Okay so this isn’t really new news – I have Bipolar II (and I think people have a better idea of what that is thesedays but if not – we get really manic which is often beneficial, sometimes scary but never to the point of psychosis. Then we get very very low. Low periods last longer and are more severe, in many cases).
I’m never shy in telling people I have Bipolar II – not really… not when I am positive and can say “this is me and it doesn’t get the better of me!!” But I think it’s more for shock value when I tell people. How can SHE be depressed??? She’s so positive and full of life….? Well that’s bipolar II really. SOME of the time… (And SOME of the time people are actually not shocked at all and probably think “no shit Sherlock!”. )
When I’m not well… mostly I don’t even see the signs, I don’t realise I’ve been ill until important parts of my life have been wrecked and people are slamming out of the door, screaming that they can’t do it anymore. That is when I start to wonder where I went… when did that awesome, bubbly, funny, zainy girl go??
Why did no one tell me she had even left the building? Why did I not notice she had left the building??? HOW could I not have noticed? I did think I might not be very well over Christmas but for some reason convinced myself that I was being paranoid… Oh the irony…
People don’t notice because they don’t realise that SHE – that obnoxious, condesending, arguementative, angry, selfish, BITCH (Shirty Gerty we used to call her) isn’t actually me… That I absolutely hate her and that, had I known all I had to do was be aware, take some tablets and find my Traciness again. It actually hurts that people think that I am really like that. That she isn’t Bipolar II but infact my PERSONALITY. It’s not hard though – I turn into my Mum. All of that learned behaviour that I have been fighting comes out. If I met that version when I was actually me I think I would probably slap her round the face really.
So I have been unwell.. it’s winter so it was bound to happen as I get worse in the winter. I’m aware now – so I am doing things to get myself back. 5-HTP suppliments, Vitamin D, Omega 3… laughter exercises… getting back into what I love doing with the Giggle Workshops but also keep at my artwork.
People tell me I need balance – REALLY? HA! Again… oh the irony…
I feel like I’ve been absent now. It’s so strange… I feel like I’ve not been here. Not sure where I’ve been but somehow I’ve been asleep for a while and now I have to deal with all the mess she has left behind! AGAIN!!!
I don’t blog about it. It felt like this wasn’t the place.. that the Mental Health stuff should be kept for the organisation I run Moulding Futures. That I can keep it all boxed into compartments. That people out here in “the real world” won’t be interested, will judge, will have little understanding of what Bipolar II is and will think I’m not able to do things.. When I’m in the local press it gets mentioned – every time.. like it qualifies me or something… but so many people will see that as a bad thing…
So in my art life – in here.. I’ve kept it low key.. the odd poem here and there shouting at depression but mostly it’s my secret. Writing “I have Biploar II” isn’t quite the same as writing what that MEANS… How that FEELS… and I don’t want to hear tiny violins. I don’t want people to think that I want sympathy.. What I’d like is awareness. So that one day it doesn’t have to be a secret. That people will KNOW – just KNOW that “shirty Girty” isn’t the real me.. That someone will hug me and ask if I am REALLY OKAY at the moment… But it is part of my life – and today I FEEL like writing about it so here it is!
For now I can repair some damage… but I’ve lost so many friends in the past….
So just as a reminder to myself: I AM AWESOME, I am selfless, caring, funny, giving and creative. I am sensitive, bubbly and yeah I might be crazy but as Comedian Terry Alderton said, “You’re lovely, scatty crazy – not crazy crazy” (that made me chuckle…).
So I AM BACK – TRACINESS is back and I think I hid the other part quite well – apart from to those closest to me that is. I stopped doing stand – up because of family stuff which really didn’t help, got the flu, Jamie got the flu, then he was home all over Christmas…we don’t go out… blah blah..
So if someone’s behaviour changes – Don’t blame the person – blame the illness and show support and understanding.. if you can.