Losing It

I cannot get one moment of happiness or peace without some absolute bellend ruining my mood. I’m sick to the back teeth of my partners aunt. I had my hen do on Saturday had the most amazing night of my life and then she has to go ruin my mood on Sunday because she’s an absolute mind fuck. Phoning me because her own mum isn’t well, telling me to go round there to check on her, look after her while she’s at home getting ready to go see her mate. You can’t fucking care that much if you’ve just fucked off and left her. And it’s an awkward situation for me because if I don’t run it’s not her who suffers it’s an innocent 84 year old who may need assistance. So I have no choice I’m trapped! Good job I wasn’t hungover isn’t it! So I went round sorted her out she was just dehydrated, whatever I thought, I have tomorrow off, I’ll have a lie in and get some peace.

WRONG! I’m lay in bed and hear banging like my front door is being kicked in. Naturally I flew into fight or flight heart racing not knowing what the hell was going on, flew down the stairs and scream who is it at the door. It’s me! Open the door now! Couldn’t find my keys could I, didn’t have any pants on either. I told her to wait but she kept banging n banging, barely got the key turned before she nearly knocked me out with the door. My mam isn’t answering the phone get round there! Get round there now! I was like here calm down you’ve rang her twice she’s probably just putting some washing in, still screaming in my face, then she stormed off shouting call me when you find out she’s okay. Here’s a fucking idea, go find out yourself. Took a few minutes after that for me to realise what the hell just happened and I phoned her mum and sure enough she’d been in the kitchen. All that drama and causing a scene in my street for fuck all. Absolutely raging I was! Couldn’t go back to bed, adrenaline was too high, another lie in ruined.

Later on when I saw her not a single word of apology or thanks. I figured as my lie in was ruined I may as well go round make sure her mums hydrated, do some washing for her, make sure she eats etc. I was too mad to say anything because her mum was there in the room and I didn’t want to blow my stack in front of her and I knew I’d go for the jugular so I just went to leave. As I’m leaving she pipes up asking me when I’m fixing her tv. I just said my partner can do it, it’s his aunt after all. But she was like ah but he’ll be tired. OH HE’LL BE TIRED FUCK IF IM TIRED THEN. I’m just your slave. I didn’t do it, I walked out.

I’ve told my partner how I feel about his aunt and he’s just not wanting to get involved. Saying he understands her side because she’s not herself she’s having a breakdown and that I’m just spoiling for a fight. So now I’m not speaking to him either. She’s having a breakdown that involves being absolutely fine to see all her friends, do what she pleases when she pleases, lay her demands on me and yet I’m somehow the one in the wrong? I don’t think so! I have literally done everything for this family for months and months on end with no thanks, no support for me when I need it I just have to get on and quite frankly it’s a lonely place to be. Sick of hearing the absolute bollocks that I’m part of this family. Yeah cinderella was part of her family too and still got treat like shit. I’m literally going to explode.

Planning a wedding, sorting out his nana all the time, dealing with aunts never ending list of demands, having a stressful time at work and guess what no time left for me to just relax at the end of it. Best of it is, they’ll be like ah why you miserable for? Your always mopey, why don’t you want to go out and do stuff, why are you always tired? Like it’s some massive puzzle. I think it’s quite bloody obvious why am knackered. I’m mentally fried here. I have nobody to sort my shit out. All I know is I can’t go on like this because it’s affecting my mental health badly and what’s more shit is the fact I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, talk about it calmly. It’s resolved nothing. It’s causing arguments between me and my partner and we are getting married in 4 weeks. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I can’t carry this weight alone for much longer, I’m going to let go and if it all crashes down around his aunt then so be it because at this point it’s my survival or hers and I have to save myself. I CANNOT AND WILL NOT have another bipolar breakdown because she’s pushed me into the abyss. Everyone is going to have to deal with it because I’m done, I am doing fuck all else for now because I need a break! I need to recharge. I have too much on my plate without other people’s stuff being added!

Really need a chat with my senior at work too because I’m sick of things being lumbered onto me too in there. Like sorting others mistakes out and being left to sort absolute awful things out by myself and I think it’s bang out of order because it’s not my mistake to sort. Why should I have the absolute head blag of that. Having to stand typing every single barcode into the machine to look at the graphs because nobody tried sorting anything out for 4 whole days. Having to phone and apologise to people for other people’s mistakes like I’m the culprit. It’s a joke! I nearly burst into tears today because of it. I wanna go back to the happy times of Saturday before it all went to shit again. I feel so angry. I feel so sad inside. I feel tired. I feel scared. I feel like I’m losing control a bit.

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Rant of The Week

Thank god I have my hen party in a couple of days to distract me from the fact I want to go fuck some people up. Bitch about me, that’s bad enough, start on my friends and that’s where I draw the line. I’m fiercely protective of my friends. You talk badly about them or hurt them, your going to be sorry! I can’t help but get enraged.

So twat, yes the one from my other blog post who thought she’d just flap her gums about my mental health again was stood with the rest of her coven chatting shit about a friend of mine. A friend who’s had really bad anxiety issues lately, has been really struggling and is doing remarkably well considering. The sweetest most caring girl ever, wouldn’t hurt a fly. How fucking dare you! You fat low life bastard. Just because your bitter that your life is a shit doesn’t give you the right to pick on other people. Maybe you’d find a fella if you weren’t such a nasty piece of work. Maybe you’d have some real friends not just your circle of evil. The circle of evil who by the way spent their time slating you when you were off. Shame really because your really pretty on the outside, shame that the inside is gnarly, ugly and fucked up. Your an absolute coward as well because you deny your own words. You should be big enough to own up to what you say about people, go say it to their face. But you can’t, you won’t because your a spineless little bully. I’ve told you before EXACTLY what I think of you. You didn’t like it. Boo fucking hoo. It’s getting real old though this constant barrage of shit from you and I would so much love to make you pay for every evil word that spills out of your lips about me and my friends.

Another absolute moron is the one I’ll refer to as Bongeye. Bongeye is a lonely little old goat with no family of her own so feels the need to try and steal from other families. She is absolutely besotted with my godson. Scarily so. So much so she keeps reporting my friend to social services for no reason whatsoever. She’s trying to get the baby taken off my friend, probably so she can have him. Not happening. Over my fucking dead body. How fucking dare you report her. She’s done absolutely nothing wrong. That lad is loved and cared for very well. He is the happiest chattiest kid I’ve ever known. It’s not helping my friend one bit either, she had post natal depression, she’s struggled and she’s pulled herself out from that and developed into the most incredible devoted mum ever. I am so proud of her! All these calls from the social aren’t helping her mentally and it’s going to fucking stop! Claiming she’s never with her kid, never takes him out, never feeds him. What fucking planet is this bitch on? She takes him to playgroup all the time, she’s with him constantly, she feeds him healthy well balanced meals and I know this because I too am around my godson regularly. It’s complete and utter slander. I’m raging about it! I don’t know if I want to just throttle her or what. She’s been warned now so if she does this again then she’ll face the consequences of her actions. Evil twisted piece of shit.

Well I’m glad I got that rant out so I don’t have to sit n stew over it and I can look forward to the positive things happening this weekend! Phewww! I’m also thankful my anger has got to the point where I can do this instead of just lashing out. Old me would have bust those bitches up by now. But that just gets me in trouble, no matter how much they deserve it!

Flashbacks

Part of me knows he died, the sensible side. But 10 years on almost and part of me still hasn’t accepted that he’s gone. I see a car that looks like his and I think it’s him. I’m totally fucked up. It’s like the logical side of my brain is telling me that my beliefs are crazy but there’s still this part of me thinks he’s not dead, he’s out there somewhere testing me to see how I’d cope without him. That once he sees I’m doing well, he’ll come back. I haven’t really cried properly over his death either. I got on with my life.

I’ve managed to put the pieces together of what happened, I don’t know if I just dissociated or went onto autopilot at that time to survive but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I’ve realised what I went through fully. Maybe that’s why I haven’t processed this properly. I feel guilty for the way I just moved on like I didn’t care. I did care. I have had flashbacks and nightmares, pieces of what happened coming back to me slowly over the years and it’s only now I have all the pieces. It’s so strange.

I remember him being poorly, I remember the doctors telling me he’d be home for Christmas and I was looking forward to it. His girlfriend (The Hag) was running the house and there was never food in so I was surviving by going to my boyfriends for tea. He’d been in and out of hospital for just over a year. A year of scrimping food where I could, being treat awfully but not wanting to tell him because he was so poorly. A year of going to the hospital twice a day, everyday to see him in between classes at university.

He didn’t make it home. I remember being woken up frantically on Xmas eve, my nana shouting at me to get up, calling me lazy, the usual. Driving to the hospital in a haze not fully awake, not knowing what the rush was for. Nobody said anything. First I knew of what was going on was when I went into the family room. 3 doctors stood there with my nana and his girlfriend and told me that my dad was in a coma and he wasn’t ever going to wake up. I don’t even think it hit me properly. The doctors then said that we all had to make a decision to shut off life support or not. But that not would be fruitless. My nana and the hag both stood staring at me before my nana piped up that I was next of kin and that it was all my decision. 18 and it was all on my shoulders. I think he knew he was going to die because he’d always told me if this happens let me go don’t you dare let me rot on life support. He had drilled that into me for a couple of years but being a teenager I thought it would never happen and shrugged it off as him being weird and depressing. His words echoed in my mind at that point. I decided to let him go.

I told them two to wait in the family room I wanted to say my goodbyes alone. I remember his face so pale and skinny, his eyes sunken into his sockets, like a starving corpse. The tubes everywhere around him. I kissed his forehead, said a quiet goodbye and told him I loved him and I walked out. And I kept walking. I didn’t stay to see his final breath, I didn’t go back to the family room I walked outside and stood in the rain. I called my godfather to come pick me up. He came straight away. He was amazing, asked me where I wanted to go and I didn’t know. I decided to go to my boyfriends. I sat and chain smoked for half an hour and asked his mum to take me to collect my car. When I came back I was informed my nana had called to the house to inform me he had gone. Didn’t even stay to tell me to my face. So cold. I just remember sitting feeling like I was looking in at myself from the outside. So totally alone in the world.

I went home later, shut myself in my room and locked the door. I don’t remember the rest of the night, if I slept or just left my body mentally. I was snapped out of it the next day with the sounds of Christmas music. I went downstairs, I remember thinking maybe that was a bad dream. It wasn’t. Nana and the hag were having Christmas Day as if nothing had happened. Why you so miserable, it’s Christmas. I remember that being said. Oh I dunno, maybe cause my fucking dad died 12 hours ago. Whatever. I got in my car and drove off. I went to my boyfriends again and just sat cuddling for hours. Healing hugs. I felt safe and warm with him. Somehow I knew I’d be okay.

Nana forced me to the dole office the minute it opened to ask for a funeral grant to cremate my dad. I was told I had to learn how to plan a funeral and once again I was next of kin it was my problem. I didn’t argue or complain I just got on with it. I couldn’t get assistance because I was a student. I didn’t have a penny to lay him to rest. I didn’t panic I just rang citizens advice, they didn’t help and so I walked into a funeral directors and asked if I could pay it off a couple of pounds a week. He was really nice, he said even if I paid 50p a week that was fine. I think he could see the situation I was in and felt sorry for me. He guided me through everything and in the end he had a decent send off and I managed to pick up extra shifts to pay for it.

The day of the funeral I remember floating around not really with it, everyone saying sorry to me. I didn’t understand. Why were they sorry? I sat and watched the coffin go behind the curtain, not registering that my dad was inside there. Once again like I was watching someone else. We went back to the house and lots of people were there who I’d never seen in my life, lots of family members too. Talking about how wonderful my dad was. I remember being angry, these two faced people. They used to slag my dad off, complain about him, say he wasn’t really unwell he just didn’t want to work. My boyfriend never left my side. My godfather handed me my newly born goddaughter and I just held her for hours and hours and wouldn’t let her go. My arms had gone dead from holding her. She never cried once, I just stared at her in awe. Ignoring the entire room. I remember my nana shouting at me that I should be making our guests cups of tea, I didn’t answer. In my mind though I was thinking that I couldn’t give a shit if these people died of thirst. I wanted them out my house. I wanted to be alone. After a few hours everyone left except my best friend and my boyfriend and that’s when they let rip. Screaming in my face about the flowers. Apparently I’d deliberately gone into the florist to redirect their flowers. I had no idea what they were on about. I didn’t argue I just grabbed my car keys, packed a bag, told my friend and boyfriend to get in my car and I drove off. I slept at my boyfriends that night. Turns out it was my vindictive mother who had been to the florist but she’d used my name. Explained it.

The next day I phoned the hag and told her to pack her stuff and get out of MY HOUSE. I returned home to find things missing. She’d stolen jewellery, money even curtains and bedding. I didn’t care. My dad was gone so material items didn’t seem to matter. I would just get more. How do I prove it anyways. Things started to look up from then. I was my own boss in the house, paid my way, it was a struggle and I was sick of the sight of packet noodles but I made it work. I found a better part time job for more money and chances to do overtime to get by while I was at uni.

When I paid the funeral off eventually I finally got his ashes. I decided to go to his favourite place and invited my nana and my godfather to come with me. I remember the weight of the box of ashes being unexpected. I didn’t expect them to be so heavy! I opened the bag and let him free. The wind picked up and blew him back in my face. It was gross but also really funny. I was stood saying a little prayer when my nana broke the silence to alert me that if we didn’t leave soon she would miss her bingo session. You wouldn’t think this was her son I was setting to rest. I was raging mad. I drove my car like a lunatic and screeched to a halt outside the bingo hall, barely letting her out of the car before I sped off. Heartless bitch.

The council then threw another spanner in the works. I couldn’t live in a 3 bed house by myself. I had to find myself a flat or they’d forceably rehouse me. I didn’t want to be shoved anywhere by them so I found my own exchange. Packed my stuff, cleared my dads things, keeping a few sentimental items and moved. I remember my nana coming on the final van run of the move, complaining at how dirty my new house was and then making her excuses and leaving. She never came back to this house ever. It’s like I’d died too. I unpacked, cleaned and decorated my entire house myself and my boyfriend moved in with me. My family never bothered me again. It’s like when he died I died to them too. But it’s fine I studied hard, graduated and got a good job and I’m progressing in that nicely. I’ve never needed them, I was determined to never ask them for a thing. Not that they’d have given me anyway. They are all people I wouldn’t want to associate with anyway, druggies, criminals and just not very nice people.

I’ve only just recently in the past few months got rid of some of my dads things. I’d kept stupid things like his driving licence and insurance papers for his car. I’ve only kept his scarf. It still smells of him. Well it smells like spray paint but he was a spray painter when I was younger and I remember him coming home stinking of paint so that’s his smell. It’s better than how he smelt in the hospital at least. Sometimes I can still smell that smell. It washes over me and makes me feel sick. I still get flashbacks of his face lying in that bed, flashback of everything that happened. I still don’t feel anything. I’m numb.

It’s my wedding in 32 days. He won’t be there to walk me down the aisle. That’s the only feeling I feel lately. Sadness about that. What would he think of me in my dress? Would he approve of my husband to be, he only met him once and that was when he was a dorky 16 year old. I never found out what he made of him then either. This long haired guy I’d brought home for ten minutes before shuffling off before my dad said anything that would scare him off. Was he at my graduation? Did he see me succeed? Would he be mad that I smoke? How would he have handled my bipolar diagnosis? Would he be ashamed? Would he be proud? I really feel like I want to know these things but I never will. Some people say they can feel their loved ones around when they pass. I never have. It’s like he just left. This is what I mean as well when I say I haven’t processed he’s gone. I don’t have the deep feeling of pain and loss. I feel nothing. Like he’s just gone on holiday and yes I miss him but he’s coming back right? It’s so fucked up. I know it’s fucked up. Not even bereavement counselling prized it out of me.

My godfather is going to do a speech at the wedding and I know he’s going to talk about my dad and I’m really concerned that that’s the moment where it’s finally going to register. I’ll just be sat in floods of tears inconsolable and it’ll ruin my wedding. I’m seriously panicking about it. What will be will be though I guess.

The Girl That Changed My World.

You know when someone comes into your life and you just couldn’t imagine life without them? That’s how I feel. I can’t even put into words how much I absolutely love my best friend. She’s the most kind hearted genuine caring girl I’ve ever met. I wish I’d met her sooner in life I really do!

I’ve had other best friends, girls who’ve let down, stabbed me in the back, never really gave a shit about me. She’s different. It’s the first time I’ve had a best friend where I completely trust her. I know 100% that she would never hurt me or let me down ever, I can rely on her. And that’s quite special because I have massive trust problems.

She accepts me for me. Whether I’m up or down. I’m pretty loud and crazy sometimes and she doesn’t mind or tell me to shut up she just laughs along. When I’m desperately down she does whatever she can to raise my spirits. There’s no pressure to cheer up right away, she takes me as I am. I was once catatonic from bipolar meds and she invited me over and I literally sat staring at a wall for hours in silence. She tried to put my favourite programmes on and tried to talk to me and didn’t give up on me. I was hard work back then. It didn’t stop her trying or inviting me to do things. I didn’t realise at the time because I was no longer registering as being on this planet but when I got better, and I reflected, it meant the world to me.

She doesn’t like to say love you which we laugh about because I’m always like love you! And she just smiles with that wonderful smile and sometimes does an eye roll. I love that. I know she loves me though, without words. Her actions show that. I’ve never felt so cared about. It’s little things like a text to see how I am if she hasn’t heard from me in a while, always arranging the next meet up.

I had depression again the back end of last year and she got me the most thoughtful gifts ever. Things she thought would help boost my spirits, and they really did. She listens to my rants (and there’s a lot of them) and always offers help where she can. I’ve never had this before. I’m always the one who goes to the ends of the earth for others so to have that happening back to me actually makes me want to burst with happiness. I tend to just thank a lot, and hug a lot because I’m not used to it. I haven’t been brought up with love and care I don’t know how to process positivity almost.

I felt so bad earlier this week because I didn’t have a penny to spend to be able to meet up with her. I was fretting, feeling like a shit friend and missing her. She was like it’s fine I’ll treat you to food and drinks. Problem solved. Yesterday she made me feel so special and I’m so grateful. Just affirms to me why she is my number one girl. I did feel bad she was paying but she was like you’ve done this for me before and so I’m repaying the favour. Doesn’t matter what I do for others though I never accept that I’m worth good happening to me too. I’m used to giving not taking.

I’ve never had anyone in my life like this, not even my partner, someone I’ve never ever had a bad word with, never argued with, every single memory I have is of laughter and good times. Never once have I felt let down, hurt or upset. She just gets me. She can handle me at my best and my worst. I know she’d have my back in any situation and I’d have hers. I’d literally take a bullet for the girl. I’d go to prison if anyone dared hurt her, I feel that strongly.

She is to be my bridesmaid soon. I’m really excited to see her in her dress, we got it custom made and she’s going to look AMAZING! I wanted that for her. I want her to feel confident, comfortable and fantastic. The best bridesmaid I could have wished for. So supportive in what’s a very stressful time. Always at the end of the phone to listen to my stresses and offer help. She’s took days off work to help me sort things and is attending everything I’ve asked. I can tell she just wants me to feel special and have a wonderful wedding experience.

Anyways yeah, super corny of me just sat here gushing about how amazing my bestie is but she truly is. My number one, my rock, my all time favourite human and I can’t wait to make many more happy memories with her over the course of our lives. Just had to get it out because I feel like how the grinch feels when his heart grows a few sizes and I just felt like my heart would burst if I didn’t! Haha!

#mybestieisthebestestbestie

Stronger than yesterday..(not a Britney reference 😂)

I have had a pretty challenging week, situations pushing me into feelings of deep rage. My old acquaintance anger tried to be my bestie again. I’ve been doing so well remaining relatively calm but life does tend to test us! I’m just going to list some of the utter shit I have dealt with this week below…

Insomnia– I have literally managed a couple of hours per night, some nights nothing at all. I usually manage 4-5 hours and I’m fine with this but I’ve been getting a lot less. I then have to get ready and go to work. It’s been super busy at work and I’ve just had to get on with it. I have a mentally demanding job so I’ve really had to pull energy from thin air to be able to push through. I did it though! Go me!

Loss of Confidence– Earlier this week someone insulted my intelligence. Whether she meant to or not it really threw me off. I was coping really well alone on the bench at work but she made me doubt myself, if someone else doesn’t have faith in me then it makes me not have faith in me. It was just a messy situation, it was resolved quickly and I had support but I still felt really disenchanted. So disrespectful to just assume I know less than I do. How do you know what I do or do not know? Insinuating I do not know even basic things, really? And yet I have not given a reason for her to have this lack of trust in me. I always ask for help when stuck and take all my training very seriously. I do lots of extra reading in my personal time too. I’m not the first person she’s referred to as being inexperienced though. She saved that slot for a super talented girl who is actually a specialist who in an intellectual boxing match would knock her out in the first round!

Time Wasting– My head has been battered by repeated phone calls and messages passed to me at work. When your really busy, you don’t have time to deal with ridiculous demands. It’s frustrating too because the things I was being asked for I’d already done and if they just read what I wrote in the work card they’d know that. So called specialists in their field and yet I’ve had to repeatedly inform them all week long on the rules of incubation times. I cannot make bacteria grow any faster.

Mistakes– Not mine may I add. Following on from other people’s mistakes and lapses of care. It’s disheartening when I leave the bench in good order and give a detailed and often small handover and it’s either completely messed up or not done at all. Best part of it is, when my name goes against something I get questioned like it was me who did it and yet the person who actually messed up, not a word spoken. It’s the automatic assumption that because I’m a trainee, it must have been me. I really care about the work I do as well so I get mad when other people don’t take that same care, it’s patients lives at the end of it.

Twit and Twat– I’ve always had issues with these two spanning like 6 years. Twat more than twit. I’ve gone down the proper channels to not much avail. I need evidence. Evidence I can’t possibly gather without a camera or dictaphone. Anyway they had been leaving me alone to my knowledge but I caught them bitching about me today. Slagging off my mental health, my intelligence and mocking me. It took every single ounce of strength within me to not just completely fly off the handle and attack them or scream and shout abuse. I could have torn strips off them but I chose the wiser decision. Knowing my luck if I did defend myself I’d be persecuted for it because I have the rap of being ‘aggressive’.

The old me would have probably gone absolutely mental. I would have let it boil and boil and boil until I made myself sick. I would have stormed up to a senior and had an almighty rant and pursued a complaint. I might have stormed out of the lab completely and be found punching something somewhere. I can’t emphasise how proud I am of me for this little bit of personal growth.

This week I have faced my challenges head on, openly communicated in a calm controlled manner, asked for support where required and I have ignored the bitching completely. I haven’t sat at home raging for hours on end. I boosted my own spirits. Tomorrow is a new day. I’m not even going to tell a senior about what was said about me, for one it’s a waste of time, secondly I have no evidence bar what I heard with my own ears but that’s not enough, I am just not bothered.

Say whatever they want, yes it may sting a little at first but I’ve dealt with worse. It won’t be the first time I’ve heard that I’m useless, that I don’t know what I’m doing, that I’ll probably have another breakdown anyway, that I’m a mess. Success where someone thought you’d fail is the sweetest revenge anyway. I’m just more determined to not break down now, to continue to do a good job and absorb more knowledge. I thank them for giving me this determination. I would like them to have bipolar for one month and see how they’d cope. Somehow I think I’d come out on top. As for insulting my intelligence, that’s just their own insecurity. They know I’m far smarter, they can’t compete, so they have to drag me down. How sad a life must it be if your preoccupied with what someone else is doing. Karma will come round though, it always does.

Roll on next weeks challenges, I do hope for a better week but the fact I’ve coped and self regulated well under immense pressure this week only solidifies the belief that I could do it all over again. Bring it on world, I’m ready for you!

Bipolar Self Care

I have spent years struggling to cope with this disorder. It’s a constant learning curve. If I can help one person look at life differently or give them a tip to help them cope then my struggles have not been in vain. The following is my bank of knowledge so far…

The first breakthrough is to accept the diagnosis, educate yourself about what it is. You can’t shake this off, you have to learn to live with it. There is no point in denial or shame. Embrace it. You are unique, you are special. It is well known that bipolar individuals have higher creative abilities, problem solving and reasoning skills, deeper empathy, understanding of emotion and absolute strength. It took me a while to accept it. I tried to fight it, it didn’t achieve anything but wasting time. I wish I’d moved on sooner.

Find yourself a good support network. Family, friends or colleagues who you trust implicitly. Be open and honest about your bipolar. People cannot help you if they don’t know how. Educate them on what to do in certain situations to get the help you require. Where work is concerned there are schemes in place. Bipolar is classed as a disability so you have rights at work. Your employer has to make ‘reasonable adjustments‘ in order to help you in the workplace or they are breaking the law. Many people with this condition struggle to hold down a job or lose their job due to sickness policies and yet we have so much to offer if the correct support is in place!

Become the expert of your own condition. At first I just followed exactly what the psychiatrist said without question. This didn’t help me. Not everyone is the same. Some people are helped by medication, I wasn’t. I was far worse on medication than without. I lost an entire year of my life in a catatonic state. I find counselling therapy, self help courses and mindfulness my most effective tools. Do not be afraid to speak up, try different methods and enquire about what options are available for you until you find what suits you. You have to put the work in though. Fight for yourself, you’re worth the effort!

Living with bipolar is a constant learning curve. Your going to fall, your going to fail. Success in managing this condition is not measured by how many times you fall, it’s how many times you pick yourself back up, move forward and learn from that experience. Practice reflective thinking rather than negative thinking. Do not dwell on the 3 months you just wasted in bed crying. Reflect. Why did this happen? What were the triggers? Could it have been avoided? What could be done differently next time? Quite often you’ll find there was a root cause, a stressor that just tipped you over the edge. A stressor that you now know to avoid next time. Of course, part of this is brain chemistry too so sometimes there really isn’t any rhyme or reason it happens and if that’s the case, accept it. You can’t alter that, move forward.

The crippling insomnia used to be my worst enemy. I would sit and watch the clock tick by all night long panicking, calculating how many hours sleep I’d get if I could fall asleep right at that moment. Worst thing I could have done. Obviously practise good sleep hygiene such as avoiding caffeine, turning off electrical appliances like the TV etc, but if that still doesn’t work, get back up. Use that time effectively. Your up anyway right? May as well get some housework done or studying. Don’t waste the time. Yes your going to be tired the next day, you won’t die, but be safe in the knowledge that it won’t last forever, at some point you’ll drop and you’ll sleep. It does get easier, you adapt and get used to it.

The depressive episodes can be hard to deal with. In particular, dealing with suicidal thoughts, negative thoughts and self harm. I used to cut my arms and legs just to try and get the pain I felt inside out. It did help. But then I felt shameful that I’d been so stupid that I’d done that to myself and so the negative spiralling continued. You can get that same release without cutting. Put an elastic band around your wrist and ping it. It does hurt, but it doesn’t break the skin or leave lasting marks. Once again reflective thinking is paramount when dealing with automatic negative thoughts or suicidal thoughts. Our bipolar brain is a liar. We need to call it out. Write down negative thoughts and then try and find 3 facts that prove it and 3 facts that disprove it. You’ll find more often that there is actually no evidence that the negative thought is true. I find this really helpful when assessing if my paranoid thoughts are real or not as well. Life is precious, once you perk up from the low you realise you’d have regretted killing yourself. Once that act is done though it’s final. The world is better with you in it. Call the helplines if you need to. Give it one last fight every time.

If you are able to recognise triggers or indicators that your mental health is on the way down again it is vital you act quickly. Before your sucked down that never ending hole of depression. That’s when you call the GP, the mental health teams, take time out of your busy schedule for mindfulness or self help. Before it gets too bad. Don’t ever think it’ll be fine, always assume and prepare for the worst. As I say don’t be caught in the rain without your umbrella!

My main issue is my anger. I understand now why I’m such an angry person. I’ve been hurt and abused in the past and now I’m just in fight or flight mode at the slightest thing. I always choose fight. It’s self preservation. Channeling the anger in a better way is something I’m still working on. It’s a constant battle. I’m trying to calmly explain the reasons for my anger without raising volume, kicking off or smashing things up. I am taking time to cool off before I speak, sometimes by walking away from the situation until I can articulate it better. The best thing I’ve ever learnt is that the message your trying to convey is lost the minute you raise the volume or get aggressive. Another tip is to choose your battles. Some things just aren’t worth the energy. It’s exhausting to be angry all the time and your not hurting the other person at all, your only hurting yourself. I have found blogging very useful to get the anger out so I’m not bottling it up until I explode. I also have a punching bag. Rather than smashing holes in my doors I can take all my frustrations out on the bag until I wear myself out. This is much better than the old me who would have actually just hit the person I was mad at. I have worked so hard to get where I am in life and I have nobody to thank for that so imagine throwing that all away because I couldn’t control myself. What a waste. Don’t waste your potential.

Stress is a bad trigger. I’m also figuring out how to be more resilient and cope better with that. Nobody can avoid stress completely, such is the nature of a busy modern life. Recently I have found that distracting myself from the stressor by singing out loud helps. Sometimes I just hum a tune at work if I’m getting a little stressed out and I find it gets me through it. Music is a wonderful healer. Whether it be listening to sad songs in the bath and crying it out, listening to death metal to release anger or listening to happy dance music to perk up your mood, it never fails to help. If I am having a particularly bad day, you know the type, where you literally want to scream. That’s what I do. I scream as hard and loud as I can into a pillow. It gets out that pent up frustration.

I’ve recently learnt about positive affirmations. This is really useful. You basically write down ten positive things that have happened that week. No matter how small. It helps you to process that actually it wasn’t all bad that week at all and I’m finding I’m appreciating things a lot more that previously I would have just not noticed. I’ve also amended it slightly and I now set goals for the week ahead as well. I only set small achievable goals but it gives me something to strive towards and I feel good that I’ve completed them at the end of the week. Obviously there are times life gets in the way and the goals aren’t met. I don’t dwell, I just set more for the week ahead and try again.

All work and no play makes me a very dull sombre girl indeed! Socialising with friends is critical. I often imagine I’m a character from the Sims and just like the game you have to keep your social bar topped up. Meeting with friends or planning trips/days out or even just going for a nice meal out once a week has made such a difference to my bipolar. I used to hide away in the house like a hermit because I was tired or for some other excuse. I now force myself to go out. That’s half the battle. Once I’m out I’m fine and I have a good time it’s the building up to going out. Push past it, it’s so worth it. I don’t have to force myself now I actually look forward to it. It helps me get through hard weeks sometimes if I know I’m seeing my best friend on a Friday.

I haven’t really mentioned much about coping with the highs because let’s face it having boundless energy and feeling amazing doesn’t pose many issues at the time. Everyone loves the mania! The only thing I will say is hide your credit cards, nobody loves that bill that rolls in the month after when you thought it was a good idea to buy hundreds of pounds worth of clothes because you just felt so darn good!

I am the most annoying self centred egotistical bitch you’ve ever met when I’m high. I see that after the event. Remember that it’s not truly you. People who understand and truly love you won’t blame you or hold it against you. I always find a nice apology doesn’t go a miss though. You may not be able to help it at the time, but holding your hands up to any wrongdoing and making amends is something you can control and put right. Don’t let the guilt eat away at you. Once again explaining your manic behaviours before it happens to those your exposed to can often help people understand that you don’t mean a single thing that comes out of your mouth when your high.

I get a super noisy brain when I’m coming back down off a high. I can’t focus on anything at all. I have found the coolest trick ever to help stop this, utilising my passion, science. I submerge my entire face underwater holding my breath for as long as I can until all I can hear is my own heart beating. Similarly, standing in the walk in fridge at work or in the sea until I’ve gone absolutely numb also stops the brain from being so loud. It’s like pushing a reset button. I theorise this works because your brain can’t waste time being noisy and annoying when it detects oxygen levels depleting or the temperature rapidly dropping, it has to focus on survival. It’s genius! It’s a life saver for me!

Finally surround yourself with positive people. There are negative toxic people out there who will have a catastrophic effect on your mental health. Avoid them like the plague. Similarly, if you have bad influences around, get rid. The inability to say ‘No’ and the complete lack of conscience/consequence when manic can be dangerous. This can lead to situations that are potentially life threatening or humiliating such as drug use or promiscuous behaviour. Stay safe.

Well I hope someone out there finds this helpful. I know having bipolar seems like your in the role of Rocky, there’s always another fight, you lose, you draw, sometimes you win. One things for sure though, there’s always a bloody sequel!

Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up‘- Rocky Balboa

Dementors! Expecto Patronum!

All I can say is thank god for my humour. It’s the only thing getting me by as I ride this wave of ultra rapid cycling and insomnia. If I didn’t laugh I’d fucking cry. I’m under a lot of stress lately and it doesn’t help when I encounter dementors on top of it. These people are literally trying to suck my fucking soul out. Everytime I get an ounce of happiness or success, there’s always some miserable bastard there to ruin it. Well I’m not going to let them! Expecto Patronum! Be gone.

I’ve sat singing ‘No more fucks to give’ all day long because that’s how I feel. I was upset and quite frankly insulted this morning then I thought hang on, why? Do you need anyone else’s approval except your own. No. My pet hate is anyone making me feel like I’m stupid. I’m far from it, I’m highly intelligent and yet for some unknown reason people don’t see that. I think they hear my Geordie accent or my swearing and think ‘oh she’s thick’. I get a super condescending tone like I’m some naughty school child. Negativity. Not one iota of positivity and let’s be honest here, I deserve that! I work extremely hard, I learn mega fast, I don’t make mistakes often and when I do I only make them the once. I learn from it. I barely sleep and yet I get through the day at work and I finish my work and I don’t lose any ability or focus, could you do that? I think fucking not. Then again there’s loads of people who deserve the praise, it just never happens. Everyone’s spirit is absolutely broken! People who once had passion and drive no longer care. It’s sad to see.

It’s never the people that deserve the complaints that get them though. Funny that. Never the lazy bastards or the ones who literally don’t know their arse from their elbow! Pet hate number 2: injustice. Why should a hard worker and super intelligent girl get a load of flack for one single thing like it’s the end of the world. Literally made to feel so fed up she said she may as well leave. I’m furious. She’s amazing, if we lose her I swear I’ll burn the place down in protest.

I am determined I’m not going to lose my passion or drive. When I say ‘No more fucks to give’ I am referring to the fucks about people’s opinions on me. I’ll root for myself from now on. Give it time, I’m training yes, given the correct tools and my own personal professional development I do at home, I’ll get to where I want to go. And I’ll get there integrity in tact. I don’t need to kiss arse, I refuse. Talent outshines that. If you need to do that it’s because your lacking in areas clearly. Success where they thought you’d fail is the best revenge anyway.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still going to argue the toss and roll my eyes if you insult my intelligence, I’m not one for just letting things slide, I will defend myself but then that’ll be it. I ain’t going to dwell. If I don’t respect you, then I sure as hell ain’t going to respect your opinion. Respect works both ways. I am not going to give you anything unless you’ve earned it. Been there, been the mug before, not again. I’m number one now. It’s basic self care. I’ll just call you a cunt in my head and go on with my day. Have a quick rant to a friend or angrily blog on here. If I do wrong I’ll hold my hands up and learn from that but falsely accuse me and prepare yourself for a fight.

I may be a mentalist but at least I know who I am, what I stand for and what I’m good at. I will use every negative experience I’ve had to help others not go through the same. I will empower. I don’t need to tear others down to feel better. I don’t need to be fake. I’ll play my tiny violin in sympathy for you when karma comes round.