Today the 13th of December 2012 marks my little blog’s 3rd anniversary. I can’t quite believe that what started off as me just needing somewhere to write down my thoughts one lonely day back in December 2009 has lasted this long! I have started a lot of diaries in my life but this has by far lasted the longest and it has certainly been quite a journey since that first post I wrote…
I wonder if I would actually have believed anyone if they had told me back then that over the next three years I would make attempts at ending my life, experience some of the darkest, most bleak and miserable depressive episodes, that I would permanently scar my body quite badly through self harming, that I would experience psychosis or that I would experience a number of hospital admissions both voluntary and being detained under the mental health act.
There have been some laughs along the way, although unfortunately they have been pretty few and far between. There have been a couple of hints of hypomania but the various anti-psychotics have kept full blown manic episodes away. If only they could be so effective at controlling the voices that never seem to properly go away, although they do kindly whisper from time to time.
I’ve experienced the frustrations of getting to a place where I felt like I had a good care team round me to losing one member of it who I valued enormously, then trying to work with temporary staff, to then getting back to a place where I have someone permanent to work with again. In the last three years I have dealt with psychiatrists, psychologist, social workers, CPN’s, GP’s, hospital nurses in A&E, hospital nurses on medical wards and hospital nurses and doctors in the psych hospital.
I have caused a lot of upset to people I care about, I have scared them by being so out of control with my emotions and actions, I have occasionally broken down in front of people and shown my tears and tried to share some of the pain inside of me. I have felt guilt and shame because of my behaviours but once or twice had a ‘meaningful’ hug with someone, where for a brief moment I have felt like they understood and actually they weren’t judging me.
Have I made any progress over the three years I have been writing my ramblings and random thoughts down? I’m really not sure. In some aspects yes – for example – the part time university course I’ve been doing over the past 3 months has given me something positive to try and focus on. But it’s hard, not so much the work itself than the complete lack of concentration I experience so often which makes studying extremely frustrating at times.
The other positive is that my agoraphobia has improved very slightly. I can travel further now than what I could three years ago, although not massively, but when my head is feeling calm I can now travel for about an hour in quiet areas that I’m familiar with. Three years ago even a journey of five minutes could have me starting to really panic. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever overcome this phobia completely, although it would be lovely to think that by the time we reach 2015 (in another 3 years) I could be in a place where I could go shopping in cities and go on holidays and attend family events and so much more.
I know having two positive things is better than having none, but in many ways I don’t feel as though I’ve made much progress at all. I still haven’t found the ‘right’ combination of medication or talking therapies and sometimes I wonder if there will ever be a day where I will be the person who is helping someone with a mental health problem rather than be the person needing the help. Will I stick at the university course over the next three years? By then I could be a good way to getting my degree. Will this little precious corner of cyberspace that I ramble in still be here in three years? I really truly couldn’t imagine not having it now. I have ‘met’ some amazing human beings through writing this blog – there are a couple of people who I have never met but would most definitely consider a friend for all the support and encouragement that they have given me even when they have been trying to deal with their own head crazies. Three years ago I had no idea that such a supportive mental health blogging community existed and I’m so glad I found it; even though I write some posts when I’m unwell that I go back to read some time later and think “oh my God I sound completely bonkers” very few people have ever judged me, the majority have been incredibly supportive and made me feel like I ‘fit in’ somewhere.
I never thought that anyone would have been interested in reading what I had to say and even now looking at the screen and seeing “79,634 visits since December 09” – I just think wow – of course I know there are blogs out there with hundreds of thousands and even millions of hits, but I genuinely never even expected to see 80 people read my little blog let alone almost 80 thousand. And even though a lot of posts have been full of self pity, there have been many more where all I’ve wanted to do is to have a place where I could express what was going on inside my head and it’s quite touching that so many people have followed in my little journey with me and even more so that so many of those people have said that they understood or could relate to what I was talking about. Much as that makes me sad in many ways (I wish no one else ever had to feel like this) but through writing this blog I feel a little less alone and a little more accepted for just being me.
Sometimes I really wonder about the future, sometimes I really wonder how much more of a future I will have but every so often something or someone will come along and will give me just the tiniest bit of hope or strength to fight on through another day.
The next three years… I don’t expect them to be easy and I reckon it’s going to be another long journey… I don’t know if one day things really will all get too much or if one day they will start to get easier… but maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to come out the other side of this a stronger person. Who knows what the future has in store… I guess the only way to find out is to stick around and see where it all ends up…
Thanks for sharing the last three years of my life with me, it really does mean a lot. Every comment means a lot, just to know that someone has taken five minutes out of their day to read what I’ve rambled and then taken the time to offer advice, to say they relate, or just to give words of support… Without it I would probably have given up on ‘My Crazy Bipolar Life‘ a long time ago.
Now who’d like to blow out my birthday candles?
Don’t forget to make a wish :) xxx
P.S. I’ll write a ‘proper’ post later about seeing lovely GP yesterday, medication increases and some other ramblings…