Boom Boom Pow

“I definitely feel that you have bipolar disorder; we’ll try these drugs first but then it’s lithium therapy, call your GP for an appointment in a week, see you in six weeks. Bye.”

Being diagnosed with anything isn’t that nice, let’s face it. Even being handed a prescription for antibiotics is enough to make most people urgh because here’s to 3-7 days of swallowing down tablets and fighting infection from under a blanket on the sofa. No one wants to be told that they’re poorly. Certainly, we all hope that we will never be told that we’re really quite poorly/seriously ill/basically fucked/sorry you’re broken.

It wasn’t exactly my finest moment.

That’s it, me, likely for the rest of my life and certainly for the foreseeable.

I have all of the questions and none of the answers. I was told to read and to learn but I don’t know where to start unless I can borrow a book called ‘So You Have Bipolar 2 And You’re Shitting It; Read This For True Facts, No Bullshit And Total Honesty’ which, let’s face it, I probably can’t.

People keep telling me how GOOD it is that I have a diagnosis, how positive and hopeful the whole situation is and I know you mean well and I know that you probably don’t know what to say but that sort of makes me want to rip my own face off with unbridled frustration. One person said “It’s fucking shit but it will be okay, somehow, because it has to be” and that pretty much sums it up for me.

I don’t need lies or pretence. I don’t want to moan on and on but I don’t want to give up blogging just because I don’t fit anymore. I don’t want to campaign. I don’t want to become something just because I’m afflicted by it.

When I saw this card I admittedly did a little LOL. And I am not one to LOL.

Funny init? Controversial, maybe, but I’m all for the odd close to the bone remark said in the name humour.

But then they just had to be dicks about it didn’t they. HAHAHAHA THAT’S SO FUNNY WHAT AN ORIGINAL JOKE HOW CLEVER THIS IS HOW THE WORLD SEES ME NOW *collapses into sobs*

A juicy slice of narrow minded stigma little over 24 hours after diagnosis, really not what I needed to see. And no, I won’t feel differently in a few minutes BECAUSE THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS, KNOBHEADS.

So…what now? Ideas (no lies) on a postcard. Or controversial humour, you can send me that too.

 

 

 

Swings and Roundabouts

Bx0uYh1IIAAzzfT Swings and Roundabouts

The irony is, after three weeks spent in the depths of despair, in bed, surviving on nothing but air, having a heavy bout of textbook depression (I like to do things properly), I woke up on the morning of my assessment and felt…good. Anxiety was still prickling around the edges of everything but that’s okay I told myself, I’m bound to be anxious, it’s okay. Actually, everything is kind of okay and the world is doing that thing where it seems to slow down to an irritating pace andandand

It’s second nature for me to question my feelings now, all of them all of the time, because depression tells you Big Fat Lies and in the effort to feel marginally less shit and marginally more rational I have to ask myself if I am actually scared or sad or worthless or if my mind is just trying to convince me of those things. I’m never quite sure what’s real and what’s not so I live my life in a similar vein to how I read my horoscope; if its good I try to believe it, if it’s bad then whatevs universe you big fibber.

My point is, I could feel the rancid depression fog lifting. My bones weren’t made of stone any more, my head was no longer filled with concrete but instead nicely full of ideas and plans and inspiration…

Can you see where this is going?

I’m 29 and I drink too much tea and eat too much chocolate and smoke too many cigarettes, I love to take photos and read books and laugh until tears stream down my face and I have type 2 bipolar disorder.

Is it a big deal? It feels like a big deal.

Fucking hell…

***

This is all new to me. I’m told I have to learn. MIND explain things better than I can manage right now so if you want to know more about bipolar then click on over here. I should probably have a read too…

Secrets

It’s 2:39am and I’m wide awake because the longer I shirk sleep, the further away tomorrow (today) will stay. (I know, I know.)

I’ve just deleted everything from my phone – how much space do you need iOS8? – and it made me cry. It made me cry because every single photo on there was a moment that I wanted to capture and even if now I can’t remember the reason behind it, at the time I wanted to keep it. Deleting is a disservice to that moment. There are, there was, over a years’ worth of photos crammed in there; from toddler to pre-schooler, selfies and seasides, majestic brick chimneys and skies and the moon. A bagel smothered in peanut butter…

It’s fairly safe to say that I’m over emotional and over tired and totally strung out and utterly fucking useless at asking for help.

I think that I wanted to breeze in here on Friday and lay it all out, matter of fact and with a massive full stop at the end because I would make it that simple.

Only it’s not, and I won’t.

You have all given me so much love and support over the last three years and what have I been doing? Yep, having a full on, full-blown email conversation with The Samaritans (who, by the way, have been completely amazing and if you ever need to talk to anyone about anything, talk to them).

This depression thing that smacked me in the face in 2011 was called postnatal. It had rhyme and reason and no rhyme or reason and it was medicated and, above all, it was transient. Because that’s what PND is, it knocks you to the ground and makes you start all over again but it has an end, the symptoms leave you and life can carry on.

Except, maybe, unless it’s a marker of something else. A symptom of something a bit more long lasting. Permanent in fact.

And that’s what I’m trying to deal with, before I even have any of the answers because that’s just how my brain works, my brain needs to know all of the things. What was once fleeting could be here to stay. More to the point, it could have marred the last god knows how many years of my life and that has thrown up so many existential questions I can’t even untangle one from another anymore.

Or maybe not. Maybe the nurse didn’t really mean it when he said that I could have been misdiagnosed, maybe they won’t listen to me at all tomorrow, maybe I’m not mad…maybe that photo I sobbed over meant nothing.

Think of me at 3:45pm, yeah?

Impossible

She puts one little hand on my knee and I’m not sure if it’s because she wants to feel me there or because she wants me to feel that she is there.

“I’ll look after you Mummy.”

I need rest, she says, peace and quiet because I’m really poorly and the doctor can’t make me better but she will help and I will be okay and at school they have a bed you can sleep in if you feel a bit poorly…

She’s three. Three years old.

Soon I’m going to have to have that conversation with her, the same one I’ll have to have with The Husband and my parents and you lot…The one I only feel I can have once I have some answers, the one where I have to be the strong one and lay it all out in a way that whoever is in front of me will best understand.

Mummy isn’t well…

I’m not well…

They said…

It’s this…

This is what will happen…

I’ll be okay…

I’m scared…

“I miss you when you’re not here, Mummy. I want you to be here all of the time. I want you to stay with me.”

I tell her I want that too, I really really want that, but right now I can’t. I just can’t. And it kills me that such a simple, basic thing is such an impossibility.

“Do you love me?”

I’m frozen to the spot.

Her warm hand is resting on my cheek and her breath curls around mine as we lay, nose to nose, on her pillow. She’s three. I don’t deserve her and she doesn’t deserve this.

Oh sweetheart, I love you SO much. I love you bigger than the sky and more than all of the world.

“Bye…Mummy” she whispers.

I am…

This started as a post about my multifaceted sense of self, the many layers of my existence because I am not one dimensional, damnit! I am many things but I am not ‘just’ anything, I have suffered from (with?) something but I am not that.

Except for when I am.

Sometimes I really, really am.

Sometimes there is literally no other dimension to my being and that is one of the gazillion things that I desperately hate about depression. When it gets you, it gets you right down to your bones. It makes them heavy, malaise and useless, aching with their own existence. And my skin, my skin aches and my muscles ache and my nerves prickle and tingle and frankly, with all of that, I hardly want to open my eyes.

But they open because they have to open and the physical pain is nothing, NOTHING on the mental anguish. My mind becomes a hive of activity and a vacuum of emotion. Except anger, sometimes anger. Or despair actually. Okay, there is emotion but it can all be filed neatly into the Negative box so I’d rather not count it if that’s alright.

All day long my inner voice tells me things. Hell, it smack talks me. I’m shit. Worthless. Undeserving and unknowing and unloved and unvalued. I haven’t got a clue. What’s the point? (There’s no point). I’m fucking everyone and everything up and I will forever and ever because that’s just who I am, my ability to destroy is innate and a part of who I am.

Anxiety creeps in, slowly finding a strong hold around my neck because so much negativity in one soul is draining. Bad shit is going to happen. Really bad. The ceiling is probably going to fall in…did you hear that creak? It’s going to fall and I’m going to be trapped underneath it, buried in loft dwelling spiders and jagged rubble and dust and Victorian plaster.

So exhausted, beaten, worn down…I don’t even care.

Fine. Let it fall. I’ll sit here and wait. Bring that shit on because the anticipation is doing a number on me here and my brain is literally killing me from the inside out.

Wave after wave of guilt smacks me in the face. Think of all the people suffering from unimaginable things in the world while you’re tucked up in your nice warm bed under your feather duvet and the soft glow of the bedside lamp, Clara, you dick.

I am Clara’s self-perpetuating stigma.

I am Clara’s invalidating voice.

There’s so much I don’t even say here and that pisses me off and defeats the purpose of here. Some things, I just can’t…

Tonight she wanted me to chase her for a kiss so I dutifully ran down the hall and grabbed her. Eyes squeezed closed, giggling, she tried to wriggle out of my arms as I lifted her from the ground. And then she remembered. She remembered that actually, Mummy isn’t coming home and she wrapped her little arms around my neck and held on tight. “I do miss you Mummy, when you’re gone.”

And then my heart falls to the floor with a thud, a bloody mess of guilt and pain because there is nothing I can do.