It's been 9 months since I wrote my last blog. I don't know why I stopped. It certainly wasn't because I had nothing to say.....I always have something to say!! I just couldn't seem to get my thoughts on paper. So much has happened, so much is different yet life goes on just the same!! As far as Bipolar goes I've actually been reasonably "stable" for a while. By stable I mean I haven't been hypomanic since I started taking my meds again and I haven't been so depressed that I felt suicidal. Even with some pretty significant things that have happened I've managed to keep in reasonable control. I know 100% that it's partly due to medication and partly due to the fact that I am getting so much better at recognising problems before they get out of hand. For me that's the key. Before I was properly diagnosed I had no idea what was going on let alone what I could do to help myself. I know and accept that I need help from my GP and mental health services but I also realise that in order to stay well I have to take some responsibility. It's not easy. I have had some pretty down times but I sought help and managed to bring myself back up. As well as the Lithium I'm now taking a tiny dose of antidepressant. I wasn't sure as antidepressants can induce a manic episode in people with Bipolar, which is what happened to me before. My psychiatrist assured me that taking it alongside the Lithium, which is a mood stabiliser, would minimise the risk but would hopefully be enough to raise my mood. It works well and so far it's the best combination of meds I've had, with the least side effects.
From an outsiders point of view I guess I have a cushy little life. I have my flat, my dog, no job responsibilities and enough money to live on. Don't get me wrong I'm very content with my lot but day to day life is not easy. Even when I'm stable the simplest of things can be such a huge deal. Every day is a challenge. Sometimes just getting dressed is a huge task. It's the little everyday things that take all my effort and energy. Normal everyday things seem harder to cope with nowadays. I find it hard to cope with too many things going on. I've been volunteering in a charity shop again and it's great but I still don't know if I could cope with a "proper" job yet. It's nothing to do with whether I'm able, it's whether I can be reliable. I can't say I'm really happy but I am sometimes. I'm sure I'm not mean't to be a miserable person and I try not to let people see when I'm unhappy. That's the hardest thing. My type of Bipolar means that I'm depressed more than high and it's hard work putting on a smile when I just want to cry.
It's impossible to write about the last 9 months in one go. I can't. I think one of the things that's had the biggest impact on me was losing a really close friend. He took his own life. I miss him so much. I will write about it all one day but not yet. The most positive thing to happen was being reunited with my son. He's been drug free for 10 months. I will definitely be writing a blog about that. There is someone else who really got to me. More than I thought possible. I did write a blog but decided not to post it. I'm not sure I'll ever quite get my head around it but some things just happen and that's that.
I feel like I've drifted apart from a lot of people. It's my own fault. I tend to shut myself off and then time goes by and it's harder to do anything about it. I'm still really lucky to have my best friend and her family. I think I'd find things much more difficult without their support.
I feel like I've drifted away from my own family a bit. I know I need to make more effort.
I can't believe I've had Libby (my dog) for nearly a year now. She's the one constant in my life. She definitely keeps me going. I've made some really lovely friends because of her and that's been a huge bonus.
I've got things planned for this year and I'm determined not to miss out on any them.
So, I guess life just goes on and things are ok really.