So, I haven’t written for a while because I haven’t been sure what I have to say, but based on recent events and people it has become very apparent to me that people are not quite aware of the reality of this illness long term and to me and family every single day.
There are two ways in which I see this as an issue. The first is my everyday life and how things have changed with people thinking that everything is good just because it’s positive. The second is the reality of the bad times that could occur, the things that could happen and precautions necessary.
- Everyday Life
My everyday life – nearly every single change is positive, but change is not easy. It is asking to change something about yourself which you are used to or even engrained within us. The highs and the lows that I experienced with my changes in mood, I hate them with all my heart, but I miss them. I was used to them, I expected them, I knew that nearly every day I would be waking up to something that didn’t feel normal. Usually waking up to the unimaginable difficulty of life and hopelessness. Obviously I don’t want that, but I miss it, I was used to it.
This time last year I was going out every weekend with my friends and getting horrifically and dangerously drunk to the point that anything could have happened and I look back shocked and horrified that I survived in one piece, I really do. I was doing those things with people that didn’t then and since haven’t looked out for me at all or even been a friend. However, I miss the whole thing. I don’t miss them or the drinking or the lifestyle, I just miss the routine that I was so used to.
Now, these things that have changed are amazing and due to these changes I am happier and the best I have been for many years so please don’t see me as saying I want the way my life was but if your life changes over night from one thing to another, I have to say it’s quite something to get used to. Someone described a bipolar diagnosis as ‘I trusted the Earth beneath my feet as the most safe and solid thing, then there was an earthquake and everything that I trusted and thought was true was no longer correct’. My diagnosis is like that, my whole life, as it was, pretty much stopped and changed, I am now having to build again, build the trust up and the assurance that I know who I am, how my life is, friends that will be there for me, what I do with my spare time, everything. These changes are positive and amazing and I couldn’t be happier with my life now, but the change is weird and takes some getting used to.
2. The Bad Times
Lithium is fantastic, wonderful and my best friend, but the reality is, it may not work every time. Based on the relapse I had a few weeks ago, that was like someone pulling the carpet from underneath my feet. From the same person, but who is now feeling positive and good, it is shocking that the thoughts of suicide and cuts I made are even possible to have gone through my head but they did. So, what could happen next time if it were worse and I was on my own? The harsh reality is, those thoughts may have been actions because that’s my reality that I could confront at any time. Since, I am still getting used to medication and being better too, these could come at any time and could be any level of bad.
And no, I don’t like now having to live with my family all the time as a 21 year old who’s pretty content and independent most of the time. But I really need them here. As a person in a good space at the moment, I know lows are temporary and that I can get through them. As a person in that low, I’m not sure I would know that and I would probably be quite sure that I would never get through and never actually want to get through so could very possibly throw my whole life away. So, I have to have people here just in case I wake up and this is what I think.
In conclusion, things are so great right now and we are building from the bottom-up starting all over again. Beginning the life I want forever more. It is just important for people to realise that just because this is the case and just because everything is good the majority of the time, the realities that have to be dealt with for those more intimately involved are not so easy.