I’ve know Bec for a few years now. Meeting her you would never tell that underneath her infectious laugh and bubbly personality lies a hidden illness. Bec suffers from Bipolar and below shares what life is like living with the illness.
GET OVER IT. YOU’LL BE OK. YOU’RE JUST HAVING A BAD DAY. We hear it all the time and while things do get better – “GETTING OVER IT” is not as simple as flicking a switch for us. I have gone through many ups and downs and all the in-betweens over the last decade and it fucking sucks! I watch people go through times of depression and see that there is a valid reason; a break up, death, etc. While for people like us, there is not always a valid reason. I’ve woken up in a fantastic mood and by the afternoon I’ve decided that my World is ending and everyone hates me and nothing even happened! It sounds ridiculous but it couldn’t be truer.
I first started suffering from Bi-Polar about 12 years ago and I was told that I had depression and anxiety but it’s a phase and I’ll be fine will some anti-depressants. I wasn’t consistently fine and after seeing several psychologists and GP’s, I was put onto a Bi-Polar specialist…I finally had someone who could recognise that this wasn’t going away. I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar II and finally understood how the moods, anxiety, self-hate and paranoia were not my fault but are something that I need to get control of! The psychiatrist put me on several meds – one of which was the dreaded LITHIUM!! I took this for years and it really messed with my body. I put on 15 kilo’s, I developed an inactive thyroid condition, I shook all the time, I felt foggy and sleepy easily and I still had the low times – much less often though.
After years of this I decided that I didn’t need it, so I began self-medicating (you know you’ve done it too!!). I thought it was amazing!! I was dropping the lithium slowly each month and losing weight without trying – I felt invincible…except, I’m not. I’D BEATEN IT! I’D BEEN MISDIAGNOSED! I thought my life was back under my own control — I was A BLOODY IDIOT!! Once I had finally worked it out of my system things started to TURN TO SHIT! I was spiralling out of emotional control and was on a roller coaster that I couldn’t stop. I was crying at work at least twice a week over the most ridiculous things, I was even more defensive than before…the list goes on. I have now learnt that while I do still have hard times, like everybody else but I know just how bad it can be without the support of medication and amazing people that love you.
When you can’t think of anything worse than getting out of bed, speaking to someone, admitting things are bad again – CALL SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU. If my lows get to as low as suicidal, I remind myself of these people and how my choices affect them as well, it pushes me forward that little bit every moment and it reminds me that I can’t let my mind beat me – there are ALWAYS REASONS TO GO ON.
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