Tag Archives: mental health

With age and Wisdom comes freedom (Part 2)


One of my friends read my blog piece on ‘age, wisdom and intolerance’ before we met up for a night out recently.  A school-mate had come home from afar and those of us who live close spent a wonderful night in her company regaling her with stories of our lives and catching up with hers.  Towards the end of the night, the few smokers among us were outside the venue and as we sat beside each other, my pal (the other smoker!!) told me I was wrong to feel the way I did about other people or certainly how I expressed it in my blog.

My friend told me that for her, the opposite has happened.  She used to be closed off to the influences of other people, to the ‘camaraderie’ of other people, because she somehow felt they would have no interest in her; getting to know her, to talk to her and as a result she stayed ‘closed off’ to them.  It is only in the last few years that she has opened herself to more opportunities, to meeting new people, to not prejudging what others will think of her and letting what will happen just happen, that she is now willing to open a conversation and see where it goes.  My friend feels that this has enriched her life and that by opening herself up to new people, new experiences, new approaches to life that she is the better for it.

I understand all that.  I understand the feelings of confinement within the restrains of my personality, my life experiences, my life indeed!  For me, freedom came when I recognized I am important; not more important than anyone else, but as important as everyone else.  I understood that to grow in this life, I needed to open myself up, to free myself from who I thought I was.  Part of that freedom, that new found sense of self didn’t go down well with those who constantly saw me unwell; as someone to be ‘minded’ to be ‘guided’, to be ‘led’.  Because for me, wellness brought a new sense of self worth, I didn’t want to be minded, guided or led any more.  I wanted to take my place alongside them, not behind them.  I wanted to open myself to the possibility of re-connecting with other people.  In that I think I agree with my pal Tina.  I do open myself up to other people now, in a way I didn’t in the past and I get rewarded time and time again, because other peoples opinions, their life experience, their sense of who they are is wonderful – different – divergent – stimulatingly wonderfully different to mine – and that’s what’s unique to them.

I think that we are actually on the same page, Tina and I.  I just think we came to the same conclusions through different routes; and express it differently  Its not that I am completely intolerant of other people, don’t get me wrong; what I am intolerant of though, is the feeling that some would put me back ‘behind’… Those are the ones I will spend no time on – those are the friendships I won’t take any further, those are the ones who are ‘not worth it’.  But I will talk to anyone!  I can be outrageous and it is absolutely freeing, because I now have only one real critic: myself.

My friend has opened herself up by starting a conversation with people who years ago she would have just nodded at and then quickly passed the other way.  I am doing the same thing; opening a conversation with others.  We both agree that it is freeing, it is liberating in a way and it is truly wonderful.  I know for me, I don’t want to be put back in that box I created for myself.  And that is what I meant by being intolerant of others.  Perhaps intolerant is too strong a word.  Perhaps it is freedom I seek most of all: freedom to be who I really am.  But isn’t that what we all seek?  A freedom to be, a freedom to think, a freedom to act – responsibly!!  This life is not a dress rehearsal for what is to come; (and THAT is a whole other conversation), but what we have and who we are should not be squandered, should not be wasted.  For me, age and wisdom has meant I can be free to be who I am.  I am still learning all the time; through my family, through my siblings, my children, my parents, my husband, and all those who know me.  And it does bring a ‘reluctance’ to spend time with others who would not value that time in me as I value it in them.   I don’t mean that everyone who comes into my life HAS to enrich it; there are those who simply pass through, who I may engage in conversation at a door and enjoy the banter but that is fleeting, it is not those I speak of, when I write here. So perhaps my friend Tina is right:  Intolerance brings its own form of danger to a person, and standoffishness means I can be left being ‘intolerant’ on my own!  So lets end this by saying; with age and wisdom comes freedom! – And a reluctance to have that freedom quashed!

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What Makes Us Happy?


What Makes Us Happy?

My brother asked me recently was I happy?  And as I listed off my ‘life’s ‘work’ and how I felt about it; my job as a mother to three growing teenagers and the angst they bring to any life, my job outside my home as an editor in a busy publishing company, as the wife of a busy businessman,’ he shished me into silence and asked me, “Yes, but are YOU happy?” 

 It gave me pause because for me, my life is my work, my life also revolves around my children, around their schedules, their school or college life, their hectic social life, my husbands work, his hectic schedule and for a while I had to think hard: well, am I happy?  It’s not a question I get asked a lot:  am I happy?  I am happy to do all those things, and be ‘all things to all people’ in my life; a daughter to parents I adore and who are actively in my life every day, a mother, a wife, a business partner, an agony aunt, a confidant, a lover to my husband of 22 years and yes a friend to my pals. Even that means different things to different pals.

I have a few women friends who own their own businesses and to each other we are a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on and a place to go to seek advice with work related issues, we find in each other a conspirator even and above all else an understanding ear; the worth of which can never be discounted.   To talk to other women who understand intimately the intricacies of business life for me is worth more than I can ever tell them. To others I am a confidant, a friend ready to listen and if my advice is sought to give it honestly in as much as I can; I’m closer to some than to others, but I am not a gossiper and what is said in confidence, remains that way.  I have friends whose company I enjoy and I would actively seek out if I was in need advice.  There are others who just want a meet up for a bit of fun and for them the strappings of friendship do not mean the same and therefore they do not get my one hundred percent!  After going through all of that quickly in my head as us women are wont to do, I had to think for a second as he shushed me quiet again; and consider am I happy?

It’s been a long time since that question was asked of me in such an open way.  Normally it would been prefaced with an incident resolved, or an upcoming function and it would be couched in those forms; are you happy the way things went – are you happy with the turnout – are you happy with the response – are you happy with a hundred other things that were within my control.  And the answer to those types of questions varies depending on how well or good I feel and what I have achieved.  But again my brother asked:  Sis, I don’t want to know about the ins and outs of your life; I want to know are you happy?

And I thought for a good while before I answered.

Yes, I am happy with myself, my lot, my family, my friends, my work, and everything else that makes up being a responsible adult…  Were I not happy in any sphere of any of that, I could still be happy in myself.  The same however can not be said the other way round.  When I am struggling with a bout of depression, then everything I do in life is tarnished as a result.  Everything is seen through a fog of unhappiness.  It’s been a while since I thought about just me; not work, not kids, not hubby, not anything else – just me as an individual.  I went to great lengths to explain to my brother that were I not happy, I wouldn’t or couldn’t do the things I do on a daily basis for everyone else, because putting yourself last can only be done as an act of selflessness and love towards others and if I am capable of loving others in that fashion, my own self worth is intact; therefore I do love my life and I am happy in it…


I don’t think he quite got it….  I think he felt for me be happy I need to think only about myself at times, and in my opinion that’s not true.  Not by a long shot!  But all this self-analysis did get me thinking however, what is actual happiness, how does it manifest itself and how do we all deal with it?  Just from our conversation, I know that the things that make him happy would drive me up the wall and I am sure vice versa. Am I content in my life, (under normal circumstances when I’m well,) absolutely; am I happy with my lot; absolutely, am I in control of my life and where it is heading; not always, but that’s life. Would I like to win the lotto and not have to worry again about doing work I don’t enjoy – pony up – where’s the winning ticket?  But who doesn’t regret certain elements of their lives.  Life wouldn’t be life without regret. Its how we choose to move on from and learn from that regret that is the true test of our mettle!!  And me – I’m pretty contented.  I’m still learning and I firmly believe you are never too old to learn something new and useful for your own life.  And with a big sigh I finally answered my brothers’ question.  ‘There is no place else I’d rather be than in his company right now, having this conversation, in the place he calls home surrounded by my family and those I love.  Yes, I am very happy indeed.’

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Down the Rabbit Hole Again!


Deep in the dark recesses of my brain, somewhere that is still conscious of what is going on, I know that I am in a place I wouldn’t want to be had I a choice. Deep down there too, is the knowledge that I am in big trouble.

Deep in my brain is the wisdom, the knowing that I can’t help myself and I end up screaming at myself every night; because at night time – when I am asleep – is the time my subconscious can reach up and punch my conscious mind.   But that constant punching causes problems with my mind during the day, as I struggle to cope with the waking hours having spent all night battling myself as I tossed and turned with my mind screaming; assaulting me with images, thoughts, struggles, pressures, worries that refuse to let me sleep a restful, useful sleep.

Having slumbered, tossed, and turned, my waking moments are lived in slow motion, with words forgotten, tears coming uncalled and the world seen through a veil of cotton wool, as if everything is dulled, muted and I slovenly work on half speed, with a mask in place to pretend I am still me, still fully there. I feel a lot of things and absolutely nothing at the same time. It is as if I know I should feel, am remembering a feeling but am equally incapable of feeling that feeling; I am recalling it as if from memory and not from the process of actually feeling it. My world is getting smaller, it wants to be smaller, and I want to be alone – to be quiet.

As if my very spirit has been stolen, my life is lived purely by going through the motions; as if I have to do it, but no longer want to do it. It is as if someone has turned off a light in my head, in my heart. My brain just refuses to work at times and as I struggle for words more and more it makes me worry, angry, sad, and weary… Not even the words want to come from my head. Just be silent. Just to be silent, that would be wonderful.

To be alone and quiet and peaceful, resting, if that could happen, then perhaps I could mend….

Being depressed, suffering from depression is not a choice; it is an action, something that happens TO you, unwanted, unbidden and sometimes by complete surprise. It is also a battle; a fight with an unseen, powerful thing that sucks the very life out of everything you see, you touch, you do, you are…. It is an insidious illness that can destroy your very spirit, soul, heart, mind and life.

I have bi-polar disorder. I have struggled with this for twenty years and for twenty years I have managed the highs and lows with the help and support of my doctor, family, my husband and my children. But even with me, after so many years and so many swings I was in the depths of clinical depression without realizing it. Despite knowing and managing the symptoms of depression before, they snuck up on me this time.  I felt ‘deflated’, I felt unmotivated, flat and devoid of the slightest hint of energy or joy. I forgot the simplest of words regularly and struggled to put sentences together sometimes. I wanted quiet, silently screamed for it, in my surroundings, in my home, but most of all in my head.

When I slept, I tossed and turned, I didn’t get a refreshing sleep, not for months. I am exhausted both mentally and physically but being in a position of having to go on, I did, until I couldn’t any more. When I began to imagine myself crashing into the nearest truck just so I didn’t have to go to work and I could get some rest I knew there was something wrong. Who does that; imagines themselves slightly hurt; enough they’d have to go to hospital where they could sleep, be quiet and not be disturbed for a few weeks??

This is not like the depression I had felt before with the bi-polar. This came on so gradually I didn’t even realize I was different. Not until having seriously thought of hurting myself over and over and then wanting to do it morning after morning, did I admit to myself that I could be sick. So I asked for an emergency appointment with my doctor who has looked after me for over ten years and she told me that I was suffering from clinical depression.

To be honest, some of it was a relief. The idea of forgetting my words when I enjoy writing so much was very frightening.   When I talked, I couldn’t piece a sentence together without struggling to reach the words that were just ‘gone’. Simple words for everyday things were missing, unknown, unreachable, vanished completely from memory. This is a symptom of depression.

The idea of wanting to harm myself for some peace and quiet was seriously wrong, but this is a classic symptom of depression.

The thought of getting up day after day and going to work  – just doing the ‘run of the mill’ things we all have to do, was destroying my soul, my being and I was beginning to be incapable of doing it; this is a symptom of depression.

The idea of peace and quiet where I can be on my own to just sleep, to rest, is a symptom of depression.

Flashes of anger were not uncommon with my bi-polar but with this episode, it was more like absolute apathy, a feeling like I was wading through glue and no matter how hard I tried it was never going to get any easier, it was just going to get worse…

If I had thought my life was no longer worth living I would not be sitting here writing this now. Fortunately for me, I realized before that happened, there was something wrong.

What I am trying to tell you is that even someone who is used to a bi-polar disorder can struggle with an episode of clinical depression. This one snuck up on me, blindsided me, left me very depleted, more depleted than I have ever felt in my life. This is not a choice, this is not something I am in control of, this is not something I want nor would I wish this condition on any other person, friend or enemy. Unless you have suffered depression, there is no explaining what it does to your mind, body, soul and spirit. No explaining how depleted and spent and lacking in determination, joy or love you feel for life in general, for your life, for the lives of those you do actually love and who surround you every day. It’s not easy getting over depression. It takes an enormous effort from everyone, from the one struggling with it, to the ones who surround that person. I am extremely blessed to have a husband who understands me: my mind, soul and heart. His love, patience and caring is what at times gets me through the darkest of days, even when I feel absolutely nothing but apathy for him because of that very illness. Surrounding yourself with loved ones who know the real you, who can wait for the real you to come back is more important than they will ever understand. To those who say to people who have been struck down with depression like me “just snap out of it”, I wish you never have to feel this way. There is no ‘snapping out of it’; that’s the whole point. Were it that simple, don’t you think it’s a choice we would quickly, wholeheartedly, delightedly make? But depression takes time to recover from; time to heal, time to rest, time to come back to oneself. I am on that road now. I travel it as quickly as my mind allows. I travel this road more than willingly and I know there are times when I feel like I’m back at the start, moments when I feel utterly distraught for no reason, there are moments when I just want to sit down wherever I am and just not get up ever again, there are times when I just don’t want to talk to anyone for what feels like ever again, but I will get there.  I know I will – how long it takes, I’m not sure…..


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I don’t have to like it…….



I had a panic attack today in work. It crept up on me slowly like the warm feeling that comes over you when you climb into bed on a freezing cold night.   Under the blankets for the first few moments you feel chilly, the sheets are cold and then slowly you warm up until eventually you realize you are absolutely toasty warm; without really realizing you were beginning to feel that way. At first I didn’t recognize what was happening until I couldn’t breath and I couldn’t stop crying.  All I could do was put my head between my legs, try and slow down my breathing and wipe away the tears that flowed without a sound.


I was so embarrassed afterwards.  Everyone looked at me for the rest of the day, some with concern and some with questions in their eyes.  Some still didn’t look at me at all, not knowing what to say or how to react.  What brought on the attack was not ‘one’ thing I can put my finger on, as I said it came across me slowly until I was a mess on the floor of my office.  I’ve dealt with depression, I’ve dealt with elation, I’ve dealt with my own share of stress and anxiety.  But I’ve only ever had a handful of panic attacks in my life and they are not pleasant.


Afterwards, when it had subsided, I had a headache and a knot in the pit of my stomach, which hasn’t really gone all day.  I am sitting down in my home now not sure if I will share this, but needing to get it out and down all the same.


My mother always says ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ but that’s strictly not always true.  Whatever it was that brought this on so quickly today, is still there and I am now terrified that this will happen again in work.  I used to think that the older I got the more adept I would get at handling my bipolar.  It gave me a sense of control I now feel has been taken away from me.  I haven’t felt afraid of my mental health in a long time; not since the regime of medication made me relatively stable.  But knowing that something else can come along and knock you flat without warning now leaves me very unsettled…


Such is life…,

 such is the trials and tribulations of life… 

But I don’t have to like it.

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Oh for Sleep…..

Will the pounding ever cease.
Will the urge to shut my eyes
and dream all day, ever go away
My body aches for bed……

My temper rises without fail
God help those in the way
For my tongue is very sharp today
I am just so tired……

My muscles won’t react
They don’t want to be pushed
Into activity they can’t do today
Oh, the strain, the strain

God, my eyes won’t stay open
The burning sensation is just so strong
Each time I blink,
Each lid becomes so damn heavy

I pause and try to think
But all thought flees
I am just so tired
I want to sleep……

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Struggles, struggling on, struggle still



I have faced my fair share share of struggles in this life.  Firstly my own struggles with my bi-polar and then discovering that my three children were dyslexic and helping them with their struggles.  It just feels like life has been a struggle.  I had to fight very hard to get them what they needed in school, but as a parent, I didn’t care, they were more children.  I would do it all again tomorrow. There are many that would look at my life and think how lucky I am to have what I have in my life:  A wonderful husband who I love and cherish and have done for the past 24 year, three wonderful children, a nice home, a good steady job and the seeming trappings of a successful life.  But as I have discovered over the years, things are not always what they seem.  I have my issues with depression, they are ongoing and will be with me for life.  My children know that nothing comes to them easy in life and that they have to work hard for everything they get, if their dyslexia gave them any lasting lesson that is it.  I saw them struggle with their learning for years seeming to have to work so much harder than others in their class who did not struggle with difficulties like they had.  But there is one thing I have learned throughout all of this:  Without struggles there is no courage, and without courage there is no strength!  So I consider myself a strength of struggles, if there is such a thing!!


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What a difference a day makes.


What a difference a day makes….

Just 24 little hours:  that’s sometimes the difference for someone struggling with bi-polar between being on a swing and coming down or up from one!  The last few weeks have been hard, but after a good session with my Doc she’s tweaked my meds and I don’t feel so bad today at all.  They are obviously kicking in!  I’ve also had a good nights’ sleep and I had a great night out with friends last night that really helped lift my spirits.   This event was a press event and to be honest as Wednesday morning rolled around I wasn’t sure I would go.  It was a Gatsby themed Casino night so it entailed dressing up in 1920’s gear.   The thoughts of dressing up in anything other than my baggies, given my mood of the last few weeks, was a bit off-putting, but you know what, I made the effort.  It was a gargantuan endeavour; I’ve spent the last few weeks locking myself away from everyone and everything and the thought of socialising was really really daunting.  But with press events, you can’t really turn them down, not once you’ve accepted an invitation and they’ve organized overnight accommodation for you!!; the next invite might be not so forthcoming, so I got myself a flapper dress, a feather head piece, a boa and a long slim cigarette holder and plastered on my makeup.   The progeny shouted up the stairs “where’s the dinner”, “what are you doing”, where are you going”…. “what’s that on your head Ma”… to which I suitably answered, ‘dunno’, ‘nuthin’, ‘out’ and ‘do I not look okay then?’  My daughter very blasé said ‘Mam you always look lovely’…  Well I could have cried and crushed her in a hug, but I did neither, I scampered out the door in my flapper dress, went to the event, met up with some media contacts and had an absolute ball.  So what a difference a day makes…  Today is a Good Day!

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My soul sours, but only for a time,



My soul sours, but only for a time,

Happiness and contentment is never mine

For long; I never know when depression will come

And my soul withers with songs unsung.


How is it that those of us who suffer from bi-polar can know what it is that is wrong with us and how it affects us, but are so hopelessly inadequate in realising when we are not well until things are really bad.  For the past week, I have been so down, I can’t remember the last time I felt this bad.  I have used all my energies to tell people I am well, ‘wonderful’, ‘yeah life is great’; except at home where I can hide away!  I can let how I feel seep out of my very pores.   I have no energy to hide any more at home.  I have no strength left after a working day to keep up the pretence at home.  And at home, I don’t need to hide.  Truth be told, I don’t really hide that well in work either…  Everyone I work with is aware I have bi-polar.  It makes my swings easier to handle for them.  It makes them realise that when my office door is closed, perhaps it’s not the best idea to open it.  But that’s not fair; to them or to me.  I work with a great bunch of people but when I swing, I don’t think they are great.  Every little foible of their personality becomes a source of huge annoyance to me when I am manic.  I have this anger barely contained beneath the surface and one wrong phrase will set me off.  By the same token, when I feel depressed like I do now, I feel isolated, apart, separated from that which normally roots me to the reality of my life.  I feel unwanted, unloved, unworthy of any sort of positive human interaction. I feel dejected and really really sad.  At times I have thought about what the world would be like if I wasn’t here anymore.  I have imagined my own funeral more than a few times.  I’ve often wondered would anyone turn up, would those in my life be suitably upset or would my passing be marked only by a handful of people attending a cold church and a cold ceremony?  It’s almost like wallowing in self-pity, but it’s also not!  I can’t control how I feel.  I try to shake off these feelings but they’re pervasive, persistent, damaging and distressing.  Distressing to my family, to those around me and to me!    I know that when I am this wretched, I isolate myself; I close the door on people, both metaphorically and literally.  I have to shut people out.  I don’t want them to see the depths of my depression.  I don’t acknowledge it myself until I just want to stay in bed and not do anything.  I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to get out, I don’t want to work, I don’t want to be with anyone;  I just want to be on my own.  On my own, I can just feel what I’m feeling and not feel bad about it.  Putting up a front is exhausting and it takes a huge toll on my psyche.

I often wonder would it be better not to work at all.  I often wonder how much of the day to day stress I feel is created and sustained by my work.  I often wonder would I be better in myself for longer periods if I didn’t have the added pressure of my working environment.  I’d find things to do if I didn’t have work to go to, but it would be what I want to do, not something I had to do to bring in the money to help with the household.  At times I feel very resentful that this is the case.  I get angry when I think that life is so short and that so much of my time is time away from my children (mind you they are half reared at this point) time away from things I want to do, things I want to achieve have to be put on hold and then when I get home from work, I’m too mentally exhausted to do any of those things. I often fantasise about winning the lottery and have often said I’d give up work in a heartbeat, to which my other half is aghast.  He is a workaholic and couldn’t imagine doing anything different.  I just can’t match his intensity at the best of times, never mind when I’m not well.  He is normally very compassionate, very understanding and since he is the boss of where I work, it is a blessing in disguise that he feels this way.  If I’m having a really bad day, I can leave…  But I want to leave all the time!  I want to just disengage myself from anything that causes stress and tension and my job is a huge factor in that.  My soul is not soaring at the moment.  It has plummeted to the very depths of a place I don’t want to be and all I want to do is scream…….


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There’s a knot in the pit of my stomach.



There’s a knot in the pit of my stomach.

Another overcast Summer day in Ireland dawns and as I look out expecting to see bright sunshine, I am greeted by a cloud of oppressive grey, dampening not only the whole country, but my mood too…  Dreary days like this do something to the psyche, leaving you foggy and heavy before the day even starts.  At least that’s how I feel.  All the plans I had in my head for what I wanted to do today start to evaporate in a cloud of apathy and all I want to do is nothing; worse than nothing, just crawl back to bed and put my head under the covers staying there until the sun comes out.  Were I to do that, it would just be giving in.   Life is all about facing challenges head on, but who said it had to be huge challenges every time.  For some people just getting up in the morning is a trial; a battle of wills but against your very self.  I’ve struggled with bi-polar over half my life and there are days, sometimes weeks on end when I’d rather not engage with the world at all.  I want to stay in my own bubble of misery and sadness because it’s just too hard to appear ‘normal’. Its not about ‘giving in’ to those feelings as has often been suggested, because for me I do not have that type of control over how I feel.  If I had a euro for the amount of times I’ve been told to ‘pull myself together and snap out of it,’ I’d be a rich woman.  But it’s not as simple as that.  When you suffer from depression, there is no magic switch that can be thrown so that those around you don’t have to ‘put up’ with your misery. It’s not like waking up, as some of us do from time to time, on the ‘wrong side of the bed’ as my mother used to say.  Some of us just get up in a bad mood for some reason and that bad mood can pervade the rest of your day.  When I am in a depressive cycle, I am, most of the time, not even aware of how bad things are, how bad I am until I’ve started to come out the other side.  Depression affects every corner of your life; it changes your view of not only your life, but of the lives of those nearest to you.  Everything becomes dark, miserable and hopeless.  Your self-esteem bombs and for me I feel undeserving of everything in my life.


It is extensive, omnipresent and persistent. 


If it had an actual physical characteristic, I would call it a malevolent body snatcher; that somehow it had crawled inside my body and taken over my very personality and all I could do from the inside is watch as this ‘entity’ destroyed everything and everyone around me while I stood there silently screaming but completely helpless.

The flipside of the depression of course is the elation.  There are times I actually think this is the more dangerous and damaging side of bi-polar.  For me, I can be very happy for a while, but that almost blissfulness, that ‘I can do anything’ arrogance escalates to pure anger, becoming a blistering white ball of destruction that flattens everyone in its path but especially me.  I’ve never been physical or violent, just enraged, out of control verbally, seething!


When that anger will bubble to the surface, I never know; for me that’s the true danger and destruction of bi-polar. 


The past few days have not been good.  I don’t do stress well….  In fact I don’t do stress at all.  The first psychiatrist I had said that with each episode brought on by stress, each new episode can be brought on by less stress than the last.  Its almost like the brains’ resistance to stress gets less and less, therefore it takes less and less to trigger an episode.  Medication helps of course, but for me, I never feel quite ‘normal’.  In fact I’ve been ill so long, I don’t even know what normal is.  I do know that for the last few weeks I’ve not been feeling like myself.  My motivation is seeping out of me, my ability to work hard is disappearing as I simply shuffle papers from one side of my desk to the other. And yesterday, I exploded after a colleague made a simple comment to which I responded like a volcano erupting and spitting fire; reigning destruction downwards.  Luckily for me, this person knows I’m bi-polar and while they were not too understanding yesterday, today they are forgiving – after my tearful apology!  I’ve read blogs about how difficult it is to live with someone struggling with bi-polar.  Believe me its nothing compared to how you feel if you suffer from it.  Today I can’t eat… except cigarettes and I’m on my second pack of the day so far.  I’m confused, hurt angry very upset and for the life of me I don’t really know why; well that’s not true; I’m bi-polar, there’s no other reason needed! I’ve gone through half a box of tissues wiping away the tears that just keep coming despite my efforts to stop them.  If you live with someone who has bi-polar, when you leave their presence, you get a break from it:  we don’t!  I’m not being callous, unthinking or trying to be cruel here, but this illness is with me every moment of every day.  There is no cure, just management, but even that leaves me open to swings albeit of a shallower nature than if I was not medicated at all, but life with bi-polar is no bed of roses; on that you can be sure!  Today is not a good day!!



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Sometimes I don’t like my daughter!!

I know what you are all thinking as you read this, that I am a terrible mother to even think this never mind to write it, but you know what I’m not!

I am realistic enough to realise that at times she will do things that really annoy me and that’s okay!  She’s a typical teenager, no better or worse than any of her peers and typically at this time of her life she is the nucleus of the universe.  The sun shines for Her, the Moon comes up for Her, the birds sing only for Her.  Her brothers are there to torment her and her parents, well, we are there to spoil her fun and ruin her life…!!

If my daughter was a mythical creature, I would suggest she’d be a fire breathing dragon.  When asleep and calm she is wonderful, magical, beautiful, majestic;  when she is awake, she breathes fire, bringing destruction with her everywhere she goes and in her wake remains the shattered ruins of what was once our home!  Her fire devours everything in her path and if it’s not her eating everything she can find, it’s the pack of dragons she leads.  Yes my daughter is a born leader, proud, confident, somewhat dictatorial (but not in too bad a way – now I’m feeling rotten here….) but she can also be bossy, rude, sulky and ignorant…  And this is the person I don’t like at time. It’s the one, who whenever I say no, firstly tries to cajole or bargain or reason me into changing my mind.  When that doesn’t work, it’s the one who becomes petulant, spitting nails that’s not my favourite person in the world.

The one who starts a sentence with “You know how I love you…”, I adore, because she’s so transparent and I know she really does love me which lifts my soul and makes my spirit sing every day.   The one who asks if I’d like a hug when she knows I’ve had a bad day is the one I want to wrap up in my arms and never let go…The one in whom I can see so much promise and talent and capacity to be greater than she can ever imagine, she’s the one I love with all my heart.

But the one who doesn’t want to even lift her own clothes off the floor or tidy her room when she can’t even see the bed is the one that I’m not too fond of.    It’s the one that can really hurt me as her mother  by what she says when she means to hurt that I don’t like…  When she is a mother herself some-day, she will realise what it is to be shut out by your daughter, to be viewed as a nuisance and not as a loving parent, to be shouted at and told ‘I hate you’… (although she’s only said that once to be fair…  most of the time it’s a little less brutal..)  But you know what, while I may not like her at times, I’ve loved her since before she was born, and I’ll love her till I die.  And she will get through these years and come out the other side bursting with the promise I see in her every day.  I just hope the same can be said for me!!!!

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