If you have followed my blog over the years you will know that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 30 years ago. I never did take it that seriously despite the fact that my frequent periods of mania followed by deep depression were obvious.
After a break of almost 15 years I find myself in the middle of a bipolar episode.
I have felt incredibly ashamed of this and I have therefore hidden it hidden it including my doctor. And when I realised that the mania was beginning to rise was during the house reconstruction last year. Particularly Clearly when we came back from France To a new kitchen and bathroom but with all the floors downstairs ripped up with dust everywhere. I freaked and this is when John wondered if I was going manic because my reaction to the house was completely over the top. Strangely a friend who knows nothing about this later said that she thought something was wrong with me because of the way that I spoke to her and that much of what I said made no sense even though I sounded very happy.
I was not about to let myself have a manic phase because it is always followed by depression. What I did was use tranquillisers which brought me down and also hid the symptoms. Not even my doctor was aware.
Unfortunately my brilliant scheme backfired on me. I knew that the mania had finished by December. Despite the tranquillisers I was still very active and did not sleep much and didn’t eat much. By December I became normal again so I stop the drugs and spent a rather nasty week of withdrawals which I did not expect which was really stupid of me. As my behaviour during the withdrawals was crazy to say the least it built up to the point that I had serious panic attacks. It was then that I call but Dr butter called the doctor service, the night-time service, and I was very lucky in that I got a very nice man called Michael who understood what I was going through and he did not lecture me. He was very understanding once he knew why I had done what did and also pointed out to me that I was not the only one who had been badly affected by the Jimmy Savile affair. (If you want to know what that is all about just Google it.)
Since January I have basically been depressed but not so much that it interfered with my life but this last few weeks or months really it has seriously impacted my life. I have gone to dog shows and I have gone swimming but that is really all I’ve been doing. Most of the time I think about how worthless life is and that I would be much better out of it. two weeks ago when I had the trouble with the people I sold the puppy to it may be longer than that because it happened at Darlington. And it only became worse. During that week I came very close to acting upon my thoughts. This is when I saw my doctor. She was very calm and levelheaded about it and she said to me that I was all right because all I was doing was thinking about it thinking that life wasn’t worth it all that you are just very tired are really very normal thoughts when one is depressed even thinking about suicide is normal. What isn’t normal is a strong desire to carry it out and she knows me well enough to know that if it got to that point I’d reach out.
My doctor is also very much aware of how ashamed I feel for having this bipolar episode. It isn’t just John and a couple of friends who know but a whole load of people who read this.
I am writing this because I’m fully aware that many people who follow my blog have bipolar in their lives in one way or another. My reaction is shame and wanting to hide it and certainly not wanting my dog people to know After all look at the way I dress! And I am seen as a very as a very positive person with a bright outlook and people are always telling me how I cheer them up. How could I possibly not continue with my act and disappoint these people and tell them that I’m not like that all the time. I truly wish that I was. One thing I’m not is fake. The person you see at dog shows is the person I am except occasionally you see a different than one who shows.
Unfortunately the good news from my doctor is that as people with bipolar I eat they experience more depression than mania BUT they are much less frequent and much less severe. I guess I believe that because it has been well over 10 years since I last had an episode and this episode has not been as bad although the depression does seem to be taking its time in lifting.
I write this despite the shame I feel because I think it is important for the people that read my blog who read it because they to are abuse survivors and I have always sworn to tell the truth no matter how it makes me feel.
This does not mean that I have not recovered or am not well into recovery it just means that I have experienced a blip, quite a serious blip, but just a blip. Back in the dark days this would not have been a blip this would have meant me being sectioned to make sure I did not harm myself. So I am still well into the recovery phase and as long as I continue the work and share about it I will grow and recover even more so that when I next have a blip it won’t be as severe as this and if I have blips after that they will hardly show at all.