A little about me

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bipolar is Never Cured, Only Managed

I’m a poor sleeper.  It was 5am “last night” when I last looked at the clock.  (I didn’t used to be, to be honest I used to drift into a coma I’m sure rather than sleep). So today of course I’m a right old grump with a foggy mind and yawning nineteen to the dozen. 

There is a reason - I have bipolar, which by all accords is quite the “it” thing to have at the moment. No Oscar actor or Grammy award singer would be complete without bipolar on their list of accolades.   
Naaaa, that’s unfair, I know. It can’t be trivialized. It’s a monster of a thing which cripples everyday life.  Nobody ‘wants’ bipolar.

But there it is, I have it, I’m stuck with it, I learn to cope with it, I take lifelong meds for it, I’m learning to live with it being there all the time.

When I say I’m learning to live with it all the time, I really am learning.  It’s very early days in my diagnosis, which is quite unusual.  It’s more likely to be diagnosed during teenage years.  It’s been official since June last year, though many a doctor before now have ‘toyed’ with the idea, there was never confirmation.  I’m OK with the confirmation as there is now a box for how I feel. A firm category. I no longer feel as though I’m going out of my mind and there is nothing I can do.  Now I just feel I’m going out of my mind and there are things that can be done.

Meds by the sack load?  No worries.  Dr’s visits and constant medication adjustments? Fine.  Endless hours of psychotherapy?  OK. Giving the problem a name is good, it’s trying to solve the problem that is the problem…. If you get my drift.  
The diagnosis is just the start of a very long journey and learning experience, not only for the patient but for the whole family.

Months back when the whole thing was at its worst, my Dr, lightheartedly put it that they would have to create a new me.  I came home did a very bad impersonation of the Six
Million Dollar Man, (complete with the “Dana danaaa, dananna dananna danaa”, theme tune) ….

(Now I can see you scratching your head and thinking I’m totally bonkers, not bipolar).

Anyway…. I’ll continue…. I came home and told the family to worry no more “they have the technology to rebuild me”.  It was funny; it was a way of lightening what had been some seriously dark months.

But it’s true.  I thought it was a laugh!  (In fact at the time I’m sure I didn’t laugh, I had no idea what was going on never mind anything else, especially laughing). But there really has to be a new me because apparently “the old Beth didn’t work”.  The old habits and cognitive thinking of the old Beth caused me to mentally breakdown, so there is no use ‘rebuilding’ me back to my old ways, when my whole frame of mind has to change. 

I had been wearing a mask on the outside for a long time to appear normal.  Certainly for the first part of last year until the crash in June. Friends said that they would never have known – guess I’m such a terrific actress, lol. But seriously thinking about it I’m almost sure that I’ve been wearing a mask for much, much longer.  Which then makes trying to find the ‘real Beth’ is so much harder.

This is a long story.  The experience, diagnosis and recovery. 
I’ll probably type in parts, when I find the words to be able to explain. 

Currently I feel I’m in no man’s land. 
Not quite the scaredy cat with no memory following ECT treatments, and yet not the sociable outgoing person that I was before. Its baby steps.  I know that as things stand I wouldn’t be able to hold down a job.  My memory can be foggy which is frustrating; my confidence wouldn’t allow it even if I’d want to.  I’m hugely unreliable as I’m not sure how things will be that day. Helping with Grade 5 homework can sometimes be a struggle (or maybe I’d find it a struggle anyway – ha!)

I’ve become reclusive to a small point, somebody who just dips in and out of things.  Blogging, facebook and twitter are fabulous ‘masks’ to be able to be out there amongst friends, without physically being there.  I’m guessing if some didn't know what was happening, they really wouldn’t know.

There is some good news however - having stood aside from the charity for a few months,  I’ve now taken my job as President back.  It’s massive.  Huge step.  We’ll see……

Thanks for reading what was a difficult post for me

Until the next time
Beth x
*GYM Update*
Zero – there, that was easy!


  1. I think you did just fine in this difficult post. Sometimes it is hard to share such private thoughts. My prayers are with you. I had a stepdaughter who was Bipolar so I know it is not an easy thing to deal with. I am visiting you from The Redhead Riter's community.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. A very well written post, I look forward to more.
    Your new follower from bf.

    This is my blog...http://articlesautismdisabilityinformation.blogspot.com/

  3. I have a few friends that are bipolar, and apparently my grandmother was bipolar as well (she ended up with Alzheimer's before she died... THAT was interesting). The key is not to let yourself do so much that you have no time for YOU. You need downtime, and you need time to just relax... it is ok to do that!

    BTW, I had to look up expat to be sure what it was... I had to laugh: "Skilled professionals who moved to work in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an 'immigrant'." The difference is socioeconomic status! Tee hee! Gotta love it :)

  4. Hey girls, thanks for your really kind words

  5. Beth, I just wanted to let you know I shared this article on my other blog...it is very good and many will relate to it. Thx again;)

  6. Thanks for sharing this story.Bipolar cannot be cured, but it can be managed.You have to keep on trusting God for healing. The just shall live my faith.It is well.This is my blog: overcomingdepression-editor.blogspot.com