances change, life happens! It can get worse, for sure, but it can also get better.

It makes me realize how precious life is, how fleeting it can be and how nothing will stay the same. We are the sum of our experiences, we live with our mistakes but we learn from them. We rejoice in our triumphs and celebrate our uniqueness. But nothing stays the same.  I have tried to tell my children this over the last few days; reinforcing the message that things pass, things change and no matter how bad or sad they feel, I am here always; to listen, to be a shoulder to cry on, to be their most ferocious supporter and the one who offers unconditional love. I needed them to know it’s not okay to give up, that the devastation that any action causes will ripple out and leave those who love them in a very bad place for perhaps a very long time. I made them promise that if they ever felt so bad they might do something stupid, that they would come to me. I just hope they have listened.

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Filed under anger, bi-polar, depression, depressive episodes, family, family and relationships, hypomania, Life and Health, Mania, suicide

No man is an island…. but sometimes!!

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For my school exams in my final year, I had to write an essay on the novel Silas Marner, titled ‘No man is an island’; discuss…

I had read the book inside and out, upside and down and felt at the mere age of 18 I knew everything; that I was a champion of the world, that at 18, I knew all there was to know and pretty much acted that way.  Gosh, when I look back now, I realize how absurd that confidence was, given how little I knew of life and the curveballs it can throw at you.

That essay however has stuck with me during good and bad times, because what I did know even then (though only in some small way) is that none of us are alone; no matter how much we may think otherwise.

Our lives impact the people around us in ways we cannot comprehend when we are that young and the older we get, the more of an impact our presence or absence can have on those around us.  (Philosophical lesson over!)

I have a friend, (I love her to bits) who has seen me through my fair share of dark days and endless weeks, when I have felt nothing but emptiness.  She has given to me without a thought of receiving anything back.  Through some of her darkest days though, I have been there to wipe away her tears, to hold her and assure her everything would be okay, even though I hadn’t a clue if that was actually the truth.

But!

(And there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there:  otherwise life would just be boring!!)

At this point in her life she is happy.  However, some time back when times weren’t as good, she underwent cognitive therapy and thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread.   It doesn’t work for me!   But she espouses the virtue of this each time I mention a dark day or moment, or fleeting thought.  I have talked to her about things I’ve not spoken to most other people about; but when I ask for advice, what has happened before all gets spewed back at me as if it was some kind of viscous vomit.  Her intention is not to hurt, and I know that, but having a constant reminder of how things ‘were’ instead of how things ‘now are’ is not very soothing for my spirit.

The problem, the big ‘But’ in the room is I have told her this, and yet…. And yet….  my past experiences continue to become a ‘present day’ incident in her mind, irrespective of the now!  She wants to be my balm.  So what happens when you don’t need consolation and yet it is thrust upon you?  This is my dilemma.  For the most part I hold my own, for the most part I love her company, for the most part I can tell her most things with the complete confidence it goes no further.

But!

I also don’t want to be reminded of those times when life wasn’t good.

Imagine a champion jockey constantly being reminded of the races he lost, or a fighter being reminded of the times he was knocked out, irrespective of the times they have won –or their present circumstances?  No man is an island!  Where would we be without friends?  But sometimes, I want to be on an island, or at least have my present cheerfulness celebrated as much as my past miseries.

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