So I know I haven't written in a long time, and everyone is wondering how my Christmas went. My energy has been extremely limited since Christmas, but I think I can finally start to share.
I would say that all our gatherings and events went really well considering! Like I wrote in my last post, we had a very structured plan in place and that really helped. Ryan was incredibly helpful. We were communicating well and I really felt like he was there to support me. It's really hard to be around people, any people, for a long time. Especially when it's a social event and you have to small talk to a lot of people. But I always had an escape route and a plan to de-stress once we got home.
But since Christmas I've had a post Christmas hangover. Things have not been good. I have been so depressed. So anxious. So unmotivated. So nervous. So guilty. So overwhelmed. I've been feeling bored, like nothing can entertain my mind and that makes me feel depressed and hopeless. I don't want to see people, that makes me feel anxious. I don't want to leave the house, that makes me also feel anxious.
Whether its just my perception or it actually is true, I feel like people think I am doing ok. I am realizing how much of a disconnect there is in mental health. People know I have bipolar, they can even know things aren't going good, and yet they still expect me to be "normal". I recently had a serious physical health scare, but the results were negative. To be honest, I was hoping the results would be positive. I know that sounds terrible, but I feel like if I had this physical illness people could understand more. They would accept my ailment and know that I have to say no to things and that I get tired. Right now, it's like "I can't come, I've been depressed lately' isn't a good enough answer because the response would be 'then come out and have fun, get your mind off it'. But it doesn't work that way! Depression and anxiety is leaving my body TIRED and tense. I can't even find the motivation to cook supper. Would you ask someone who had cancer to just 'get out of the house and have fun' when they are suffering?
Whether I like it or not, there is stigma still around mental health. There is stigma in my own perception of my illness. It's hard for me to be truly honest to people most of the time because I feel silly, misunderstood, and like my troubles are trivial. But I wouldn't feel that way if I had cancer, or arthritis, or something else.
I have a lot of work to do around my perception of how people respond to me and how I think of myself as bipolar.
This reflecting has tired me out.
This is a blog about my journey with bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed spring of 2011 and was admitted into a mental health hospital a month before my wedding. I struggled greatly for the next year and a half going on and off meds, experimenting with different forms of therapy and was readmitted to the hospital at the end of 2012. Since then I have been learning how to re-live my life. Seeing a wise, supportive, kind therapist once a week and emerging myself into Dialectical Behavioural Therapy are 2 of many ways that are helping me recover. I have found deep comfort and much strength in mindfulness practices, taught to me from DBT.
This blog is my way of allowing you to see into the life of someone who suffers from bipolar, depression and extreme anxiety. I want to own my story, and help defeat the stigma. I hope you find some comfort in knowing you are not alone, or learn more about mental illness through the writings of my blog.