Riding The Tides

The moment of realisation that this is it! No magic wand to fix me, this illness called Bipolar 11

Since my diagnosis I was once again hopeful, but also wary that this might not work, like every other attempt to make my life and me happy. As the months went on, I started to believe that this was the answer that I had been searching for and I finally was starting my life for the first time, at the age of 40.

Not to say there wasn't some teething problems with my meds, but I knew this part already, like the back of my hand, the words, phrases, that the doctors say to you, to reassure you and after a few short months I was happy, confident and experiencing life in a way that so many take for granted, no longer hiding my pain behind a filter.

Life was good, so many wonderful things were happening around me that were cause for celebration and at the same time, 1 was navigating the unknown that covid had brought to all of us, unsure of what would happen next, all while trying to run and maintain a business, family and friendships.

For those that have, or are experiencing mental health conditions, will probably be able to relate to what I am saying and for others that haven't been touched, may not ever understand and few that believe that we should just toughen up, that it's all in our heads and that we can choose to snap out of it! Hahah if only that were even remotely true, for no one would ever choose to feel like this.

And yes this is not easy for the one's who care for me and I know it hurts and frustrates you, I SEE you and if I could, I'd take the pain and worry away.

When things start to deteriorate, at first I don't notice, or I put it down to what is going on externally around me, covid, issues with my kids, husband, my family ( a whole other blog ) the list goes on and for awhile I believe it, cause well the alternative that I'm not doing so well, sucks right!

I start becoming aware of the little warning signs, interrupted sleep, mouth ulcers, feelings of dread that leave an imprint on my chest, aching jaw and muscles. These don't all happen at once, but gradually and it doesn't dawn on me, until a conversation with my daughter, saying the words, fears out loud, make it REAL.

So I increase one of my medications with no guidance from my Psychiatrist, it's Christmas break and he's away and for a moment I find peace again. I think everything is ok, I'm ok, but the blue sky isn't so blue anymore and I am once again struggling to motivate myself to do more than what is necessary to survive.

I'm depressed, defeated, left wanting this to be over, that it's not fair

Talking helps, but I only trust a few and don't want to burden them.

At my recent appointment, my Psychiatrist asks me, "Are you depressed?", my answer, "I want to say no, but yes". I'm given yet another medication to take and he explains that if this doesn't have the effect he hopes, we will have to relook at our options and I prey that this works.

A week later, the darkness has begun to lift, I'm laughing and enjoying life, while learning to accept that I have Bipolar.

Putting into place all that I have learned over the years, being mindful of what I consume, regulating my sleep and taking time to just be, whether in my yoga practice, journaling, meditation, spending time in nature, are just a few ways that bring me inner peace.

Not everything will work, there's no one size fits all and I strongly believe that western medicine can effectively co-exist and work, side by side, with holistic medicine.

An excerpt from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/9/understanding-differences-between-holistic-alternative-and-complementary-medicine

In the holistic belief system, illness and injury are often the result of disharmony in the mind-body-spirit, which they see as one. The disharmony can often come about from a dysfunction in any one of these areas. But, holistic medicine believes that a dysfunction in one area affects the whole person and not just that one area of the body.

If you're out there, not coping, unsure or ignoring the warning signs, remember that it's not your fault and there are others, just like you and most importantly do what feels right to YOU

Until next time

Ness x

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