The thing is, is that no matter how bad things get, they always have a way of getting better. Life has a tendency to throw things at us, good and bad, regardless of how ready we are to handle it. I guess what it’s important to remember is that you can always come back.
I remember one of my most bleakest moments, in terms of my mental health anyway, was waking up in a psychiatric ward, alone, confused and above all angry. I had just had a severe manic episode and the evening before was convinced that the world and all its inhabitants were going to rise up and fight like hell to free me from this place. They never arrived in time.
Instead I found myself sectioned under the mental health act, unable to leave through the locked door to the ward. Waking in the morning I felt so angry that I had been left there, that nobody had come to my rescue. What I didn’t know then, and what I do know now is that everyone was trying to help but there was no way that they could do so.
I was far too far gone. I was convinced that I was physically ill, that I was dying. I remember little about the episode, but I do remember a conversation with someone who came to visit me in my hour of need, telling him that I was very ill but that I was going to fight it. In reality there was no it to fight and the illness was only to be found in my mind.
It must have been absolute hell for my family and friends and even those poor souls that had somehow got caught up in the drama of it all. I was texting, emailing and messaging everyone, desperate pleas for help, from what exactly I don’t even know; I have no memory whatsoever of what it was that was frightening me so much.
When I woke alone in that hospital bed, surrounded by people who I had never met, some of who I would later count as friends, I felt I had hit my lowest point.
The night before they had been left with little choice other than to heavily sedate me and in the morning my come down was immense. I remember being in a consultation with my psychiatrist at the ward, asking him why he had let this happen. Upon finding out that he would not and could not free me, I left the room in tears and started again towards the door even though I knew they would not open it.
I spent much of the day dipping in and out of my phone, trying to find someone who could get me out of that place and yet there was no one who could. In the end I opted for legal representation at a mental health tribunal.
Several weeks later she did get me released but the strange thing was that in the end, that door which I had fought so hard to get out of, now that it was open I turned and walked back on to the ward. Not to get my things, but to stay until the medical staff felt I was well enough to leave.
What I’d realised in those few weeks was that I hadn’t been well, that not everyone was out to get me and that maybe a lot of what had happened had been going on in my head, and in my head alone.
Waking up alone in that hospital bed was a low, one of the worst, and though there were to be plenty more bad days to come, walking away from that mental health tribunal and having won but still having enough self awareness to know that all was not well with my mind, reminded me that I did not need the world as an army to fight for me, I could fight for myself, and with an awful lot of help from my loved one, nurses, psychiatrists and some medication, that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
So what I’m trying to say I guess is that even though bipolar can leave you exhausted, can leave you full of self loathing, yet as high as a kite, it doesn’t have to defeat you. Well, at least not every day of the week. When things get tough and you can’t take any more just remember that the door will open and that you will be free from those thoughts once again.
Despite having a lovely day with my brother and sister I am very aware that the beginnings of another depression are creeping up on me. As always I find myself trying to work out why it has come back. I am a dreadful scientist and although the Docs have told me time and time again that it has as much to do with a ‘chemical reaction in my brain due to a biological malfunction’ or some such thing I still look outward for the cause.
Perhaps I have been having too much fun of late, or maybe it is this cold that I can’t shake or the fact that I feel rather under pressure. I don’t know what it is but I find myself tearful and full of self loathing. My figure feels too full and my eyes too prone to water and generally it just kind of sucks.
I am trying to subscribe to the American way of being and think positive but it is hard and I am scared. My last high which started in October was pretty severe and according to my medical history and the famous law of what goes up must come down I cannot help but worry that this next low will be colossal.
The reason I acknowledge it here and now is that I do not want people to get the wrong idea about the nature of my illness. For those of you who are new to the blog I must admit that the lows can be quite significant and at times crippling to everything I do including friendships, work and life generally.
I am doing as far as I can see everything right. I am taking my tablets, getting plenty of sleep and seeing friends and family as often as I can. As well as having a new project to put my energy into I have even taken to eating healthily and having herbal teas, health supplements and warm baths. My only remaining vice, well more or less, is my temporary nicotine addiction and that will pass as it always does.
Fingers crossed I am just worrying without cause and tomorrow will be a brighter day. The shoes have helped in that those I have been wearing for the main part of the day are bright but comfortable without resorting to sweaty Ugg inspired slippers. I spent the most part of the day with my big sis who bought me them and according to her partner they were seen a few months ago on Dragons Den. Wearing them made a walk to the shops a hell of a lot easier but the outfit demanded heels and so they came out to play too although in the mood I’m in today the lower of the two seemed more appropriate.
Look out tomorrow for pictures of the pairs.