TW: Brief mention of self harm and suicidal ideations.
I don’t know how I am finding the words to write this at the moment, mental illness is destructive at times, a curse and right now I am living through one of those moments.
Bipolar Disorder brings it’s sparks of creativity, it becomes so much a part of who you are some people refer to themselves as Bipolar instead of having Bipolar. I’m not one of those people.
Whilst I can appreciate the closeness between my illness and my personality to refer to myself as my illness would, for me, be allowing it to consume me, and I can’t do that.
I also don’t talk about “recovery”, this magic gem of a word which Doctors spout and everybody wants for you. I don’t see recovery as achievable. I’ve never been stable, not for more than a week or two, always up or down. A few years ago my Husband said to me, “just aim for OK, stop looking for good and great, just try for OK” so that’s my target, a month maybe two at a time at OK, some respite.
I’ve been criticised for not working and being on benefits but still being able to write a blog and speak about mental health. The reality is, as I write this I am laying in bed trying to also convince myself it’s OK to get up.
At the moment I am in a deep depression and struggling with simple things like washing, eating, dressing. This may sound odd to someone who hasn’t lived depression, I don’t have a physical disability so why am I struggling? My brain has put a physical block there, I actually can’t do these things, it takes me hours to convince myself, I have reminders on my phone for basic things like brushing my teeth, my hair, sometimes they get done sometimes they don’t.
This isn’t laziness, it’s physical inability, my body and my brain not working together. An overwhelming urge to self harm and worse, end my life are the only prominent motivations I have right now and I exhaust myself fighting them, not for myself, but for people I love, because my actions in the past have hurt them deeply.
I suffer with psychosis, the antipsychotic drugs I take help, a lot, but I still see things which is not pleasant and can be pretty scary.
I have only left my house once since the end of August, I’m terrified of the outside world right now. I don’t want to be, I have tickets to see a band next week and more than anything want to find the courage to make it onto the bus and into that venue.
By then, my mood could have flipped, I could be in hypomania and nothing will keep me down, but that will come at a price, exhaustion, short-tempered, self-centred, obsessive. People assume the “highs” in bipolar are fun because they can look fun, and granted, I’ve had some blasts in that state but they are destructive and dangerous and the elation you feel isn’t real, it’s not like a genuine happiness, one that fills your heart.
More people need to talk openly about mental health, there wouldn’t be so much stigma, so many misgivings if more people feat they could openly talk about their mental wellbeing. We all have it, but like physical health some people have illness while others may just get a bit poorly from time to time.