My bipolar hat is constantly on. It’s more of a balaclava than a hat really – it’s not terribly fetching, it’s claustrophobic and annoying to wear, but happily, can be worn under other hats if that’s the kind of look you’re after.
To the outside world, they are shrouded in mystery. They are secretive and sinister institutes filled with dark, tormented souls. But are they really like that?
I’ve come to realise that by and large, people want to understand more about mental illness. People are now more aware than ever that this is a very real issue for very many people.
I turned to drink and drugs. I lurched from one unhealthy relationship to the next, some of which were dangerously unhealthy. I came very close to ending my life.
I was part of two worlds in that moment. I was that lost and desperately sad me from 10 years ago, but at the same time was my 43 year old self living a life. A real and meaningful life, where the coat of armour has been replaced with a useless rain mac, but one which allows the real world to seep into my soul.
Each and every one of us have built a strength and a determination to fight our battles tooth and nail. We’ve had to. And we should all feel proud.
Bipolar? You suck. You didn’t try to kill me with a devastating suicidal depression. You didn’t turn me into the invincible, wreckless hypomanic being you sometimes do. You just were. You played with me and seriously tainted yet another precious time in my life.
The agitation and anxiety was exhausting. Even although my body and mind were crying out for rest, I simply couldn’t settle. The simple act of me being still was about as likely to happen as a baby lying still in the midst of the most excruciating bout of colic.
I got tired of feeling physically unwell every day due to my excesses. I got tired of chasing happiness, when quite clearly I was like a thoroughbred galloping full pelt down the wrong racetrack, so was never in any danger of sprinting over the happiness finishing line.
The running theme is that bipolar sucks. It seriously sucks. We are all battling like Mel Gibson in Braveheart with his painted face and bloody big shield to ward off the gremlin within us all. We are survivors.